What is it?
There’s an incredibly strong chance that Mercedes-Benz might just be on to something big with its new C300de.
You’ll be well aware of the battering diesel cars have been subjected to over the past 18 months or so. Both government and mainstream media have increasingly been pushing the idea that oil-burners are bad news for the general public’s health - particularly in busy city centres - despite the fact that any automotive engineer worth their salt will tell you that the latest diesel engines are cleaner, less polluting and more efficient than ever before.
But what if your diesel car was capable of running on nothing but electricity in these built-up areas? And what if, once you’ve left the confines of the urban sprawl, you could rely on the superior range, low CO2 emissions and effortless torque of its engine to get you to your final destination, free from any associated guilt about your choice of powerplant?
That, essentially, is exactly what the C300de sets out to allow you to do.
Like any other plug-in hybrid, it combines an electric motor – here capable of running the car on electricity alone for around 30 miles, courtesy of a 13.5kWh battery – with an internal combustion engine. Unlike in most other plug-in hybrids, though, that engine is fuelled by diesel.