C-class goes eco

DAIMLER has announced its all-new EQ sub-brand of PheV (plug-in hybrid electric) vehicles.

The range will feature a series of dedicated plug-in hybrid models built around scalable chassis architecture and powertrains.

This means Mercedes-Benz essentially has itself a ready-made family of hybrid cars to release as it sees fit — an SUV, sedan, wagon, coupe and two and four-seat convertibles are all possible future models.

You will assume this announcement is aimed squarely at arch nemesis BMW’s iPerformance sub-brand of plug-ins. But Daimler head Dieter Zetsche insists it is luxury upstart Tesla the company is after.

The German manufacturer has had an incredibly busy time during the past couple of years, with a raft of new vehicles joining its wider range. Add the EQ models we will see possibly as early as mid-next year to the roster.

This, of course, is a good problem for Mercedes-Benz.

Theoretically, a deeper model mix means more customer options, more sales.

It’s a formula that has worked well for the local distributor, which has enjoyed a couple of stellar years at the top of the premium passenger vehicle segment.

You can pretty much trace that recent success back to the rejuvenated W205 generation C-Class.

A couple of years on, it remains a stunningly good car, bolstered by good packaging and pricing.

So here we have the C 350e Plug-In Hybrid sedan, which does exactly as described on the tin. It’s a C-Class as you know it — all sleek exterior design and luxurious, forward-thinking interior packed full of comfort and convenient tech — but with eco-credentials added to the mix.

The C 350e Plug-In Hybrid has an all-electric range of 31km.

Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350e sedan still boasts decent, mid-size sedan boot capacity of 335 litres.

The lightweight battery weighs only 100kg and, mounted low, it does not affect the C-Class sedan’s responsive on-road manner.

Because the electric motor augments available power from the conventional 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, the C 350e records an impressive combined system output of 205kW and 600Nm of torque.

DAIMLER has announced its all-new EQ sub-brand of PheV (plug-in hybrid electric) vehicles.

The range will feature a series of dedicated plug-in hybrid models built around scalable chassis architecture and powertrains.

This means Mercedes-Benz essentially has itself a ready-made family of hybrid cars to release as it sees fit — an SUV, sedan, wagon, coupe and two and four-seat convertibles are all possible future models.

You will assume this announcement is aimed squarely at arch nemesis BMW’s iPerformance sub-brand of plug-ins. But Daimler head Dieter Zetsche insists it is luxury upstart Tesla the company is after.

The German manufacturer has had an incredibly busy time during the past couple of years, with a raft of new vehicles joining its wider range. Add the EQ models we will see possibly as early as mid-next year to the roster.

This, of course, is a good problem for Mercedes-Benz.

Theoretically, a deeper model mix means more customer options, more sales.

It’s a formula that has worked well for the local distributor, which has enjoyed a couple of stellar years at the top of the premium passenger vehicle segment.

You can pretty much trace that recent success back to the rejuvenated W205 generation C-Class.

A couple of years on, it remains a stunningly good car, bolstered by good packaging and pricing.

So here we have the C 350e Plug-In Hybrid sedan, which does exactly as described on the tin. It’s a C-Class as you know it — all sleek exterior design and luxurious, forward-thinking interior packed full of comfort and convenient tech — but with eco-credentials added to the mix.

The C 350e Plug-In Hybrid has an all-electric range of 31km.

Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350e sedan still boasts decent, mid-size sedan boot capacity of 335 litres.

The lightweight battery weighs only 100kg and, mounted low, it does not affect the C-Class sedan’s responsive on-road manner.

Because the electric motor augments available power from the conventional 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, the C 350e records an impressive combined system output of 205kW and 600Nm of torque.

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