Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid Revealed At 2015 NAIAS

JAN 12 2015 BY MARK KANE 15

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes revealed at the 2015 NAIAS one moreplug-in hybrid car – the C350 Plug-In Hybrid – which should enter the market by the end of the year.

Range in all-electric mode is just 20 miles (31 km) on the 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack according to press release.

The four-cylinder gas engine is a 1.9-liter (155 kW / 211 hp / 350 Nm) combined with a 7-speed automatic transmission and 60 kW / 340 Nm electric motor.  Total output is 205 kW / 239 hp and 600 Nm of torque.

Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes roughly 6 seconds5.9 s for Saloon version and 6.2 s for combi Estate version. Top speed is 250 km/h / 155 mph.

If you do not exceed the all-electric range too often, fuel consumption should be at 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

The longer Estate version has a boot capacity of 350 litres (up to 1370 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down), while the Saloon begins with 335 litres.

More live photos and videos coming soon.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid


Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

The new Mercedes-Benz C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID: Efficiency, dynamism and comfort – the best of three worlds

Stuttgart.  Following its premiere in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is now offering its most advanced hybrid technology yet in the C-Class and, for the first time, also in an Estate model. The dynamism and efficiency of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID make it a convincing proposition in both its Saloon and its Estate guise. With a range of 31 kilometres in purely electric mode, local emission-free driving is now a reality. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205 kW (279 hp) and torque of 600 Nm. The new C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID thus delivers the performance of a sports car and yet offers certified consumption figures of just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres both as a Saloon and as an Estate. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams (49 grams for the Estate) per kilometre. Both models are also equipped as standard with AIRMATIC air suspension plus a Pre-Entry Climate Control system that can be controlled via the internet, adding up to a truly exceptional level of driving and climate comfort. The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID will be at dealerships from March 2015.

Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: “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. We will be launching ten new PLUG-IN HYBRID models up to 2017”.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Following the C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model to feature PLUG-IN HYBRID technology. Thanks to the combination of combustion engine and electric drive, hybrid drive systems deliver impressively low consumption, but with high performance. The electric motor is able to replace or support the combustion engine in situations where the combustion engine does not perform quite so well, and makes practical use of energy generated while braking by converting it into electric energy and storing it.

The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID uses the currently most advanced form of hybrid technology. Its electrical energy storage unit is a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source and so makes an effective contribution to the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and boot space.

Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wallbox or at one of the growing number of public charging points (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase), which in some cases offer privileged parking. Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic socket is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge time of around two hours is achievable (with 230 V and 13 A, 3.0 kW).
Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID still has a boot capacity of 335 litres in its Saloon format and of 350 in the Estate model, or in the latter case of 1370 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down and, as ever, a level load compartment floor.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

PLUG-IN HYBRID for the first time now with four-cylinder petrol engine

In the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID, this hybrid drive concept is combined for the first time with an efficient four-cylinder petrol engine. From a displacement of just under two litres, it produces 155 kW (211 hp) and maximum torque of 350 newton metres. Its direct injection system with spray-guided combustion uses electronically precise controlled multiple injection and fast multi-spark ignition to deliver outstanding performance coupled with high efficiency and exemplary emissions. The electric motor of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID has an output of up to 60 kW and delivers torque of 340 newton metres. A total system output of 205 kW (279 hp), as well as torque of 600 newton metres, are thus available to be called upon.

7-speed automatic with additional clutch

The hybrid module of the standard 7-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS incorporates both the electric motor and an additional clutch between the combustion engine and the electric motor. When driving in all-electric mode, this decouples the combustion engine from the drive train. It also, however, offers the possibility of moving off using the combustion engine but with the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch here is a substitute for the torque converter.

