Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid arrives

By JAY WONG | 13 January 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has introduced the latest E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid and  is considered to be the world’s most fuel-efficient model in the luxury segment.

The latest hybrid E-Class out of Stuttgart, costing RM348,888 OTR without insurance, sports a 2,143cc four-cylinder diesel engine that’s rated at 203bhp and 500Nm of torque, while its hybrid system provides 27bhp (20kW) and 250Nm of torque at an operating voltage of 120V.

In terms of performance, the E 300 hybrid gets to 100kph from standstill in 7.1sec and onwards to a top speed of 242kph, while fuel consumption is rated from 3.8 to 4.1L/100km and CO2 emissions at 99-109g/km.

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The German luxury coachbuilder touts its latest E 300 hybrid to be one that would deliver a special driving experience that’s underpinned by accomplished sportiness.

Among the high-tech equipment provided in the E 300 is its Eco Start/Stop system, which switches the internal combustion engine off when coasting at speeds up to 160kph and is assured that engine will restart quickly, smoothly and virtually silently.

At slow speeds, manoeuvring the E 300 hybrid will utilise electric power alone, especially during parking manoeuvres.

During acceleration, electric power will be used for moving off and driving under low load, but accelerating hard from standstill will be particularly powerful, since the electric motor has up to 250Nm of torque readily available instantaneously.

The compact electric motor is installed in a space-saving configuration in the clutch housing between engine and transmission and is a three-phase AC internal rotor magneto motor.

The hybrid drive unit is a further development of the module from the S 400L Hybrid and is based on the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission.

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Distinguishing features include the omission of the hydraulic torque converter and the addition of a wet clutch of the kind also found in the high-performance AMG models.

Consequently, the electric motor can be integrated in the transmission unit in such a way that it takes up only marginally more space than the 7G-Tronic (+65 mm).

The omission of the converter allows all-electric motoring as well as "sailing", thus significantly boosting the potential to reduce fuel consumption.

The E 300 hybrid's boost function allows the electric motor to support the combustion engine during acceleration, especially for those overtaking moments.

When cruising at a constant speed, the engine control unit will shift the operating points towards exceptionally low specific fuel consumption levels.

In "sailing" mode, at speeds below 160kph, the combustion engine shuts down and the desired speed is maintained by the electric motor alone until the battery needs recharging.

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Electrical energy can be re-harnessed during coasting (slowly decelerating) or during braking, where the electric motor becomes a generator.

When the brake pedal is pressed, the generator output is initially increased proportionally for greater deceleration.

Only when increased brake pressure is applied are the wheel brakes additionally deployed.

A central display in hybrid models provides the necessary information with regards to the current energy flow and the charge status of the battery.

The hybrid drive's electrical energy is provided by the high-voltage lithium-ion battery that provides 0.8kWh, allowing the E 300 to run on electric power alone up to 35kph and for up to one kilometre.

Space-saving installation of the drive in the engine compartment in place of the conventional starter battery means that the generous interior dimensions and the luggage compartment capacity remain unchanged.

In addition to serving as an energy accumulator for the electric motor, the lithium-ion battery is also connected via the voltage converter to the 12V on-board electrical system, which supplies power to standard power-consuming devices such as the headlamps and other comfort features.

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Similar to the E 400, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is equipped with an AMG Sports package that includes 18-inch 5-Twin spoke alloy wheels with mixed tyres.

The AMG body styling consists of an AMG-designed front, rear aprons and side skirts.

Additional features include larger front brake discs, a twin exhaust system with rectangular stainless steel pipes integrated into the rear bumper.

Within the cabin is the AMG Sport steering wheel complete with paddle shifters, brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs and AMG velour floor mats.

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Electronic wizardry comes in the form of a Hands-free Access – enabling the boot lid to be opened by simply holding your foot beneath the bumper.

The E 300 gets a 360-degree surround view camera, which covers all four sides of the vehicle, for a uniform all-round view (including a virtual bird's eye view) with guidelines to help with entering and leaving parking spaces as well as manoeuvring.

Also provided is the Comand Online multimedia system (capable of connecting to the internet) for the E-Class with a 17.8cm high-resolution colour display with hard-disc navigation and a DVD changer.

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The Rear Seat Entertainment System includes two 20.3cm displays integrated into the rear of the front seat’s headrests and includes a pair of wireless headphones.

As standard, the list of safety systems in the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid features the Collision Prevention Assist, which is a radar-based collision warning system with an adaptive brake assist system and helps to reduce the risk of a rear-end collision.

Also included is the Attention Assist, which is able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range, and also inform the driver about their level of fatigue and the amount of driving time that has elapsed since the last break and offers an adjustable sensitivity level.

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Last but not least, is the Active Parking Assist, which allows for automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and end-on spaces.

"The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is the first diesel hybrid model from a premium manufacturer, which also marks the return of Mercedes-Benz’s diesel engines in Malaysia,” said , Mercedes-Benz Malaysia president and CEO Roland S. Folger.