Building on the foundation of the S400 Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz chose this year's North American International Auto Show as the place to unveil its (slightly) smaller E-Class derrivative.
Although Mercedes also plans to offer an E300 Hybrid that combines a 27 hp electric motor and battery back with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque; that car is targeted primarily at Europe. In the US, which shows a preference for gas/electric hybrids, a direct injected V6 will be teamed with the electric motor system instead, resulting in the E400 Hybrid.
Rated at 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, in terms of fuel economy, Mercedes says the E400 Hybrid should deliver approximately 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the open road.
According to Dr. Thomas Weber, who heads up Daimler AG's passenger car development and research programs, the two E-Class Hybrids aim "to offer precisely the models which our customers want," while providing "a clear reduction in fuel consumption as well as a very impressive driving experience."
The E400 Hybrid is scheduled to arrive in US dealers during the second quarter of 2012, with deliveries expected to follow in other markets, notably China and Japan.
More: Mercedes E400 Hybrid is Heading to America: 2012 North American International Auto Show