Automakers may not be investing in pure EVs as seriously as Elon Musk (and many others) would like, but there is a steady stream of announcements of new PHEVs. Mercedes-Benz introduced its 2016 C350 Plug-In Hybrid sedan at the Detroit auto show.
This is one of three PHEVs (with the S500 and a new ML-class crossover) that Mercedes plans to bring to market in the US later this year. A plug-in C350 wagon will also be offered in Europe, and the company has plans for several more.
The latest plug-in Benz sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission with an integrated electric motor (similar to what Hyundai is using in its new plug-in Sonata) and a 6.2 kWh water-cooled battery pack.
Total output is 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Electric range is around 20 miles. She’ll go 0 to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph, or 80 mph, in electric-only mode.
Like the S500, the C350 features a “haptic” accelerator pedal that lets the driver know when the car is about to switch on the gas engine, and when to take their foot off the pedal for optimum fuel economy.
“The plug-in hybrid is an investment in the future of Mercedes-Benz and we believe it will become established as the successful technology for maximum efficiency coupled with powerful dynamic performance,” said Daimler Board Member Dr Thomas Weber. “We will be launching ten new plug-in hybrid models up to 2017.”