Hybrids are renowned for their efficiency and smooth operation, but what happens if you add an electric motor to a diesel? The result is Mercedes-Benz's latest addition to the E-Class range, the E300de. As you may have figured, the 'd' stands for diesel while the 'e' means electric.
With an electric motor annexed to a 2.0-liter turbodiesel unit, the result is 306 PS and a staggering 700 Nm of torque. Even with the extra weight of the hybrid system, the E300de can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. Being a German car, it is electronically governed to 250 km/h, as part of their 'gentleman's agreement'.
Despite performance figures that can scare off some sports cars, Mercedes-Benz claims that the E300de is one of their most efficient models to date. They say you can get up to 62.5 kilometers per liter thanks to the diesel-electric pairing. With an 80 liter tank, the Mercedes-Benz E300de promises to deliver not just efficiency, but also range.
If you want to boost that further, the car has a pure electric mode and can travel as far as 54 kilometers without ever having to use the turbodiesel. In pure electric drive, the E300de has a top speed of 130 km/h before the engine kicks in. As it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, one can keep using the electric powertrain with the diesel engine further extending its range for long drives. The system also charges on the go via regenerative brakes and when coasting downhill.
But if diesels aren't your thing, Mercedes-Benz also offers the E300e. That has a total output of 320 PS and the same torque figure as the diesel with 700 Nm. It's faster than the oil-burner off the line with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds. However, fuel economy is less than that of the E300de at 50 kilometers per liter and its electric only range is up to 50 kilometers.