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Monday, December 19, 2011

Mercedes-Benz will unveil two new E-Class Hybrids @ Detroit in 2012

Mercedes-Benz revealed two E-class hybrids on Monday, ahead of their public debut in January at the Detroit auto show.

The gasoline-electric E400 will go on sale in North America later this year.

The first-ever hybrid model in the E-class lineup runs Mercedes’ widely used 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with 302 hp and 273 lb-ft, in combination with a brushless electric motor housed within the gearbox casing with 27 hp and 184 lb-ft.

This is sufficient to provide the E400 hybrid, which uses a modified version of the company’s seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox to channel power to the rear wheels, with a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.7 seconds and top speed limited to 130 mph.

The E300 Bluetec hybrid will also bow in Detroit. It mates a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder common rail diesel engine producing 201 hp and 369 lb-ft with the same electric motor used in the E400 hybrid. The powertrain provides the E300 hybrid sedan with 0-to-62-mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.

It uses a host of fuel-saving measures, including optimized aerodynamics, automatic stop/start, brake energy recuperation, a so-called “sailing mode” that decouples the engine from the gearbox on a trailing throttle at speeds up to 100 mph and low-rolling-resistance tires.

Energy for both the E300 and E400 hybrids’ electric motors is supplied by a 0.8-kWh lithium-ion battery that is claimed to provide both cars with an all-electric range of less than a mile at speeds below 35 mph.

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