C-and E-Class get new powertrains, S-Class gets updated petrol hybrid

Mercedes-Benz has revealed a trio of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models for the Geneva motor show: two diesel PHEVs based on the C-Class and E-Class, and a new petrol-electric S560e.

To avoid confusion, we'll cover the two different hybrids separately.


C-Class and E-Class plug-in diesel hybrid

Dubbed as the "next milestone in electrification", the German marque has unveiled a pair of pre-production diesel plug-in hybrids based on the C-Class and E-Class.

"The result: even higher efficiency, remarkable ride comfort and dynamic performance as well as an impressive range," Mercedes-Benz says in its press release.

Both are powered by a new 'OM 654' 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which Mercedes says is the first passenger car diesel engine to use the stepped-bowl combustion engine – named after the shape of the combustion bowl in the piston.

Internal friction is reduced by around 25 per cent with the new engine technology, which is also capable of common-rail injection pressures of up to 2050 bar.

A new hybrid transmission based on Mercedes-Benz's nine-speed automatic also features, which sees the torque converter, clutch and electric motor all housed in one unit.

The electric motor adds an additional 90kW and 440Nm, and the electric-only top speed has been raised to 140km/h in this latest iteration (previously 130km/h).

Combined with the diesel engine, the system torque output is claimed at a meaty 700Nm, available from just 1400rpm.

All-electric range from the new 13.5kWh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 50km, while the power storage unit can be charged in two hours using a wallbox – aided by the new on-board charger which doubles the rate from 3.6kW to 7.2kW.

Like the new S560e, both the C-Class and E-Class plug-in diesel hybrids feature Eco Assist, which uses navigation data, traffic sign recognition along with the vehicle's radar and camera systems to prompt the driver to come off the accelerator to optimise fuel efficiency, coasting and energy recovery.

The pre-production C-Class and E-Class diesel hybrids are part of the company's strategy of electrifying "more than 50 vehicles" across its model range by 2022.


S560e plug-in hybrid

Meanwhile, the S560e uses a conventional petrol-electric hybrid formula. It pairs a 270kW V6 petrol engine with the same 90kW/440Nm electric motor as the C-Class and E-Class diesel hybrids.

Despite its size, the hybrid S-Class can drive "around 50 kilometres" on the NEDC cycle while consuming fuel at a rate of just 2.1L/100km.

The S560e also claims to emit only 49g/km of CO2, which will no doubt appeal to various European and Asian markets where motorists are taxed based on emissions.

Like the C-Class and E-Class diesel hybrids, the S560e is equipped with the smart Eco Assist system, along with four hybrid driving modes so users can choose between hybrid, electric-only, and petrol-only motivation.

Australia

Mercedes-Benz's local division has confirmed the S560e will arrive Down Under in the fourth quarter of 2018.