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I close my eyes reminiscing over my time on this planet. Decades have passed with lots of things having changed over my journey. I think now, more than ever, how our environment and the impact it has on us as humans of the world is changing, now more rapidly than before. 

 

One such quest for change is due to the environmental impact of pollution. One solution is the creation of hybrid and electric technology in the motoring world. This innovation was led by the Japanese a decade ago but is rapidly making its way into German cars too. 

 

Locally, one such car that has recently launch a plugin hybrid model into their range is the C-Class Mercedes-Benz. A massive global and local success, the C-Class range has grown, variety and sales. Keeping things fresh Mercedes recently added the C350e, which is a range topper under the AMG models. It's an electronic motor combined with a 2.0l turbocharged petrol engine. This combination produces a healthy 155kW (like the C250) + 60kW and 600Nm of torque. This is enough oomph to get you hitting 100km/h in 5.9 seconds. But fast paced sprints are not what this C-Class is about, albeit it's more than capable. Instead, it has been made for environmentalists and meets international emissions standards. 

 

How does it work?

Okay, so there's an engine, a battery-powered electric motor, a fuel tank, batteries (in the boot) and a cable with a 3-pin plug, which is used to charge the batteries. This combination gives you an assortment of power!

 

When you start the car you're able to toggle and select a driving mode specific to the hybrid operating system: Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save and Charge are available. These are over and above the car’s driver setting modes which alter the character of the car. These are Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual mode. 

 

When your C350e is fully charged to 100% of its batteries capacity there is the potential of driving 31 kilometres in the all-electric mode. This charge is created either via an electric charge or by building up energy via the Charge mode. When driving, and breaking kinetic energy is generated. By driving in this mode, you are completely free of CO₂ emission.

 

Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged at a wall-box too. Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic socket is of course also possible - I tried this at work and it is as easy as pie to do. 

 

It's an amazing sensation driving to your destination in almost complete silence. This coupled with the C-Class AIRMATIC air suspension, which is an option and unique within this class of car, makes for a gliding sensation - like driving your Sealy Posturepedic in almost complete silence. 

 

This highly intelligent technology takes getting used to. Once you've acclimatised it's infectious and a joy. 

Plus

Handsome looking car

Quality of the cars build and interior 

Advanced Plugin technology 

Frugal fuel consumption 

Almost silent drive

 

Minus

Expensive

Niche product

Luxury ride but the C-Class lacks a sporty driving dynamic

 

Pricing

C350 e R 805 000

 

Service and Warranty 

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes standard with a 6-year 100 000km maintenance plan. 

www.mercedes-benz.co.za

 

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