Plug-in hybrids are quickly gaining popularity due to their ability to travel on battery power alone while not giving owners a case of range anxiety thanks to their gasoline engines. Most recently, it has been Mercedes-Benz that has been making the shift to plug-in power with the S500 Plug-In Hybrid and rumors of the smaller C-Class Plug-In. If Mercedes-Benz Passion is to be trusted, then these are rumors no more, as the German blog has a ton of details on the upcoming C-Class Plug-In, which will be dubbed the C350e.
According to the report, the C350e will launch in the 2015 calendar year, making it a 2016 model year here in the U.S. Upon its release, the model will carry a 2.0-liter, four cylinder, gasoline-powered engine — not the 3.5-liter that its name alludes to — mated to an electric motor that draws power from a 6.2-kWh battery. The power output of the four-pot is still unknown will reportedly sit at 211 ponies, and the electric motor will add in an extra 60 kW (80 horsepower), putting the model near the 300-horsepower mark.
In terms of the range and mpg, the C350 should exceed all expectations. Despite its lower-capacity battery, it will reportedly travel a total of 20 miles on EV power alone at lower speeds, and it will return around 112 mpg on the U.S. cycle. This range all depends on which of the four driving modes you operate the car in, plus it has regenerative braking to help boost the range slightly.
The design of the C350e will be very discrete. The only real way to tell that this is a plug-in hybrid version of the C-Class is its plug door on the right, rear corner of the car. There may also be some unnoticeable changes to small details, like the rocker panels and under-body panels, but the rest of the body should be standard C-Class.
There are still no pricing or release date details to share, but most estimates put the C350e in the high-$40k range.