Within weeks, Mercedes-Benz will introduce their new diesel-powered E 300 BlueTec Hybrid on the Irish market.
Claimed by them to be the world’s most economical luxury-class model, the new E300 Hybrid delivers fuel consumption of just 4.2-litres of diesel per 100km, a return close to 70 miles per gallon in old terms, and low emissions of just 109g CO2/km.
Available in saloon and estate, the E300 Hybrid combines the power of a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 204 bhp with the energy of a 20 kW electric motor.
Powered and charged by its own motion, without need of any external charging points, and unrestricted in terms of driving distance, the E300 Hybrid is a self-contained unit that links the fuel economy of a diesel engine over long distances with the advantages of an efficient hybrid in city and stop/go traffic.
Positioned between the engine and the 7-speed automatic transmission, the lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor gives a ‘boost effect’ to the diesel engine when accelerating whilst increasing braking energy when in alternator mode. The car can also be driven under electric power alone.
Based on the E250CDI - which has a price tag of 47,500 euro - the new E300 Hybrid is expected to launch here at a price some 10% above this figure with annual road tax of 160 euro.
Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, said this small price differential will be more than offset by increased fuel economy and the savings in fuel costs that owners will make over a short ownership period.
Two units will hit these shores initially, one of which will be set aside for press testing purposes. Supplies will arrive in volume beginning early next year.
In a further comment, Ciaran Allen said that alongside the many other environmentally positive models in the Mercedes-Benz range, the E300 heralds the beginning of a new era in hybrid drive systems.
“With no restrictions in terms of spaciousness, comfort and safety, it exhibits impressive efficiency that will appeal to a significant section of the Irish motor market,” he said.