## Mercedes-Benz launching E 300 BlueTEC diesel and E 400 gasoline hybrids at Detroit Auto Show

##### 21 December 2011
 E300 BlueTEC HYBRID. Click to enlarge.

Mercedes-Benz is is launching two new luxury hybrids in its core segment: the diesel-electric E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, and the gasoline-electric E 400 HYBRID. The new hybrid models, based on a modular hybrid system, make their world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show and will appear on the market over the course of the year.

The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is initially planned to be launched on the European market, while the E 400 HYBRID will be made available on the US market first, followed by other countries such as Japan and China later.

With these two E-Class models we are now continuing our comprehensive hybrid offensive. The modular technology opens up a quick way for us to complement other model series with hybrid models.

—Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

 E400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.

The modular hybrid concept represents a comprehensive enhancement of the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID; no changes to the vehicle body are required, the hybrid module is both flexible and modular, thus allowing its use in other model series, and in addition to diesel and gasoline variants there will also be right-hand drive variants. Meanwhile, notes Mercedes, the extra cost involved is only moderate.

E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. The 4-cylinder diesel engine of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID delivers 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 N·m (369 lb-ft) of torque, combined with an electric motor producing 20 kW and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). Preliminary fuel consumption rating is 4.2 L/100 km (56 mpg US).

The hybrid represents part of the downsizing strategy of Mercedes-Benz. The boost in the engine output of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID with 150 kW plus 20 kW from the electric motor, along with 500 N·m and 250 N·m, respectively, surpass the output of the E 250 CDI (150 kW/500 N·m) and position the hybrid at the same performance level as the E 300 CDI (170 kW/540 N·m).

The hybrid also delivers fuel savings of around 15% compared with the E 250 CDI, even in actual road traffic conditions, and offers the enhanced hybrid driving experience (start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, purely electric motoring and “sailing” function).

E 400 HYBRID. The V6 gasoline engine in the E 400 HYBRID produces 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 N·m (273 lb-ft), and is also supplemented by a further 20 kW and 250 Nm from the electric motor. Consumption figures based on the US CAFE standard are: City 24 mpg, Highway 31 mpg, Combined 27 mpg (9.8, 7.6, 8.7 L/100 km, respectively).

There are not a lot of details in the article but it sounds much the same as GM's e-assist which is a belt driven starter motor/alternator although the power level is about a third more.

The mileage on the E400 Hybrid is unimpressive considering all the technology packed into it. The current E350 Diesel that is available in the States is rated 21/32 and the S350 Bluetec 4Matic is rated 21/31. The mileage on the diesel hybrid is very impressive indeed, but of course we won't see that here, which begs the question as to why it's being introduced at the Detroit auto show; to torment us I guess.

@sd
Regarding the technology, I suppose they use a flywheel starter/alternator, as in other models. They can get higher power with this solution than the GM belt-driven unit you mentioned but it is most likely more costly. Both solutions will probably be utilized in the future.

@Peter
Yes, auto manufactures can be pretty nasty sometimes. First, they wet our appetite and then they say that we cannot have this option. Maybe they just want to test the interest for an introduction at a later stage. This car must be certified according to Euro 6 for the EU market, so fulfilling the US regulations is within reach.

A 2012 Camry Hybrid will do better at half the price.

@ HarveyD: Nonsense.

An E300 BlueTec hybrid would get a US EPA cycle rating within 1 mpg, plus or minus. Considering a Camry offers lowest-common denominator styling and driving experience, not to mention FAR less power and torque for the same MPG, it is worth much more on those merits alone, never mind that you're comparing a Camry to a Mercedes E-Class which is ludicrous to begin with. Another good opportunity to troll for Toyota though.

Even the E400 Hybrid, with nearly double the power of the Camry Hybrid, would cost many buyers less than $400 a year more to operate than a Camry Hybrid - most people who buy a Mercedes could care less about$400 a year.

According to the EPA, diesel emits 15% more greenhouse gases per gallon than gasoline, but since the mpg for the diesel engine is approximately twice that of the gasoline engine, this means that... For the same distance traveled the diesel engine car will emit fewer greenhouse gases than the gasoline engine car.

joookes...I've had both Mercedes 350 and Camry XLE and I must admit that the Camry gave must superior availability, comparably comfort level, much lower initial cost and much lower operation cost. I'm not the only one with this type of deception. Give merits where it is deserved.

The 2012*2013 Camry Hybrid will be an excellent purchase and one of the best in the size range.

Everybody have different aspects on what features they like or do not like on a car. It is very difficult to change someone else’s mind regarding such matters, so I will not even try.

However, just looking at the numbers, the E300 hybrid has the fuel consumption of a small European diesel car. This must be pretty good by all standards. Then, what about the 750 Nm of combined torque (it might not be quite that much, since the peak torque of each engine/motor might not be at the same rpm but it would still be impressive)? This could take “fun to drive” to a different level, at least for a 4-cylinder engine. The conventional E250D has quite good torque (500 Nm) as a starting point, i.e. similar to a naturally-aspirated quite big gasoline V8. Now, with E300 hybrid, we are talking more than a NA V12 or similar to a turbocharged V8. Not bad at all… Consequently, I would not mind having a Mercedes E300 hybrid but I cannot afford it; nor could I afford a Camry. I can just dream: Oh lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz…

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