At the annual Detroit Auto Show in January 2012, Mercedes-Benz will show off its latest hybrid: the E300 BlueTec. Not your average hybrid, the alternate alternate will be the German company’s first venture into the extremely young diesel/hybrid segment but as always, there is a catch. According to Car & Driver Magazine, even though the E300 BlueTec Hybrid will be shown in Detroit, it will not be marketed and sold in the United States. Like most German automakers, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t hold the same level of rapport with American buyers as with Europeans, which might be the main reason for the car’s n0n-U.S. intentions. Despite the disappointment, the design is still remarkably innovative.
Powering the rear wheel drive luxury sled is a 2.1 liter turbocharged common rail diesel inline four cylinder combined with a lithium-ion battery pack and high-torque electric motor. The internal combustion engine itself only puts out 201 horsepower but a remarkable 369 lb-ft of torque. Combine that figure with the hybrid system’s instantly electric 184 lb-ft of torque and the E300 BlueTec Hybrid could do some serious damage to the pavement. What it won’t do damage to is a driver’s fuel budget as 56 mpg can be averaged. Impressive as that is, it becomes even more impressive once one remembers how big and heavy the E-Class is.
There is serious doubt that Mercedes-Benz would ever even consider sending the E300 BlueTec Hybrid to the states, but they will be giving us a gas/electric version of the E-Class. Named the E400 Hybrid, it will be powered by the direct injected 3.5 liter V6 and hybrid assist. It may put out more than 100 extra ponies compared to the diesel, but its torque figure isn’t as substantial. And as impressive as its fuel economy will surely be, it will never be as cool as a diesel/electric hybrid.
Source: Car & Driver