Technical data

Internal combustion engine
Number of cylinders/arrangement
4 in-line
Mixture formation
High-pressure injection, 1 turbocharger
Displacement (cc)
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)
155/211 at 5500
Rated torque (Nm)
Electric motor
Output (kW)
max. 60
Torque (Nm)
System output (kW/hp)
System torque (Nm)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
5.9 (6.2)
Top speed (km/h)
250 (246)
Top speed electric (km/h)
Fuel consumption (combined) from (l/100 km)
2.1 (2.1)
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
48 (49)
Efficiency class
Electric range (km)
Total battery capacity (kWh)
Charge time 10%-100% (230/8 A -16 A), 1.8-3.7 kW(h)
1.75 – 3.5

(Provisional figures. Figures for Estate model in brackets)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

The performance of a sports car

The high overall system output and intelligent engine management give the car the dynamic performance of a nimble sports car. And it combines this with the ride comfort of a premium saloon, along with fuel consumption and environmental compatibility at a level that, until not all that long ago, would not even have been expected of many small cars. The Saloon can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, while the Estate, at 6.2 seconds, is almost as quick off the mark. The Saloon can reach a top speed of 250 km/h and the Estate up to 246 km/h, both in conjunction with certified fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams per kilometre (49 grams per kilometre for the Estate). Both variants of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID also offer the possibility of driving up to 31 kilometres in all-electric mode, and thus completely free of CO2 emissions locally – for example in the city.

A hybrid is efficient, dynamic and completely straightforward to drive

Driving with the new C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is just as easy as with any other automatic vehicle from Mercedes-Benz: simply climb in, start the engine and off you go. As you do so, enjoy its exemplary efficiency and, if you so wish, kick down to experience the superb acceleration of the electric motor.
The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID offers all the characteristics of a state-of-the-art hybrid vehicle. These include first and foremost:
  • Silent start: the vehicle starts virtually silently and runs in electric mode. At this point the combustion engine is generally held inactive. Electric output of up to 60 kW is available for driving in all-electric mode.
  • Boost: the electric motor kicks in to boost the output of the combustion engine by a further 60 kW – for example for rapid acceleration.
  • Energy recuperation: during braking and coasting, energy is recovered and stored in the battery. This energy can then be used at a later stage for electric driving or the boost function.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Making by braking

The greatest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. When the brake pedal is depressed, the electric motor therefore initially takes on the task of decelerating, acting here as an alternator. If firmer braking is required, the disk brakes will then intervene mechanically to provide additional grip. This overlap between conventional mechanical braking and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator mode increases effectiveness but remains imperceptible.

Furthermore, the intelligent engine management system of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID works in the background to select the ideal combination between combustion engine and electric motor.

Impulses for the driver

One new feature of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the so-called haptic accelerator pedal, which helps to reduce fuel consumption and thus also exhaust emissions. It provides two types of information:

  • If, when driving in electric mode, the driver’s foot meets a point of resistance on the accelerator pedal, this is an indication that maximum electric performance is being delivered. If the driver continues to depress the accelerator beyond this resistance point, the combustion engine will kick in.
  • A double impulse from the ECO Assist function signals that the driver should remove their foot from the accelerator pedal in order to switch off the combustion engine and decouple it from the drive train. Assuming that the driver does what the double impulse suggests, the intelligent engine management system of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID will vary the deceleration mode between unpowered (sailing) and recuperation, using data from the car’s radar systems as its basis.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Individual transmission mode

The complex technology of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID makes it no more difficult to drive than a conventional vehicle with automatic transmission. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and regulate the hybrid interplay themselves, with the help of five operating modes and three transmission modes. This is done via an operating mode switch and a transmission mode switch located in the centre console. A display in the middle of the instrument cluster shows the current setting.

