What is that?
Maybe you’ve always liked the idea of the plug-in hybrid, but so far it has meant little to you as an individual.
You are certainly not alone: with any PHEV it is possible to save beautifully on fuel costs, but only if your driving habits match a specific behavior pattern. If they don’t, the meager electric range of most PHEVs starts to feel pretty nominal, and the hefty battery pack becomes an adornment that reduces the efficiency of a motor that is forced to work harder than necessary. All quite contradictory.
However, with this new Mercedes C300e, the technology is coming of age. The C300e plug-in has an official 62-mile electric range, almost double the outgoing version. In comparison, the otherwise excellent BMW 330e only drives 37 miles and there won’t be an Audi A4 PHEV until at least 2023. So if you want a premium sedan that you can use as freely as a EV during the week but has ICE legs suitable for long trips, the C300e is your most promising option, and the station wagon version will only add to its appeal.
The layout is familiar, with a load for the electric motor supplied by a 25.4 kWh battery under the boot floor continuously. The pack can be fully replenished in half an hour at charging speeds of up to 55 kW, and the 127 hp engine it drives is integrated into the nine-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel drive is expected to follow, but initially the C300e will be rear-wheel-drive, its engine aiding a 201bhp 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that can propel the car on its own. The total power of the system is 8 hp compared to before but still generous at 308 hp.
What does it look like?
The C300e is never that fast, probably because it is quite heavy. There is no official curb weight yet, but we expect it to reach 1850kg.
This car was never designed to go fast, however. With its digitized cockpit, sleek design and plush upholstery, the latest C-Class really wants to be a half-price S-Class imitator. The C300e does well on this lap, combining the comfort of the materials with the good manners of the powertrain and chassis.
If you go straight from an all-electric undercarriage to a need for maximum transmission power, the nasal-sounding motor might take a while to wake up and the gearbox to find the right gear, but most of the time the C300e glides with minimal disturbance. its flow, relying heavily on its healthy electrical capacity and supplying the combustion power according to your needs. The 330e’s setup is sharper and the engine happier to run, but I’ll be surprised if it’s as silver as the Mercedes-Benz when we test them back to back. The C300e has an oleaginous finesse.
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This notice was published: 2021-10-04 14:01:25