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Detroit Motor Show 2012: Mercedes launch Hybrid E-Class models

Incredible economy and performance figures...

Mercedes-Benz has today revealed two E-Class Hybrids at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Set to launch in Europe sometime in 2012, the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid uses the 4-cylinder diesel engine found in the E250 CDi. It produces 201 bhp and 369 lb/ft along with a 20 kW electric motor producing 184 lb/ft - that's a combined torque figure of 553 lb/ft of torque, very impressive stats. The result is the most economical luxury-class vehicle in the world, according to Mercedes-Benz, that hits a top speed of 150 mph, accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds and yet achieves 67.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km.

This makes the E300 Hybrid one of very few Hybrids based on a diesel engine. This would seem the logical choice but most manufacturers have thus far teamed the Hybrid tech with a petrol engine. Hopefully this will see diesel Hybrid tech move more into the mainstream now.

For launch in North American in 2012 and other countries such as Japan and China later, the E400 Hybrid has a V6 petrol engine that produces 302 bhp and 273 lb/ft plus an additional 184 lb/ft from the same 20 kW electric motor found in the E 300 Hybrid. The consumption figures based on the American CAFE standard are: City 24 mpg, Highway 31 mpg, Combined 27 mpg (all US mpg). 0 to 60 mph takes 6.7 seconds yet top speed is lower at 130 mph.

Both Hybrid models are available as a saloon while the estate variant is available for the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid in Europe. Both utilize lithium-ion batteries, start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, purely electric driving and a "sailing" function where the combustion engine switches off under certain conditions.

"With these two E-Class models we are now continuing our comprehensive Hybrid offensive. The modular technology opens up a quick way for us to complement other model series with Hybrid models", explains Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "With a clear focus on the different requirements of the global markets, we are able to offer precisely the models which our customers want. The E-Class Hybrids provide a clear reduction in consumption as well as a very impressive driving experience: they represent Hybrid motoring at the premium level."

Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more