• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Mercedes-Benz will start selling its C350 Plug-In Hybrid in Europe next month, for a somewhat reasonable price. The Daimler division has announced the sedan will cost about 51,000 euros ($58,000 US). Which isn't insanely expensive by Benz standards.

Mercedes first showed off the model stateside at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, and the specs were pretty impressive. The car delivers a combined 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque from its gas-powered engine and electric motor. The C350 PHEV also offers a 112 miles per gallon equivalent fuel efficiency rating (using the more lenient European driving cycle) alongside a 0-60 mile per hour acceleration time of less than six seconds. And the car can go as far as 20 miles on electricity while reaching a top speed of 130 miles per hour. Both lead-footers and tree-huggers can rejoice at that.

Americans won't be that far behind their European brethren, as the model will go on sale as a 2016 model-year version in the US this fall. In the meantime, for some more information on a sedan that we think qualifies as a bit of guilt-free fun, take a look at Mercedes's press release below.
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Sales release for the C 350 e: Future inside
Stuttgart, Feb 02, 2015

Stuttgart – As a plug-in hybrid, the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e combines an extraordinary level of efficiency, dynamism and comfort. In both its Saloon and its Estate guise, the performance of a sports car makes it a convincing proposition, especially combined with certified consumption figures of just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and a range of up to 31 kilometres in all-electric mode. Both the Saloon and the Estate model are equipped with air suspension and a pre-entry climate control system as standard, delivering a unique level of driving and climate comfort. The C 350 e is available to order now from 50,961.75 euros for the Saloon and 52,627.75 euros for the Estate (prices include VAT). Both vehicles will be at dealerships from March 2015.

As a plug-in hybrid, the C 350 e combines a combustion engine with an electric drive system and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 6.38 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source. Thanks to an intelligent on‑board charging system, this takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes at a wallbox. A charging time of around two hours is achievable via a socket. In practical use, this advanced hybrid technology impresses with low consumption and emission figures, but high performance: the electric motor is able to replace or support the combustion engine and makes use of energy generated while braking by converting it into electric energy, storing it and reusing it.

From a displacement of just under two litres, the four-cylinder petrol engine in the C 350 e produces 155 kW (211 hp) and maximum torque of 350 newton metres. The electric motor has an output of up to 60 kW and delivers torque of 340 newton metres. A total system output of 205 kW (279 hp), as well as system torque of 600 newton metres, are thus available to be called upon by the standard-fit 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission.

The high overall system output and intelligent engine management give the car the driving dynamics of a sports car. The vehicle combines this with the ride comfort of a premium saloon, along with fuel consumption and environmental compatibility on a level that, until recently, would not even have been expected of many small cars. The Saloon can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, while the Estate, at 6.2 seconds, is almost as quick off the mark. The Saloon can reach a top speed of 250 km/h and the Estate up to 246 km/h, both in conjunction with certified fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams per kilometre (49 grams per kilometre for the Estate). Both variants of the C 350 e also offer the possibility of driving up to 31 kilometres in all-electric mode, and thus completely free of CO2 emissions locally – for example in the city.

A hybrid is efficient, dynamic and straightforward to drive

Driving the new C 350 e is as easy as any other automatic vehicle from Mercedes‑Benz: simply climb in, start the engine and off you go. As you do so, enjoy its exemplary efficiency and, if you so wish, kick down to experience the superb acceleration of the electric motor. Working in the background, intelligent engine management selects the ideal combination of combustion engine and electric motor automatically. Anyone wanting to can also choose and regulate the hybrid interplay and driving characteristics with the help of four operating modes (HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE and CHARGE) and five transmission modes, which emphasise economy, comfort or sportiness, for example.

If a destination is programmed into the navigation system, an intelligent operating strategy controls charge and discharge of the high-voltage battery in the C 350 e to ensure optimal use of energy over the entire route. Another aim of this route-based operating strategy is to reach urban areas with a fully charged battery if possible, so that the vehicle can be driven efficiently in stop-and-go traffic – and frequently in electric mode.

A new, so-called haptic accelerator pedal also facilitates economical driving. When the driver feels a resistance point, they know that maximum electric performance is being delivered and that the combustion engine will kick in if they depress the accelerator pedal further. A double impulse prompts the driver to take their foot off the accelerator pedal, such as when the distance warning system provided as standard detects a slower-moving vehicle in front. The C 350 e then uses the electric motor's alternator effect to decelerate the vehicle automatically. Energy is recuperated in this way and frequent braking, particularly in stop-and-go traffic, can be avoided.

Air suspension and pre-entry climate control as standard

The new C 350 e offers the familiar range of equipment and appointment options that are available for the C-Class and, in addition, includes the enhanced comfort feature AIRMATIC air suspension as part of its standard specification. There is also a comprehensive pre-entry climate control system, which can be controlled via the internet. As a result, the C 350 e is unique in terms of quality of ride and climate comfort.

The C 350 e is supplied with the AVANTGARDE exterior equipment line including sports radiator grille and centrally positioned star. As an alternative, and at no extra cost, both the Saloon and Estate versions are also available with the EXCLUSIVE exterior equipment line with a classic radiator grille and three-pointed star on the bonnet.

The Saloon version of the C 350 e in Germany costs from 50,961.75 euros and the Estate from 52,627.75 euros (prices include VAT).

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