Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has officially launched the new C350e plug-in hybrid, the latest addition to the highly-successful and acclaimed W205 C-Class range. Priced at RM289,888 on-the-road excluding insurance, the C350e replaces the C300, assuming its role as the leading variant of the line-up.
To recap, the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available with a choice of five variants in total, consisting of:
- C180 Avantgarde Line: 1.6-litre petrol, 156hp, RM228,888
- C200 Avantgarde Line: 2.0-litre petrol, 184hp, RM248,888
- C200 Exclusive Line: 2.0-litre petrol, 184hp, RM252,888
- C250 AMG Line: 2.0-litre petrol, 211hp, RM287,888
- C350e Avantgarde Line: 2.0-litre petrol hybrid, 279hp, RM289,888.
Trim: Avantgarde Line now, AMG Line later
At present, the C350e costs just RM2,000 more than the C250 AMG Line immediately below. This status quo is temporary, however.
Launch-spec sees the C350e finished with Avantgarde Line trim inside out. An uprated version to be with AMG Line trim interior and AMG wheels will come later with a price increase of RM5,000. In 2017, MBM will further upgrade the vehicle with the full AMG Line package inside out at RM299,888.
The C350e is also currently fitted with a sliding electric sunroof, which will be upgraded to a panoramic sunroof with the full AMG Line package.
Unique styling cues of the C350e include a pair of discreet “Plug-In Hybrid” badges at the front fenders, blue painted front brake calipers, and blue highlights in the headlamp assembly.
Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain – 279hp, 2.1 litres/100km
Broadly speaking, the C350e runs on the C250’s 211hp/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine boosted by an additional 81hp and 340Nm from its electric motor. The combined efforts of these two power units yield a net system output of 279hp and 600Nm.
As explained in an earlier report on this vehicle, the engine and motor both peak at different rpm; net system output is therefore not a direct summation of the engine’s and electric motor’s outputs.
Like other members of the C-Class range, the C350e sends power astern via a Mercedes-Benz in-house 7-speed automatic transmission. For the C350e, the gearbox is modified to accommodate the electric motor within its housing and a clutch replacing the torque converter thus allowing the engine to be fully de-coupled for full electric driving.
Electronically limited to a top speed of 250km/h, the C350e powers its way to 100km/h from rest in 5.9 seconds. Official fuel consumption is rated at 2.1 litres/100km corresponding to carbon dioxide emissions of 48 g/km. With a full charge of its 6.2 kWh traction battery, the C350e has the potential of covering 31km of ground in all-electric driving or reach a top speed of 130km/h.
As with all hybrid vehicles, the C350e recuperates kinetic energy on the move to charge its batteries. For added efficiency, the battery’s electronics are tied into the vehicle’s built-in GPS system to give the most optimal charging and discharging strategy along the driving route.
New Features – Airmatic Suspension, Pre-Entry Climate Control
In addition to all features and equipment available in existing variants of the C-Class, the C350e exclusively gets Airmatic air suspension and Pre-Entry Climate Control.
Pre-entry climate control is a standard feature available exclusively in the C350e. Before you have a laugh and say the Honda Civic can do the same thing, the Mercedes system allows full activation of the air-conditioning or heater without needing to start the engine. This is possible because the C350e’s climate control hardware is fully electric-powered. Users can choose to activate this system by remote or by pre-set timing.