New Mercedes E-Class diesel plug-in hybrid: orders open now
Mercedes is now taking orders for the saloon and estate versions of its new E 300 de diesel plug-in hybrid car. Prices start at £47,700 for the saloon and £49,700 for the estate in entry-level SE form, rising to £50,195 and £52,195 respectively for AMG Line trim.
The new model aims to combine the efficiency of a diesel engine on long-distance motorway runs with zero-emissions capability for short-distance and urban driving. Power comes from a 194hp diesel engine paired with a 122hp electric motor drawing energy from a 13.5kWh battery.
Claimed fuel efficiency is up to 166mpg and CO2 emissions for the four-door saloon stand at 41g/km, while the estate emits 44g/km. Claimed zero-emissions range for the saloon and estate is 34 and 32 miles respectively. Mercedes says a 7.4kW charger will replenish the car's battery from 10 to 100% capacity in under two hours.
Those CO2 emissions mean the new E 300 de is currently exempt from the London Congestion Charge, but it doesn't have a long enough pure electric range to qualify for the government plug-in car grant. All versions have a 13% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax rate. Performance-wise, the 0-60mph sprint takes 5.9 seconds (a tenth longer for the estate) and top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
SE and AMG Line trim levels are offered, with the baseline specification including blind-spot assistance, a widescreen cockpit, four USB ports, illuminated door sills, split-folding rear seats, active parking assistance with front and rear sensors, a seat comfort package, 64-colour ambient lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless go and heated front seats.
AMG Line adds sporty exterior bodystyling, a different design of 18-inch alloys, 'Artico Dinamica' leather upholstery, an AMG steering wheel with touch controls and privacy glass.
There are also option packages: the £2,395 Premium pack adds Mercedes' COMAND Online infotainment system, wireless charging; multi-beam LED lights and a 360-degree parking camera, while the £4,395 Premium Plus pack adds a Burmester surround-sound stereo, hands-free access, a powered boot and a panoramic sunroof.
The £595 Night pack, meanwhile, includes high-gloss black alloy wheels and various pieces of high-gloss black and chrome exterior trim. Then there's the Comfort pack, which is only available in conjunction with the Premium or Premium Plus packs. Adding it costs £1,895 on an SE trim car, or £3,295 on an AMG Line. It includes air suspension and (on AMG Line only) Nappa leather upholstery.
Driver assistance systems can be added by specifying the £595 Lane Tracking pack (which includes active lane-keeping assistance) or the £1,695 Driving Assistance pack, which adds active braking assistance, Mercedes' DISTRONIC active cruise-control system, active speed-limit assistance, active lane-changing assistance, evasive steering assistance and various 'Pre-Safe' systems that prepare the car if an imminent impact is detected.
In addition to the diesel-electric E 300 de, a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid E-Class, the E 300 e, is also on the way, along with diesel-electric C-Class (the C 300 de) and petrol-electric S-Class (the S 560 e) models, although full pricing and specification details for those has yet to be announced.