What is it?
The steady rise of the plug-in hybrid continues with Mercedes’ roll-out of the technology in this latest version of the C-Class.
Available in saloon and estate bodystyles, the C350e is the second of 10 plug-in hybrids that Mercedes will launch by 2017, following the S500 Plug-in Hybrid into production.
It’s a first in the segment, beating to market BMW’s planned introduction of a plug-in hybrid in the soon to be facelifted 3 Series range and also the all-new Audi A4, which will be available in plug-in hybrid form when that launches in the autumn.
The C350e’s powertrain mixes a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and battery pack, all driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s a combination that results in the typically impressive on-paper figures we're used to seeing for plug-in hybrids. Combined system outputs of 275bhp and 442lb ft help propel the C350e from 0-62mph in just 5.9sec and onto a 155mph top speed, all while emitting just 49g/km of CO2 and returning a combined economy figure of 134.5mpg.
The car can run on electric power alone for a useful 19 miles, while a full recharge of the 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack takes up to two hours.