We’ve known for some time that a C-Class hybrid was coming, and now we have new spy shots of a prototype. The prototype is for Mercedes-Benz’s new C-Class Plug-In Hybrid, which features technology borrowed from the recently revealed S-Class Plug-In Hybrid and is due on the market sometime next year, most likely as a 2016 model.

We know the vehicle is a plug-in because of the small cap located on the left side of its rear bumper. This is the same location that the cap concealing the charging port on the S-Class Plug-In Hybrid can be found.

First previewed in 2009’s Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid concept, Mercedes-Benz’s hybrid drivetrain pairs an internal combustion engine in parallel with an electric motor integrated with the transmission. While the setup in the S-Class utilizes a turbocharged V-6 for the internal combustion element, we suspect this C-Class Plug-In Hybrid will feature a turbocharged four-cylinder. A lithium-ion battery will sit in the trunk.

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid spy shots

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid spy shots

Expect the four-cylinder to develop approximately 211 horsepower on its own, with the electric motor boosting this output by about 70 horsepower. Thanks to the ability of the power sources to work independently, the car will offer multiple driving modes. These should include the same modes found in the S-Class Plug-In Hybrid: HYBRID (mix of power sources), E-MODE (electric power only), E-SAVE (fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later) and CHARGE (battery is charged while driving).

The car is expected to be badged a C350 Plug-In Hybrid and return gas mileage of 78 mpg or better. Of course, reaching such lofty figures will depend on how much electric-only driving is done. On electric power alone, owners should experience a range of approximately 31 miles.

Note, Audi has confirmed that its next-generation A4 will feature a plug-in option, and a plug-in hybrid BMW 3-Series has also been spotted. For more on the latest C-Class, read our first drive report on the 2015 model.


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