Selecting a specific transmission mode enables the driver to define certain functions that influence the driving experience.
The following transmission modes are available:
  • I Individual: individual definition of the characteristics of the transmission mode, including:
    • Drive system
    • Chassis and suspension
    • Steering
    • ECO Assist
    • Climate control
  • S + Sport+: maximum boost performance, very sporty gear changes, the combustion engine is always active, particularly stiff suspension and damping settings.
  • S Sport: enhanced boost performance, sporty gear changes, the combustion engine is always active, stiff suspension and damping settings.
  • C Comfort: boost performance and recuperation optimised for comfort and consumption, electric drive/ engine shut-off possible up to 130 km/h, comfort-oriented standard settings.
  • E Economy: boost performance is consumption-optimised, recuperation minimised in favour of coasting distance. All-electric mode and engine shut-off are possible. If the navigation system’s route guidance function is switched on and the Hybrid operating mode selected, the system will control the charge status of the high-voltage battery according to the route, ensuring that the electric operating mode is used as far as possible in built-up areas. The ECO Assist is also active.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

ECO Assist activates an additional function, using the radar technology behind the standard proximity warning system in order to do so. If the radar system identifies a slower-moving vehicle ahead, it sends a double impulse through the “haptic accelerator pedal” to signal to the driver to take their foot off the accelerator. The vehicle will then adjust its deceleration automatically, using the electric motor to do so. In this way frequent braking, particularly in stop-and-go traffic, can be avoided.

Choice of four operating modes

In addition to selecting a transmission programme, the driver of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID can also use the operating mode switch to influence the regulation between electric mode and the use of the combustion engine for driving. In the Eco and Comfort transmission modes, the following operating modes are available:

Hybrid: all hybrid functions such as electric operating mode, boost and recuperation are available and are applied according to the driving situation and route in the most fuel-efficient manner.

  • E-mode: used for all-electric driving – for example in inner-city areas or because the battery holds sufficient charge for the remainder of the journey.
  • E-save: the charge status of the battery is maintained – for example to allow all-electric driving in an environmental zone at a later stage in the journey. Electric driving and the boost function are therefore only available to a limited extent.
  • Charge: allows the battery to be recharged while driving using the combustion engine – for example in order to ensure a higher state of battery charge for later parts of the journey. The combustion engine remains switched on and fuel consumption may increase. Electric operation is not possible.

In the transmission modes S+ and S, the “hybrid” operating mode is activated. In the “Individual” mode, the choice of available operating modes depends upon the drive system setting.

Route-based operating strategy

The best strategy for efficient operation is anticipatory driving. If the exact destination is known because the relevant data has been entered into the navigation system, charge and discharge of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID’s high-voltage battery are controlled to ensure the optimal use of energy over the whole route.

Another key point is the requirement that urban areas should be reached with a fully charged battery if possible, so that the vehicle can be driven efficiently in stop-and-go traffic – and frequently in electric mode.

Air suspension and Pre-Entry Climate Control as standard

The new C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID offers the familiar range of equipment and appointment options that are available for the C-Class and, in addition, includes the enhanced comfort feature AIRMATIC air suspension as part of its standard specification, along with a further comprehensive range of pre-entry climate control options.

Thanks to its electronically regulated continuously variable damper adjustment at both front and rear axle, the air suspension offers outstanding ride comfort with minimal road roar and tyre vibration even when the vehicle is loaded, as well as self-levelling suspension all round.

Pre-Entry Climate Control, a further standard feature, makes it possible to set the desired temperature for the interior of the vehicle before setting off – cooling it in the summer, warming it up in the winter. This can be activated by pre-setting the departure time (can be set in the vehicle or from home via the internet at or directly by pressing a button. This is possible due to the electrically powered refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the warm air circulation. In vehicles with the appropriate specification, the seat ventilation or heating will also be activated.
As well as the Pre-Entry Climate Control function, the charging of the vehicle can also be controlled via It is also possible to check the charge status of the high-voltage battery or the vehicle’s potential range in electric mode.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Two different faces for the PLUG-IN HYBRID as well

The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is supplied in the AVANTGARDE exterior equipment line, which emphasises its sporty, premium-vehicle character. As an alternative and at no extra cost, both Saloon and Estate versions are also available in the EXCLUSIVE exterior equipment line. With its classic radiator grille and the three-pointed star on the bonnet, the C-Class conveys prestige status and a sense of modern luxury.

