Thanks to Autocar, we now have more details about the upcoming Mercedes C Class plug-in hybrid. Previously, the conventional wisdom was a six-cylinder engine would be the powerplant of choice, but now it appears a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine making 208 hp will be used. An electric motor that is part of the package will add an additional 67 horsepower, providing an electric-only range should be 30 miles or more.
The PHEV Mercedes C Class is intended primarily for the North American and Chinese markets, and will be offered in sedan configuration only. One source at Mercedes says:
“It will be an expensive car. More expensive than a C400 petrol, probably.”
The only clue to the car’s PHEV nature is a small flap in the rear bumper that provides access to the recharging plug. Internally, a louver behind the front grille can be closed during electric only operation to improve aerodynamic efficiency.
It will be interesting to see what the fuel economy ratings for the C Class PHEV will be when it comes stateside. It will join the Mercedes S 500 HYBRID, another plug-in sedan paired with a turbodiesel engine and good for a supposed 78 MPG. You don’t even need the hybrid system to get an efficient Mercedes though, as the German brand recently proved with an over 1,200 mile trek from Northern Africa to the U.K. This luxury brand is making a big play for the green car market, and one has to wonder what their next move might be.