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New models - Mercedes-Benz - E-class

Benz plugs in two new E-Class variants

Same same: The E350e plug-in hybrid has the same 2.4L/100km fuel consumption figure and 30km electric driving range as the smaller C350e.

Mercedes-AMG 43 and E350e plug-in hybrid arriving in February next year

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Mercedes-Benz logo14 Nov 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-BENZ has lifted the lid on pricing for two more of its E-Class variants, with the sporty E43 4Matic and eco-friendly E350e Plug-in Hybrid touching down in February next year.

The hybrid variant will sit at the higher end of the new E-Class line-up with a starting price of $131,600 plus on-road costs, just $3300 cheaper than the priciest diesel E-Class, the $134,900 E350d.

It is the first plug-in hybrid model offered in Australia’s large premium segment, as BMW’s soon-to-be-replaced ActiveHybrid 5, Infiniti’s Q70 Hybrid and the Lexus GS300h and 450h are all mild hybrids.

Volvo will enter the fray next year when it launches the S90 T8 plug-in hybrid variant.

Specification in the electrified E-Class matches that of the $107,900 E300 sedan but adds a number of extras as standard fare.

The extras include a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system with a nine-channel DSP amplifier and 590W output, head-up display with virtual image windscreen projection, ‘Pre-entry’ climate control, 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, metallic paint and a panoramic glass sunroof with roller sunblind and heat-insulating glass.

Benz says that the E350e will be the first plug-in hybrid to use its 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission – other PHEVs in its line-up, including the C-Class-based C350e, are seven-speed.

The transmission will be paired with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined system output of 210kW and 550Nm, allowing a 0-100km/h dash time of 6.2 seconds.

The big Benz will sip just 2.4 litres per 100km on the official combined fuel cycle and can be driven on electric power only for up to 30km – matching both the fuel consumption and e-drive figures of the smaller C350e.

Both the plug-in and the E43 will be offered in sedan body style for now, with no Estate (wagon) versions offered for the time being.

At $159,900 plus on-roads, the spicy Mercedes-AMG E43 will be the E-Class range flagship until the launch of the brutal twin-turbo V8-powered E63 sometime next year.

Under the bonnet of the E43 is a six-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine with 295kW while peak torque is 520Nm from 2500rpm. It can reach 100km/h from zero in 4.6 seconds.

On top of the standard equipment of the sub-AMG E-Class range, the E43 gains Nappa leather upholstery, Air-Balance package, AMG body styling, 4Matic all-wheel drive, 20-inch AMG wheels, a sports exhaust system and an uprated braking system.

The two new variants will be offered with nine airbags, Attention Assist, an Active Bonnet, 360-degree camera and the Driver Assistance Package Plus.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Australia/Pacific CEO and managing director Horst von Sanden said the new additions to the E-Class range will further enhance the standing of the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 rival.

“Our new E-Class has raised the industry benchmark when it comes to new technologies, and these outstanding new variants are no exception,” he said.

“Following the successful introduction of both our plug-in hybrid and AMG43 models, we can’t wait to offer this technology and performance in the all-new E-Class early next year.”

Mercedes launched the new E-Class in late-July with a trio of variants (E200, E220d and E350d), with the E300 and E400 joining the line-up later.

While total E-Class sales are only ahead of last year’s tally by 0.5 per cent so far this year, the Benz is by far the best seller in the over $70,000 large car segment with 1032 units shifted to the end of October, ahead of the BMW 5 Series (471), Audi A6 (433), Jaguar XF (361) and Maserati Ghibli (306).

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class pricing*
E200 (a)$89,900
E200 Launch Edition (a)$91,780
E220d (a)$92,900
E300 (a)$107,900
E350e Plug-in Hybrid (a)$131,600
E350d (a)$134,900
E400 (a)$139,900
E43 4Matic (a)$159,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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