Mercedes-Benz has announced that two new hybrid models will be making their world premiere at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which the company calls "the world's most economical luxury-class model," will come in Saloon and Estate versions packing a 4-cylinder diesel engine and boasting fuel economy figures of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US), while the E 400 HYBRID sports a V6-cylinder petrol engine and gets 8.7 l/100 km (27 mpg US) in combined city and highway driving based on the American CAFE standard.
Aimed at the luxury-class business vehicle segment, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is built around Mercedes' new intelligent modular hybrid concept that pairs an electric motor producing 20 kW (27 hp) and 250 Nm of torque with an internal combustion engine - in this case a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 Nm of torque. This puts the new model at the same level as the E 300 CDI, whose engine produces 170 kW and 540 Nm of torque, while achieving fuel savings of around 15 percent compared to the E 250 CDI. Mercedes says the modular concept means that no changes to the body of the base vehicle are necessary when making the move to a hybrid. The new model accelerates from zero to 96.5 km/h (60 mph) in 7.5 seconds and boasts a top speed of 241 km/h (150 mph).
An enhancement of the S 400 HYBRID, the E 400 HYBRID pairs the same brushless electric motor found in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID with a V6-cylinder petrol engine producing 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm of torque. Under the American CAFE standard the vehicle gets 9.8 l/100 km (24 mpg US) in the city, 7.6 l/100 km (31 mpg US) on the highway and 8.7 l/100 km (27 mpg US) combined. The vehicle can go from zero to 96.5 km/h (60 mph) in 6.7 seconds, on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 209 km/h (130 mph).
Both new E-Class models come with a start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, and a "sailing" mode that decouples the engine from the transmission and lets the cars coast at speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 mph). The vehicles also have the ability to travel in purely electric mode, but only for distances of less than a mile at speeds of under 56 km/h (35 mph).
Mercedes-Benz plans to launch the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID in Europe early in 2012, while the E 400 HYBRID will launch in the American market with other countries, such as Japan and China, to follow. Both models will make their world premiere at NAIAS in Detroit, which runs from January 14 to 22.
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