Many cars are criticised for not achieving anything close to their official fuel economy figure. Perhaps that’s why Mercedes choose to set off on a journey across the UK to prove the real-world potential of its first hybrid model; the E-Class BlueTec Hybrid.
Mercedes set out not just to prove the economy of the new hybrid but also its impressive performance stats. The fuel economy challenge saw the E 300 BlueTec Hybrid first driven down the main runway of Newquay Cornwall airport – the most southern active airport in mainland Britain-to prove its performance credentials first. Driven by ex-rally driver Mick Linford, the car accelerated from rest to 62 mph in a little over seven seconds before achieving a peak speed of 136 mph.
Then the new E-Class Hybrid was driven entirely normally over the 830 mile journey north to Wick Airport – the most northern airport in mainland Britain. Over the course of the two-day journey it encountered real-world driving conditions, including heavy traffic, diversions and challenging weather.
On arrival at Wick Airport the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID achieved a maximum speed of 120 mph down the runway, which was 911 metres shorter than at Newquay.
Despite the real-world driving conditions from one airport to the other, the car returned economy of 67.3 mpg-actually beating the official fuel economy figure of 65.7 mpg. Emission levels are rated at 109g/km CO2.
Performance-wise, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is rated as being capable of accelerating from rest to 62 mph in 7.5-seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 150 mph, meaning that it also proved its strong response too.
The entire trip was carried out on a single tank of fuel – of which a quarter remained on its arrival in Wick. Had the car carried on driving it would have achieved a theoretical range in excess of 1,100-miles.
Mercedes’ first hybrid model is capable of this level of performance and economy thanks to its combination of a four-cylinder diesel engine and an electric motor mounted within the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The gearbox substitutes a torque converter for a wet clutch system, therefore allowing for the internal combustion engine to be disengaged entirely via the clutch and for electric-only drive for short periods, boosting economy.
The new E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is available to order now in both saloon and estate form. Prices start at £39,645.00 OTR for the saloon and £41,435.00 OTR for the estate.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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