Mercedes is a late entrant to the hybrid game, but is trying hard to play catch up now. Next year they will introduce the S-Class Hybrid and the ML450 Hybrid SUV. Both cars are important in their own right, but Mercedes best selling E-Class and C-Class lack hybrid variants.
Wait just a few short years and that will change. Mercedes will unveiled the E-Class hybrid later this week to press in Las Vegas. The E-Class competes in the luxury car segment and a hybrid model could lead to potentially more sales than the costly S-Class hybrid will.
According to Bernhard Glaser, general manager of product development for Mercedes Benz USA, " The new E-Class hybrid could be available in a couple of years."
It is highly likely that the E-Class hybrid would employ a system nearly identical to the S-Class hybrid. The S-Class employs a 15 kW electric motor placed between their V6 engine and the seven speed automatic transmission. Dubbed BlueHybrid, the system combines for 30 mpg in European testing.
The system is a mild hybrid setup and does not allow the vehicle to move under electric power only. Mercedes believes that mild hybrids are more cost effective than a Toyota Prius type approach which allows the vehicle to move under electric power only.
Look for updates as more information becomes available on the production of an E-Class Hybrid.