That’s about to change next year when the Stuttgart-based automaker plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the brand-new C-Class . Expected to hit the market under the C350 Plug-In Hybrid name, the sedan will rely on a powertrain that brings together a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery.
Details are still under wraps, but Mercedes is likely to drop in its 2.0-liter conventional engine, which is good for 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in the standard C-Class. Little is known about the electric motor set to be paired with the four-pot, but word has it we’ll be seeing an extra 70 horsepower and at least 140 pound-feet of torque coming from it.
The combo should enable the C-Class Plug-In Hybrid to return at least 78 mpg, making it one of the most fuel efficient sedans on the market. The grand unveiling could take place at the Paris Motor Show this fall, with the first units to hit dealerships in 2015.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes C-Class Plug-In Hybrid.
The recent batch of spy shots we’ve received from our paparazzi suggests that the C350 Plug-In Hybrid is in its final development stages. The prototype was shot near the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, with no traces of camouflage on its body.
The truck the sedan was unloaded from was also carrying a wrapped C-Class Wagon featuring a similar socket in the rear bumper just below the right taillight. We don’t know whether the estate will also break cover in France, but make sure you stick around for more info on the matter.
BMW is using the same recipe as Mercedes-Benz for their upcoming 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid model. Details are scarce, but the sedan is expected to arrive with a powertrain similar to that seen on the X5 eDrive . Specifically, a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder rated at 245 horsepower and an electric motor that generates the equivalent of 95 horsepower.
While the electric motor can only return an all-electric range of up to 20 miles in the X5, the powertrain combo returns a respectable 62 mpg with the gasoline engine engaged. Sure, these figures are likely to change for the 3 Series . We wouldn’t be surprised if the sedan will be able to achieve more than that, with mileage climbing toward the 70-mpg mark.
The BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid should brake cover by the end of the year and go on sale in 2015. Pricing is unknown as of this writing.
Gallery BMW 3 Series Sedan
General Motors has been selling the Chevrolet Volt with great success since 2011. In nearly four years, the Volt became the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the United States is and the vehicle both BMW and Mercedes-Benz will try to dethrone in North America.
The Volt’s electric motor, which is powered by a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery, generates 149 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque and has a range of 38 miles. Once the car uses its electric juice, a 1.4-liter four-pot that acts as a range extender kicks in, contributing with an additional 84 horsepower and 67 pound-feet of torque.
The four-door is able to travel up to 382 miles when using both propellers, which translates into a combined fuel economy of 62 mpg. Performance-wise, the Volt has a top speed of 100 mph and can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Pricing starts at $34,995 before incentives, but the federal tax credit could lower the sticker to $27,495.