Mercedes-Benz Unveils E300 BlueTec Hybrid Diesel Sedan – First Look

By Paul Riegler on 20 December 2011
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Introducing the World’s Most Economical Luxury Car

Many diesel enthusiasts have wondered why mainstream automakers such as Mercedes-Benz haven’t built a diesel-electric hybrid, bridging the best of diesel efficiency on the open road with hybrid in-town economy.

The Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid will go on sale next year.  It is available in the standard E-Class sedan body as well as a wagon.

Under the hood, the 2143 cc four-cylinder diesel engine produces 204 hp (150 kW) and 368 pound-feet (500 Nm) of torque,  (This engine is also found in the new SLK 250 CDI sports coupe, the automaker’s first  diesel sportscar.)  The electric motor produces an additional 27 hp (20 kW) and 184 pound-feet (250 Nm) of torque and is integrated into the gearbox, a modified seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic.

The combination of the four-cylinder engine with the electric motor positions the E300 BlueTec Hybrid favorably with the six-cylinder E300 CDI, which develops 231 hp (170 kW) and 398 pound-feet (540 Nm) of torque.  By contrast, the E250 CDI, which has the Hybrid’s four-cylinder engine but no electric motor, produces 204 hp (150 kW) and 368 pound-feet (500 Nm) of torque

The BlueTec Hybrid’s 0.8 kWh lithium-ion battery can reportedly power the car in all-electric mode for a range of less than one mile at speeds below 35 mph (56 km/h).  The BlueTec Hybrid can travel from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 7.5 seconds and tops out at 150 mph (241 km/h).

A host of fuel-saving features, including stop-start, brake energy regeneration, low rolling resistance tires, and a sailing mode that decouples the engine from the transmission at speeds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h)  in order to allow the car to coast with minimal losses from friction in the drivetrain.

This makes for a very efficient luxury sedan that sips fuel, using 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg).  Emissions are 109 g CO2/km.

The E300 BlueTec Hybrid will be available in European markets next year. Mercedes-Benz also announced the E400 Hybrid, a gasoline-electric hybrid that will only be on sale in the United States in 2012.