Mercedes has confirmed it will launch its first diesel-electric hybrid later this year.
The E300 BlueTec hybrid will be the firm’s first ever diesel-electric hybrid car; it will reach European showrooms early in 2011.
The BlueTec will be powered by a specially tuned twin-turbocharged 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine from the E250 CDI. Mercedes claims the car is capable of more than 56mpg.
It will share many of its hybrid components, including the lithium ion battery pack and electric motor, with the S400 hybrid.
Mercedes has been pleased with the initial sales of the S400 hybrid, which currently accounts for around 15 per cent of all S-class sales in Germany.
The firm intends to develop plug-in hybrid and electric propulsion systems alongside traditional combustion engines for at least the next 20 years. All future Mercedes will be underpinned by modular platforms which can house all three powertrain options, previewed in Geneva’s F800 Style concept car.