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No Mercedes C53 AMG for this generation

Green demon: The updated C-Class range will not feature the 53 AMG nameplate that is confirmed for the likes of the E-Class (pictured).

Mercedes-Benz resists rollout of 48V mild-hybrid system across C-Class range

Mercedes-Benz logo21 Jun 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS in GERMANY

MERCEDES-BENZ has no plans to bring its new mild-hybrid inline six-cylinder 53 AMG powertrain to its updated C-Class mid-sizer, at least for the rest of the sixth-generation model’s life cycle.
 
The newest member of the AMG family, which teams the fresh M256 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six to a 48V belt-driven starter generator, has been announced for the new CLS and E-Class, and in the case of the latter, will replace the twin-turbo V6 E43 variant.
 
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the updated C-Class range in Germany, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific public relations and product communications manager Jerry Stamoulis said the three-pointed star was not looking to expand the AMG range for the C-Class.
 
“Anything is technically possible, but there is no consideration at this stage for a 53 powertrain for the C-Class,” he said.
 
“The 43 package is enough for this vehicle, it’s a lot lighter than an E-Class, I think it does everything that you want a C43 to do, so it’s probably the right package for that car right now.”
 
The updated C43 boosts power over the outgoing variant by 17kW to 287kW/520Nm, thanks to a bigger turbocharger and higher boost pressure.
 
In comparison, the 53 powertrain in the CLS and E-Class develops 320kW and identical torque, while the EQ Boost starter/alternator can momentarily deliver up to 16kW/250Nm of additional power low in the rev range.
 
It is the only powertrain in the AMG range to feature electrification, however that will change with the arrival of the likes of the Formula One-derived Project One hypercar in coming years.
 
The only model to come equipped with EQ Boost assistance on the new C-Class range is the entry-level C200, which can add 10kW/160Nm of power in addition to the 135kW/280Nm from its 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine.
 
With brands like Audi rolling out range-wide mild hybrids on its new A6 large car, GoAuto asked Mercedes-Benz head of C-Class vehicle testing Christof Kuehner why the three-pointed star brand didn't opt for a similar approach.
 
“I think if you’re looking at our markets worldwide, a point where worldwide every car and every customer wants a hybrid, I’m not sure whether the markets will develop that homogenously,” he said.
 
“So I think there will be a time where the portion will increase, but I don’t think it will take over 100 per cent.”
 
Mr Stamoulis said from a local perspective, the brand would like to see the EQ Boost system rolled out across a greater range of models.
 
“I think (the C200) is a really good example of what can be done and I for one would love to see this type of technology across our range, it’s fantastic,” he said.
 
“So we constantly give feedback to headquarters and I think not only our internal feedback but our customer feedback will encourage headquarters to roll this out to other vehicles.”
 
He added that in the past if customers had wanted a hybrid vehicle, they would have been likely to overlook Mercedes, and that there would be no foreseeable drawbacks to making the EQ Boost system the default powertrain choice.
 
While the C200 is the only hybrid offering at launch in the new C-Class, it will be joined at some stage by a plug-in hybrid replacement for the C350e, which is rumoured to sport a larger pure-EV driving range than the 30km of the current model.

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