Mercedes-Benz is set to introduce two plug-in hybrids to its facelifted C-Class line-up as part of plans for an extended range of EQ-Power-badged models. The electrified drivetrains are based around a new hybrid system. It operates in combination with a four-cylinder petrol engine in the new C300e and a four-cylinder diesel engine in the C300de.
The new EQ-Power system increases the output of the electric motor by 40bhp over that used by the existing four-year-old 300h to 120bhp.
The two new hybrids’ electric range will extend to more than 19 miles, thanks to the lithium ion battery’s capacity rising from 6.4kWh to 13.8kWh.
Mercedes is remaining tight-lipped about the combined system outputs for the new C300e and C300de. However, the C330e’s turbo 2.0-litre engine is claimed to deliver 208bhp and the C300de’s turbo 2.0-litre engine 191bhp.
The two plug-in hybrids will go on sale in the UK later this year as part of a facelifted C-Class line-up that will make its public debut in saloon and estate bodystyles at the Geneva motor show in March.
The revisions include a number of subtle styling upgrades, including reprofiled bumpers with added chrome highlights, new headlights and a new diamond-pattern grille insert for AMG Line models.
Inside, the facelifted C-Class retains the basic dashboard design of the outgoing model, together with updated analogue instruments and a 7.0in infotainment display.
Optional equipment includes a new 12.3in high-definition digital instrument display offering three themes (Classic, Sport and Progressive), a revised multi-function steering wheel with touch-control pads, a 10.25in free-standing infotainment display and a touchpad controller within a reworked centre console.
The C-Class’s Comand infotainment system has been upgraded to the same standard as that used by the facelifted S-Class. However, it forgoes the touchscreen control and connectivity functions of the more advanced system in the new A-Class.
The C-Class also gets optional smartphone integration supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, as well as a wireless charging pad. It will also be offered with new remote parking pilot and driving assistance package plus systems.
The facelifted C-Class will have three diesel models: the 148bhp C200d, 192bhp C220d and 241bhp C300d. Each runs Mercedes’ latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine.
Three petrol models feature in the line-up: the C180, C200 and C300. The C180 uses a 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 154bhp in the SLC180. The C200 and C300 both have Mercedes’ new four-cylinder petrol engine.
In the C200, a mild hybrid with EQ-Boost badging, the engine delivers a nominal 188bhp, with an added 17bhp available on kickdown when the alternator acts as an electric motor to boost performance.
In the C300, it gets a higher state of tune at 241bhp, but no electric assistance.
The facelifted C-Class will be sold in three trim levels – SE, Sport and AMG Line – and Mercedes says the new entry-level SE spec will be higher than today’s. Prices will start from £30,000 when UK sales begin in March, with first deliveries scheduled for August.