August 26, 2016 @ 04:22 PM

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia rolls in the C 350 e, quietly

Want a saloon with 600Nm on tap? Then this is the car you’re looking for

Standing under the morning sun, the new C-Class variant silently drove down the path and stopped just in front of us. And just like that, without a hint of flash-bang and light show, the C 350 e was introduced to us. This C-Class derivative, which we got to drive in San Francisco last year, is the plug-in hybrid saloon that will stand in the way for BMW’s 330e plug-in hybrid that was also launched in the same week. What impeccable timing, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.

Without going into the whole tirade of who got here first, let’s focus on the car on-screen. The C 350 e, being a PHEV, gets motivation from a petrol engine assisted by an electric motor although saying that it’s an electric car with a petrol engine electric generator isn’t wrong. 

It can go up to 31km on electricity alone and has an electric-only top speed of 130kph. Any faster than that, the 2.0-litre 211bhp/350Nm torque engine kicks in to help move the car along. When both motivators are working in unison, this C-Class generates 279bhp and 600Nm of torque, and accomplishes the century sprint in just 5.9 seconds. Breathe.

There are four drive modes for this PHEV, namely Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save and Charge; each doing as it says on the label. Just so we’re clear on the matter, Hybrid is the ‘Sport’ of the C 350 e. This C-Class features nifty tech such as the haptic pedals that give you some feedback just as you’re crossing over from full electric to hybrid.

Of course, there is a ‘Sport’ mode for the car and it alters the transmission and AIRMATIC suspension. In total there are five modes; Individual Sport+, Comfort and Economy completes the set. 

The C 350 e replaces the C 300 as the top-line model of the C-Class, so it comes with some pretty neat things like the 360-degree camera, Burmester sound system and a climate pre-conditioning system that cools down the car even before you step into it. MBM says that this is the first plug-in hybrid vehicle to offer such luxuries. 

A huge tell-tale sign that this C-Class is a PHEV is found on the rear bumper. A flap opens up to a charging port that locks the plug to the car. It will only release the plug when the car is unlocked; to deter theft. The C 350 e is dressed up in AMG clothes, which gives the saloon an ‘un-green’ look to this ‘green’ car. No, we won’t get the other grille that can close to improve airflow around the car.

As with the rest of the C-Class line, the C 350 e is also assembled in Pekan to take advantage of incentives, without which the car would be priced well above RM400,000. The indicative price for the C 350 e is RM299,888. The car will be officially launched in about six weeks from now and deliveries will start approximately two weeks after that. 

Chris Ng

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