Automotive

Published on October 6th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair

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Mercedes-Benz C 350 e Now Available in Malaysia – Superior Power and Efficiency

As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia today announces the availability of the new C 350 e, its most advanced hybrid technology yet in the C-Class. The dynamism and efficiency of the C 350 e offer the best value proposition for its customers.

The C 350 e is the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s first 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.

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.

With an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wallbox (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase). 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).

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse, C 350 Plug-In Hybrid ; Mercedes-Benz C-Class, C 350 Plug-In Hybrid;

The C 350 e still has a boot capacity of 335 litres or 1370 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down with a level load compartment floor.

In the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e, 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 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 e has an output of up to 60 kW and delivers torque of 340 newton metres. A total system output of 279 hp, as well as torque of 600 newton metres, are thus available to be called upon.

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. However, it also 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.

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 C 350 e accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h, in conjunction with certified fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams per kilometre. The C 350 e 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.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse, C 350 Plug-In Hybrid ; Mercedes-Benz C-Class, C 350 Plug-In Hybrid;

Driving with the new C 350 e 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 e 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.

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 e works in the background to select the ideal combination between combustion engine and electric motor.

One new feature of the C 350 e is the 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 e will vary the deceleration mode between unpowered (sailing) and recuperation, using data from the car’s radar systems as its basis.

The complex technology of the C 350 e 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:

  • 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.

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.

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In addition to selecting a transmission programme, the driver of the C 350 e 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.

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 e’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.

The new C 350 e 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.

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 is possible due to the electrically powered refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the warm air circulation.

The C 350 e is fitted with LED Intelligent Light system with Adaptive Highbeam Assist, which makes driving with permanent high-beam possible by masking detected road users in the cone of light for the first time. As a result, the best possible headlamp range is always available to the driver. The function is active from a speed of 30 km/h on roads with no road lighting.

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The C 350 e offers 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.

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.

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After the S 400 h, E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the C 350 e is the latest hybrid model in Malaysia to come from Mercedes-Benz. In the years to come the main emphasis will be on plug-in hybrids.

 The C 350 e modal data at a glance:

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The new C 350 e financing package by Mercedes-Benz Financial is one of the most desirable options for financing your car. Customers can finance their new C 350 e at just RM3,888* per month with a three year Agility Financing tenure including first year Comprehensive Motor Insurance. By comparison with conventional five year financing without insurance at RM4,695 per month, Agility Financing monthly instalments are much lower.

Along with a guaranteed future value of the car, customers get flexible options to either settle or extend a financing agreement, or return their vehicle and upgrade to a newer model. Agility Financing is a flexible and secure way to finance the C 350 e, making sure customers always stay financially flexible.

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The Comprehensive Motor Insurance coverage includes towing services of up to RM400 for mechanical breakdowns, windscreen coverage of up to RM 8,000, One-for-One Vehicle Replacement and fast claims approval.


About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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