Mercedes takes a swing at BMW’s “almost” eco line image

Mercedes, deeply entrenched in its strategy to try and win back the world sales crown lost 10 years ago to BMW is attacking the latter with and interesting model, a plug-in hybrid C-Class variant.

Set to be unveiled in front of the audience of the Detroit motor show, the latest C-Class model will swiftly make its sales debut this March in Europe and in September in the US. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is the latest attempt to secure an edge for the best-selling Mercedes nameplate in its relentless battle with BMW AG’s 3-Series – this time in the field of fuel economy. Coming down from the flagship S-Class, the plug-in technology has been made available on the C-Class to tackle the already available conventional hybrid version of the 3-Series. Audi chose to do the same though in a more affordable price bracket, starting deliveries at the end of 2014 of the 37,900-euro ($45,580) A3 E-Tron plug-in hybrid compact – and the Inglostadt-based manufacturer will add a plug-in hybrid model each year, beginning with the variant of the Q7 sport-utility vehicle in 2015.

The C-Class can be electrically driven for 31 kilometers (19 miles) and the electric motor can join forces with the internal combustion engine when lots of power is needed. The plug-in hybrid also compliments the already Germany-available model with a more conventional, but nevertheless interesting, diesel-hybrid drivetrain. Mercedes is also planning a plug-in hybrid offensive for the next years, with 10 plug-in models out by 2017 in an effort to meet global emissions rules and combat emerging luxury rivals such as America’s Tesla Motors.

Via Bloomberg