The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior at a level which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This is evident from the carefully chosen high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as from the precision of the finely crafted details. Prominently located immediately above the centre console is a centrally positioned free-standing central display unit. All the functions of the head unit can be intuitively controlled from a touchpad using simple finger movements. Also available: a head-up display that projects important information onto the windscreen directly in the driver’s field of vision.

The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is fitted as standard with H7 halogen headlamps. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with the “LED Intelligent Light System”.

Assistance systems for added safety and comfort

Both the Saloon and the Estate variants of the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID offer the same extensive range of safety and assistance systems as all other C-Class models. Two of the systems fitted as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn of inattentiveness and fatigue, and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which protects against collision at speeds of over 7 km/h and, if the danger remains and the driver fails to react, can also undertake autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h and by so doing reduce the severity of an accident involving a slower-moving vehicle. Further systems from the new S and E-Class, either new or with significantly enhanced functions, are also available as options.

Vibrant infotainment experience

Even the basic version of the sophisticated multimedia system found in the C‑Class is internet compatible, if paired with a Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phone with data option. This enables the internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is stationary. Also standard is a basic telephony feature, which connects the mobile phone with the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface.

Extensive know-how in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles 

In 1982, at the same time as it was launching the Mercedes-Benz 190, the predecessor to the C-Class, Mercedes-Benz also presented the first concept vehicle with hybrid drive – a two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine served to charge the battery. A number of other experimental vehicles followed until in 2009 the world’s first standard-specification hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery made its debut at Mercedes-Benz: for a long time this S 400 HYBRID was the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered luxury saloon and the most successful hybrid in its segment.

The second-generation hybrid transmission evolved on the basis of the 7G‑TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. It premiered in 2012 in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the first diesel hybrid in the premium segment worldwide. By combining the efficiency of a diesel engine with the advantages of the hybrid drive, Mercedes-Benz set another milestone in the development of the automobile and advanced into consumption regions of 4 litres of diesel per 100 km in the luxury saloon segment.

After the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the latest hybrid model to come from Mercedes Benz. In the years to come the main emphasis will be on plug-in hybrids. The company is also a leading player in the field of purely electric mobility.
Growing range: all current Hybrid and Electric Drive vehicles from Mercedes‑Benz Cars:
2012: smart electric drive
2012: E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2013: SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
2013: S 400 HYBRID
2013: S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2014: C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
2014: B-Class Electric Drive
2014: S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
2015: C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID”
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Categories: Mercedes


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15 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid Revealed At 2015 NAIAS"

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“Range in all-electric mode is…20 miles (31 km) on the 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack”

Can I change ‘um out, at Costco?

Yes, it seems like the battery range is more targeted for the European market. Drive on gas on the highway, then drive on electricity in urban population centers.

The American market is big enough for Mercedes to tailor their cars to it. Beyond this, I would be curious what urban professionals experience, in Europe? At peak speeds of 100mph, on the autobahn, or 45 minutes highway speed versus 15 minutes “downtown”, I would say this car comes close. I mean highway speeds, on the highway, right to that downtown exit ramp (like the Detroit auto journalists have). This is not the American, every weekday, stop and go, up to 20 miles from downtown. I think I’m covering NY, LA, Boston, Chicago, San Fran, DC, when I say the latter. Mercedes make a comfortable car. Electric modal driving, where I see tons of them, is simply a better way to go. The drive line is much more manageable. Torque is better, where you use it (assuming you have at least 15-20 kwh of battery). It’s quieter, less noise, vibration and harshness. And it handles better, when you take weight out of the front and move it back. I used to think Mercedes approach was form follows function. I don’t any more, and believe they just can’t let go of the inordinate mechanicals that fascinate them. For them, it goes… Read more »

I am curious about the fuel consumption figure of 2.1 l/100km. I saw the Outlander PHEV claims less than 2.

