The Germans are revving up their plug-in car plans, and at the Detroit Auto Show the Mercedes C350 Plug-In Hybrid was the latest reveal from the luxury automaker. With a spirited 5.9 second sprint from 0 to 60 MPH, rear-wheel drive , and up to 20 miles of gas-free driving, the Mercedes C350 Plug-In Hybrid makes a compelling case for itself.
Neither pricing nor regular fuel economy were mentioned, though the plug-in C350 can travel at speeds of up to 80 MPH using electricity only. Just don’t expect to get the full 20 miles of range if you’re cruising along at highway speeds. There will be three driver-selectable modes to chose from; E-Mode (electric only), E-Save (maintain battery charge for use later), and Charge Mode (gas motor only). But one of the more clever features has nothing to do with the drivetrain.
In E-Mode, the accelerator pedal with actually push back on your foot if you are over-accelerating, encouraging you to use less speed and thus gain more range. If you go past this virtual line-in-the-sand, the 2.0 liter turbocharged gas engine comes back on. That’s a clever feature for sure, though it could be hard to resist using the combined 275 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque offered by Mercedes.
Depending on the official fuel economy ratings, perhaps Mercedes C350 Plug-In Hybrid owners can look forward to having their cake and eating too without paying $146,000 for the S-Class Plug-In Hybrid. With 10 more plug-ins planned to come out over the next couple of years, it’ll be interesting to see what technology trickles downs into the Mercedes-Benz lineup.