Mercedes-Benz is opening a new chapter in its brand's core segment and at the same time setting new standards for luxury-class business vehicles: the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which is available as a saloon and an estate, boasts truly impressive performance. The 4-cylinder diesel engine of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is rated at 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 Nm. The diesel engine combines with an electric motor rated at 20 kW and 250 Nm to produce a harmonious overall concept.
"The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID represents the continuation of our comprehensive hybrid offensive. The modular technology paves the way for us to quickly introduce hybrid models to complement other model series," explains Professor Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "By clearly focussing on the different requirements of the global markets, we are able to offer precisely the models that our customers want."
The new model does not force passengers to compromise in terms of spaciousness, either in the interior or in the luggage compartment. The intelligent, modular hybrid concept represents a comprehensive enhancement of the S 400 HYBRID – the clear market leader in its segment: no body modifications are necessary, the hybrid module is flexible and also suitable for deployment in other model series. All this comes at only a moderate price increase of € 3570. In Germany the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID costs € 51,794.75 as a saloon, while the estate model retails at € 55,007.75 (in each case incl. 19% VAT). Both models are to be launched in June 2012.
The philosophy: enhanced efficiency without compromising on comfort or benefits
The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID forms part of the brand's intelligent downsizing strategy, which involves making conventional models far more efficient than previously – without sacrificing driveability or comfort.Here the in-house engineers have their sights set on exemplary consumption figures in everyday traffic rather than on standard or NEDC combined consumption, for instance. The familiar "Real Life Safety" philosophy, which focuses on safety benefits under real-life conditions rather than standardised crash-test results, is augmented by "Real Life Efficiency".
The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is based on the notoriously economical E 250 CDI, yet has a higher output and 15 percent lower fuel consumption.Overview of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID:
At the same time, hybridisation enhances ride comfort:the car starts and moves off in virtual silence, while the hybrid module also damps any internal combustion engine vibrations. What's more, complete climate control is available even in start/stop mode.
Coasting along the motorway
Mercedes-Benz hybrid technology offers a wealth of extra functions that enhance both comfort and efficiency as well as helping to deliver a special driving experience underpinned by accomplished sportiness:
- When the car is stationary - ECO start/stop: the internal combustion engine switches off when coasting at speeds up to 160 km/h, since ancillaries such as the steering, brakes and refrigerant compressor operate electrically. It is restarted quickly, smoothly and virtually silently.
- Manoeuvring: in most cases, the car uses electric power alone for manoeuvring and parking.
- Accelerating: electrical power alone is used for moving off and driving under low load. Acceleration from standstill is particularly powerful, since the electric motor's full torque of up to 250 Nm is available instantaneously.
- Boost function: the electric motor supports the combustion engine during acceleration, e.g. in the course of overtaking.
- Cruising: when the car is being driven at a constant speed, the engine control unit shifts the operating points towards exceptionally low specific fuel consumption levels.
- Sailing "sailing", as it has come to be known, is possible at speeds below 160 km/h. The combustion engine shuts down and the desired speed is maintained by the electric‑motor alone until the battery needs recharging.
- Kinetic energy recuperation when coasting or braking: when the car is coasting (decelerating), the electric motor acts as a generator. When the brake pedal is pressed, the generator output is initially increased proportionally for greater deceleration. Only when increased brake pressure is applied are the wheel brakes additionally deployed.
- Information: an additional savings effect arises after a relatively short period of time, as drivers come to apply the above-stated functions in an increasingly more purposeful and effective manner. They are supported here by the display concept in the hybrid models – the central display provides information on the current energy flow and the charge status of the battery.
The hybrid module: a compact and intelligently integrated powerhouse
The hybrid drive unit is a further development of the module from the S 400 HYBRID and is based on the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission.Distinguishing features include the omission of the hydraulic torque converter and the addition of a wet clutch of the kind also found in the high-performance AMG models. Consequently, the electric motor can be integrated in the transmission unit in such a way that it takes up only marginally more space than the 7G-TRONIC (+65 mm). The omission of the converter allows all-electric motoring as well as "sailing", thus significantly boosting the potential to reduce fuel consumption.
The compact electric motor, which is installed in space-saving configuration in the clutch housing between engine and transmission, is a 3‑phase AC internal rotor magneto motor which generates a maximum output of 20 kW and peak torque of 250 Newton metres at an operating voltage of 120 volts.
The components: perfectly integrated into the vehicle
The hybrid drive's electrical energy is provided by the high-voltage lithium-ion battery specially developed for use in vehicles.Its key characteristics include an output of 19 kW and an energy content of 0.8 kWh, allowing the E-Class to run on electric power alone at up to 35 km/h and for up to one kilometre. Space-saving installation of the drive in the engine compartment in place of the conventional starter battery means that the generous interior dimensions and the luggage compartment capacity remain unchanged. In addition to serving as an energy accumulator for the electric motor, the lithium-ion battery is also connected via the voltage converter to the 12V on-board electrical system, which supplies power to standard power-consuming devices such as the headlamps and the comfort features.
Sophisticated packaging means that numerous hybrid-specific components such as the high-performance electronics in the engine compartment can be integrated directly with the internal combustion engine, thus neatly rounding off the modularity concept:the hybrid models can be produced on the same assembly line as their conventional counterparts without needing to be diverted elsewhere. Another advantage of the overall concept is the scalability and compatibility with other vehicles and engines.
Safety: on a par with previous models
Intelligent integration of the hybrid systems without the need for changes to the body has the practical benefit of not restricting spaciousness in any way as well as ensuring that all hybrid models boast exactly the same high level of safety as their counterparts with an internal combustion engine – a very important aspect for Mercedes-Benz. Accident behaviour has been successfully tested crash simulations and tests.
Credits: Daimler AG
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