The Plug-in hybrid variant of Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class is engineered to impress

double trouble

Some cars are just best engineered with two power sources. Like the new Mercedes-Benz E350e AMG Line (RM395,888) — powered by a 208bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged mill paired to a 87bhp and 440Nm electric motor. Combine those figures, and it produces a respectable 281bhp and 550Nm, enough to propel this electro-petrol saloon from a standstill to 100km/h in just 6.2 seconds. With performance like that, it really feels like the best of both worlds.

Environmentally friendly it may be, but the sense of driving fun is still very much present here. All method of gearing is done through a nine-speed automatic optimised for both efficiency and gratifying performance. The latter can be accomplished with Sport+ selected on a wavy road with its air suspensions tightened, steering and throttle response sharpened, offering ample power delivery and intuitive feedback from the wheel. While tackling every bend with gusto, the supportive seats ensure you’re held firmly in place.

The E350e also excels without the use of petrol power. To make full use of its electric credentials, select E-Mode — an independent power mode reserved only for PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) models — for a 33km range of no-noise and yet instantaneous torque excursion. Running low on electric range? Then choose E-Save to reduce battery dependency. Lastly, if there’s no charger within radius, the Charge mode plies its trade at the engine to recharge the battery back to half.

The techno-fest also extends inside the cockpit with the use of two 12.3-inch displays and wireless handphone charging. Acoustical aficionados will appreciate the symphonic 13-speaker Burmester sound system. The use of carbon fibre panels over wood trims found in the Executive variant serves as a nice touch of exclusivity with a twist of sportiness.

Aesthetically, the E350e differs away from its petrol siblings with its plug-in hybrid badging on both front fenders and blue-coloured brake calipers. Also, it’s adorned with four, 19-inch five-split-spoke AMG alloys at each corner to make up for its distinct AMG Line side skirts, sportier front and rear bumpers.

In a nutshell, Stuttgart’s two way-powered saloon is a capable establishment that delivers to those seeking performance on the thoroughfares without producing any carbon footprint in town driving. It proves the old adage true – sometimes, two is better than one.


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