Mercedes-Benz Malaysia introduces its first plug-in hybrid with the C 350 e
A hybrid rocket for the family
Here's the gist of the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e: It delivers the performance of a sports car without high levels of CO2 emissions (or at all, when in all-electric mode) and has the most advanced hybrid technology in the C-Class. It's proof that you need not compromise the environment for power, and vice versa.
Replacing the C 300, the C 350 e comes in at RM289,888 OTR without insurance and packs a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Fast facts: Combined output is 279 hp and a staggering 600 Nm of torque, bestowing the C 350 e with a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds.
Of course, being a hybrid, fuel consumption is equally impressive; Mercedes-Benz claims just 2.1 litres per 100km and a range of 31km in purely electric mode. Charging with the Mercedes-Benz wallbox takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes-around two hours or longer with a standard domestic socket.
The real party trick here is the Pre-Entry Climate Control, which cools the car down before you even get in. Once you do, Airmatic air suspension ensures the trademark Mercedes-Benz magic carpet ride quality.
With a hybrid, the challenge is always to drive as efficiently as possible and in the C 350 e, the accelerator pedal assists in two ways: resisting further pressure from the driver's foot in electric mode and relaying impulses to the driver to stop accelerating.
Drivers can choose between five driving modes which alter the car's character: Economy, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. The last mode particularly allows for custom definition of suspension, steering, climate control, eco assist, and drive system parameters-whatever that rocks your boat (or car) to your driving needs.
Operating modes on the other hand specifically deal with battery-combustion engine interaction. In Hybrid mode, the car automatically optimises fuel efficiency, E-mode is all-electric, E-save maintains the current state of charge and finally Charge uses the combustion engine to recharge the battery. Simple and straightforward.
As for its safety features, the C 350 e comes with Attention Assist, which warns drivers of inattentiveness and fatigue, and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which features automatic braking if a driver fails to react to a forward hazard.
MBM's Agility Financing package-essentially the brand's in-house leasing program-is available for the C 350 e, with which customers can finance their car at RM3,888 a month for three years compared with the conventional five-year financing at RM4,695 (terms and conditions apply).