Mercedes-Benz has launched a pair of hybrids at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit – a US, Japan and China-only petrol/electric E400 Hybrid and a diesel/electric E300 Bluetec Hybrid.
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It was an interesting reveal, not least as some US commentators were heard to grumble that they got the wrong car and would prefer the oil-burner for the increasing US diesel market.
The E300 Bluetec Hybrid is said to deliver 67.2mpg and 109g/km of CO2, while the E400 Hybrid manages 27mpg on the American CAFE (city cycle) rating.
A four-cylinder 2143cc diesel engine powers the E300. Maximum power is rated at 201bhp while the 20kW electric motor provides an additional 184lb ft of torque. Performance promises to be sprightly (150mph max and 0-62mph in 7.5sec), while the fuel economy is said to better the E250 CDI, which tops 56mpg (combined).
The E400 gets a V6 petrol engine with just over 300bhp, albeit with an inferior top speed of 130mph. Both cars use the 7G-Tronic Pus automatic transmission.
Other familiar hybrid features include regenerative braking, a 'sail mode' for engine-off electrically powered cruising, electric-only low-speed manoeuvring and take off and an electric boost function for rapid acceleration or overtaking.
The E300 Hybrid goes on sale as a saloon or estate in the UK in summer 2012 priced at just under £40,000 - or around the same price as an E350.