The Mercedes-Benz E300 Hybrid has arrived in Australia, giving local luxury buyers the chance to get behind the wheel of the country's first diesel-electric hybrid.
The E300 BlueTec Hybrid is powered by a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 150kW at 4200rpm and 500Nm at 1600-1800rpm tied to an electric motor that produces a further 20kW and 250Nm.
Aimed at combining the long distance and higher speed fuel saving qualities of a diesel engine with the advantages of a hybrid vehicle in stop-start city traffic, the E300 Hybrid returns consumption and emission figures of 4.3L/100km and 113g/km of CO2.
Triple figures are reached in a claimed 7.5 seconds with top speed limited to 210km/h.
Helping the 1845kg hybrid’s green credentials is the combination of Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission, stop-start technology and regenerative braking.
The E300 features the same leather multi-function steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera and rain-sensing wipers as the E250 CDI, along with electric seats, leather upholstery, intelligent light system and 19-inch wheels.
A Comand APS Online Multimedia system with seven-inch TFT colour display is also included with satellite navigation and voice activation as well as Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming and iPod/iPhone/USB integration.
While the E300 loses 35 litres of boot capacity and an emergency spare wheel compared with the E250 CDI, the hybrid model retains adaptive brake technology, collision prevention assist, attention assist, blind spot assist and Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe anticipatory safety system.
A new nine-speed automatic transmission recently introduced into the German market's E350 BlueTec is expected to reach Australia in late 2014, replacing the current seven-speed unit across the newly facelifted E-Class range.
The local line-up will continue its expansion when the 245kW/480Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6-powered E400 reaches showrooms in August.
Click on the Photos tab for more images.