The new Mercedes E 300 de plug-in hybrid goes on sale in the UK, combining a 2.0 litre diesel engine and electric motor. Costs from £47,700.
Is a plug-in diesel hybrid exactly what the market wants, or is it a potential white elephant car makers hope might give diesel sales new life?
Clearly Mercedes-Benz think a diesel hybrid is exactly what the market needs and wants, and it arrives in the UK in the guise of the new Mercedes E 300 de plug-in hybrid, an addition to Mercedes’ E-Class range in the UK and coming in both saloon and estate guises.
Mercedes has taken the 2.0 litre diesel engine lurking under the bonnet of the E 200 d – good for 191bhp and 295lb/ft of torque – and mated it to an electric motor with 121bhp and 324lb/ft of torque to deliver a diesel plug-in powertrain with a system output of 302bhp and 516lb/ft of torque.
That combination reduces emissions to an official 41g/km – with a daft claimed 166.2mpg – with the promise it can do 34 miles as an EV (32 miles for the estate), which it won’t, but it will be frugal if you bother to plug it in every night.
New diesel hybrid power aside, you’ll get an E Class just like any other in the UK, with a choice of SE and AMG Line trim and the usual plethora of add-on options to bump up the price.
Price start at £47,700 for the E 300 de SE Saloon and rise to £52,140 for the E 300 de AMG Line Estate, prices which would have been a chunk lower had not Mercedes launched just as the government scrap grants for plug-in hybrids.
The new Mercedes E 300 de plug-in diesel hybrid is now on sale at Mercedes’ UK dealers, with first customer cars expected by spring 2019.