Cars

Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Mercedes C350 Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) Explained


This is the second Hybrid model in the newC-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model to feature Plug-In Hybridtechnology. When Mercedes-Benz Malaysia launched the C350 e in early 2016October, it has runaway success due to its pricing which started at RM289,888for the Avantgarde, RM294,888 for the Avantgarde with the AMG Line cabin andjust RM299,888 for the AMG Line spec car.

It delivered an acceleration time of 5.9seconds while sipping as little as 2.1-liters per 100km driven (best case). Italso had an all electric drive range of 31km when fully charged.

At the time, buyers were given a detailed explanation of their C350 e, but most just wanted to drive home a high specification PHEV and did not take heed of the details of this high technology machine.

Aperfect combination for its price

Thanks to the combination of combustionengine and electric drive, Hybrid drive systems deliver impressively lowconsumption, but with high performance. The electric motor is able to replaceor support the combustion engine in situations where the combustion engine doesnot perform quite so well, and makes practical use of energy generated whilebraking by converting it into electric energy and storing it.

The C350 Plug-In Hybrid uses the currentlymost advanced form of Hybrid technology. Its electrical energy storage unit isa high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which canbe charged from an external power source and so makes an effective contributionto the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled,weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneaththe rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and bootspace.

Thanks to an intelligent on-board chargingsystem, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wallboxor at one of the growing number of public charging points which in some casesoffer privileged parking. Alternatively, charging via a standard domesticsocket is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge timeof around two hours is achievable.

Despite the space taken up by the battery,the C350 Plug-In Hybrid still has a boot capacity of 335 litres.

Plug-InHybrid

In the new Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-InHybrid, this Hybrid drive concept is combined for the first time with anefficient 4-cylinder petrol engine. From a displacement of just under twolitres, it produces 211hp and maximum torque of 350 newton metres. Its directinjection system with spray-guided combustion uses electronically precisecontrolled multiple injection and fast multi-spark ignition to deliveroutstanding performance coupled with high efficiency and exemplary emissions.

The electric motor of the C350 Plug-InHybrid has an output of up to 60 kW and delivers torque of 340 newton metres. Atotal system output of 279hp, as well as torque of 600Nm is available to becalled upon.

Efficient,dynamic and completely straightforward to drive

Driving with the new C350 Plug-In Hybrid isjust as easy as with any other automatic vehicle from Mercedes-Benz: simply climbin, start the engine and off you go. As you do so, enjoy its exemplaryefficiency and, if you so wish, kick down to experience the superb accelerationof the electric motor.

The C350 Plug-In Hybrid offers all thecharacteristics of a state-of-the-art Hybrid vehicle.

Theseinclude first and foremost:

  • Silent start: the vehiclestarts virtually silently and runs in electric mode. At this point thecombustion engine is generally held inactive. Electric output of up to 60 kW isavailable for driving in all-electric mode.
  • Boost: the electric motor kicksin to boost the output of the combustion engine by a further 60 kW – forexample for rapid acceleration.
  • Energy recuperation: duringbraking and coasting, energy is recovered and stored in the battery. Thisenergy can then be used at a later stage for electric driving or the boostfunction.

Brakingfor energy

The greatest potential for lowering theenergy consumption of Hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recoveryduring coasting and braking. When the brake pedal is depressed, the electricmotor therefore initially takes on the task of decelerating, acting here as analternator. If firmer braking is required, the disk brakes will then intervenemechanically to provide additional grip. This overlap between conventionalmechanical braking and the electric braking performance of the electric motorin alternator mode increases effectiveness but remains imperceptible.

Furthermore, the intelligent enginemanagement system of the C350 Plug-In Hybrid works in the background to selectthe ideal combination between combustion engine and electric motor.

Changingdriver behaviour

One new feature of the C350 Plug-In Hybridis the so-called haptic accelerator pedal, which helps to reduce fuelconsumption and thus also exhaust emissions. It provides two types ofinformation:

+ If, when driving in electric mode, thedriver’s foot meets a point of resistance on the accelerator pedal, this is anindication that maximum electric performance is being delivered. If the drivercontinues to depress the accelerator beyond this resistance point, thecombustion 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 C350 Plug-In Hybrid will vary the deceleration mode between unpowered (sailing) and recuperation, using data from the car’s radar systems as its basis.

Sadly, this car is no longer on sale in Malaysia until further notice.


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