To prove that the new Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is capable of delivering both performance and efficiency, the German carmaker subjected the very first example of the car to arrive in the United Kingdom to an economy run. In standard form, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID boasts of being able to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 7.5-seconds, and reach a maximum speed of 150 mph.
E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID also boasts of emitting as little as 109 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer traveled. To place the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID in a real situation test, Mercedes first had the car undergo an economy run at the main runway of Newquay Cornwall Airport, considered as the most southern active airport in the mainland.
Driven by ex-rally driver Mick Linford, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID was able to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in slightly more than seven seconds and reach a top speed of 136 mph. Next assignment for the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID was to cruise to Wick Airport in Scotland, considered as the northernmost airport in mainland Britain.
During the 830-mile two-day cruise, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID underwent real-world driving conditions like heavy traffic, diversions and challenging weather. The vehicle was made to undergo a run of the Wick Airport, which saw the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID reach a top speed of 120 mph at the at the runway, which is around 911 metres shorter than at Newquay.
The engineering team did manage to combine economy and performance in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, as the vehicle reached a peak speed of 136 mph during the two-day 830-mile journey.
Returning an economy of 67.3 mpg, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID left Newquay on a single tank of fuel, and arrived in Wick with around a quarter remaining. If the vehicle continued its cruise, it would have reached a theoretical range of over 1,100-miles. Interested buyers could now order the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID in the saloon variant with a starting price of £39,645 OTR, and in estate version at a starting price of £41,435 OTR. It is powered by an engine that provides up to 204 hp of output and 500 Nm of torque.
The mid-90s saw the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the first ever Mercedes model to have the twin-headlight face - a signature feature that still gives the E-class its identity. Nevertheless, it has been retained for all succeeding models to maintain the masculine overall facade of the car. The designers have now reimagined these headlights as rectangular lamps instead of the traditional circular ones. They appear to be precious gems that have been accurately installed into the wings. Similarly, the radiator grille with its 3D chromed surround, active arrow-shape and more upright stance emphasizes the car's status as the symbol of a business saloon.
An elegant interplay between surfaces and lines is one of the trademarks of the current Mercedes. Huge convex or concave surface areas have carved taut, neatly placed lines. This design concept has been made perfectly to the tiniest detail in the latest E-Class. The flank curves become linked features that contribute to the whole exterior design, like the styling of the front and rear.
This harmony is evidently seen at the back because of a graceful line that flows to the rear wheel arches and gives an identifiable shape to the imposing, masculine contours of the back wings. Here Mercedes fans will recognize design elements that will remind them of the popular "Ponton Mercedes" launched in the 50s, which already highlighted its sovereign character with these stunning contours back then - a signature attribute, and at the same time a trademark of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class that clearly shows how tradition is blended with the design of future models.