Does anyone know if there is a consistent standard for these numbers? Or are they making them up as they go along?

For plug ins, I much prefer the getting 2 parameters e.g. for the new Volt as 50 miles EV, followed by 41 mpg.

I believe the EU cycle is quit short (less than 25km) and is the same for all cars. When the Outlander came out, mistu were very open with people that the EU figures were highly over optimistic. I think the volt gets about 313 mpg in urban driving.

IMO, it is just a test cycle and should not be confused with reality. I believe that for the official test, manufactures can change the oil and tires, disconnect the brakes, tape up gaps in the body work, remove wing mirrors and disconnect the alternator.

There is a really good graph here:

that shows that the real world driving CO2 numbers in the EU are not really dropping even though the stated figures are. Quite shocking really but always worth keeping in mind when people start doing calculations on if this is more efficient than that and so on.

Thanks for the information. Does this short cycle mean that in Europe the i3 rex officially uses zero gasoline!!!

Like you said this “should not be confused with reality”.

The NEDC-cycle is always calculated for 100km. But depending on battery only range you can multiply normal consumption (with empty battery) by a certain factor.

I think it was 1/2 for 30km EV-range and 1/3 for 50km EV-range and so on…

The real formula can be read at Wikipedia and is:

Consumption = (C1*De+C2*25km)/(De+25km)

C1 – Consumption for driving 12km (full battery)
C2 – Consumption for driving 12km (empty battery)
De – electric range
25km – assumed average Intervall between battery reload.

I’m very happy to see another manufacturer getting into mainstream plugin production, but it’s too bad about the plug placement.

The best plug placement seems to be front, center, like the Leaf, and that’s coming from a Volt owner/enthusiast. It works well in a garage, in regular parking spaces with the charger located at the front, and in street parking situations.

I think the manufacturers are determined to try every possible configuration. Maybe when Chrysler gets around to a plug-in they will try a roof mounted plug.

So… are we getting the wagon version as well???

Mercedes Benz chose to unveil a plug-in hybrid with an all-electric range of 20 miles for twice the price of the Chevy Volt. Are they serious?

The clientele who’d buy this car wouldn’t touch a Chevy Volt with a ten-foot pole, so yes, I think Benz is pretty serious. 😉

FFY, thanks for helping me to understand. Brand loyalty huh? In my opinion the Chevy Volt is a masterpiece when judged by any standard, so I couldn’t understand such irrational unreasonable behavior.

First of all, don’t compare apples to oranges. The Volt is an EVer, the MB is just a PHEV. Very different technologies, similar as they might sound on paper, they are different beasts. Lastly, MB customers buy the car for luxury first, everything else is only an added benefit. Even the new Volt can’t seat 5 passengers in the same level of comfort as the C-class. So again, apples and oranges.

Most people don’t buy cars based on drive-train technology. They buy based on luxury, performance, build quality, fun-factor, and yes, also based on brand and (real or perceived) prestige. And let’s be honest: A Chevy Volt isn’t in the same league as a C-Class in any of these. I’d never buy a Benz, but I have driven the new C-Class and it’s a very good car. This PHEV version looks very good too. I’m particularly impressed by the performance.

That’s really low AER for (what I expect will be) a fairly expensive car. For people who can’t conveniently charge at their workplace, they’ll be able to drive pure electric only if they have a <10mi (one way) commute, and likely much shorter than that in hot or cold weather where A/C or heating is needed.

The "local emission-free driving is now a reality" quote from the press release is very unrealistic.

Functionally,this is really more of a hybrid than a PHEV, and the various clever drive modes are pretty silly in view of this.

I'm surprised at Daimler that they didn't provide something like a 8-9kWh pack for a 30mi/45km AER. How much more could it have added to the price or weight, relatively speaking?