In conjunction with the ongoing International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia 2016 (IGEM 2016), Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has pulled the covers off the new locally-assembled C 350e.
Sitting right on top of the C-Class family (barring the C 63 AMG), the C 350e Avantgarde Line retails for RM289,888, a RM2,000 premium over the C 250 AMG Line. There is also the C 350e Avantgarde with AMG Interior, which will retail for RM294,888. Last but least is the C 350e AMG which will retail for RM299,888. The C 350e is Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s first model to feature plug-in hybrid technology.
Whilst engine may be similar to the C 250, what differentiates the C 350e is the provision of the 60 kW electric motor, when combined with the turbocharged powertrain, is able to deliver a total of 279 hp and 600 Nm. This in turn allows the C 350e to hit 100 km/h from a dead stop in just 5.9 seconds. Shifting duties are taken care of by a seven-speed automatic transmission which combines the electric motor and an additional clutch between the engine and the electric motor. The clutch effectively replaces the torque converter,
Despite offering such performance figures, the new Mercedes-Benz C 350e delivers excellent fuel economy, sipping just 2.1L/100 km. In fact, in pure electric mode, the new executive saloon can travel up to 31 km. This is thanks to the 6.2 kWh water-cooled battery pack that’s located under the rear seats, which can be charged from an external source. According to the company, the placement of the battery under the rear seats allows the C 350e to excel in crash test safety, driving dynamics and boot space. Boot space is rated at 335 litres, or 1,370 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Combined with the intelligent on-board charging system, the C 350e’s battery can be fully charged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wallbox that’s rated at 230V, 16A, 3.7 kW single-phase. Alternatively, owners can also charge their C 350e via a wall socket, which requires roughly 2 hours to achieve a full charge (230V, 13A, 3.0 kW).
Elsewhere, the Mercedes-Benz C 350e also offers several state-of-the-art features, including:
- Silent start: allows the car to start silently and run in electric mode. The electric motor will be in charge of moving the vehicle, with the internal combustion engine kept inactive.
- Boost: when the need arises for additional power, the electric motor will assist the internal combustion engine by a further 60 kW
- Energy recuperation: the C 350e can recuperate energy when it brakes and coasts, which is stored in the battery. The recuperated energy can be later used for electric driving or boost feature.
Given its PHEV nature, the C 350e offers several transmission modes, which includes:
- Individual: This mode allows for individual configuration of the drive system, chassis and suspension, steering, Eco Assist and climate control
- S+ (Sport+): Here, the C 350e gets maximum boost performance, with very sporty gear changes coupled with extra stiff suspension and damping settings
- S (Sport): Slightly comfier than S+, but the C 350e still offers enhances boost performance with sporty gear changes added with stiff suspension and damping settings
- C (Comfort): Boost performance and energy recuperation optimized for comfort and better fuel consumption. The electric motor/engine can be shut off up to 130 km/h, with comfort-oriented damping setings.
- E (Economy): Similar to comfort, but recuperation is minimized to allow for better coasting distance. The C 350e can still travel on all-electric mode here, and the engine can also be shut off. If the navigation is active with Hybrid operating model activated, the system will control the charge status of the high voltage battery according to the chosen route, which ensures that the electric operating mode is used as much as possible in built-up areas.
On top of the transmission modes, the Mercedes-Benz C 350e offers four operating modes, which controls the regulation between electric motor and the utilization of the internal combustion engine.
- Hybrid: All hybrid functions like the electric operating modes, boost and recuperation can be used and activated according to the driving condition and route for maximizing fuel economy.
- E-Mode: Enables all-electric driving mode, which can be used in inner-city or when the battery holds enough charge for the remainder of the journey.
- E-Save: This maintains the charge status of the battery, allowing all-electric driving in an environmental zone further down the journey. As a result, electric driving and boost is limited.
- Charge: Under the Charge mode, the battery can be recharged while driving with the combustion engine. Here, the combustion engine remains active and electric operation is not available.
With the transmission set in S+ or S, the hybrid operating mode is activated. However, in Individual mode, the options of operating modes can be selected depending on the drive system settings.
Additionally, the new Mercedes-Benz C 350e comes standard with AIRMATIC air suspension, Pre-Entry Climate Control and LED Intelligent Light system with Adaptive Highbeam Assist. Furthermore, Attention Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus comes as standard fitment. Visually, the C 350e gets blue highlights in the headlights, blue brake calipers and optional blue body decals.