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2016 Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In, C450 AMG Make Debut in Detroit

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/12/2015 Karla Sanchez

Mercedes-Benz is debuting two new variants of the C-Class at the 2015 Detroit auto show, and although they both wear C badges, they're completely different beasts. The tamer one is the C350 Plug-in Hybrid, while the wilder one is the C450 AMG 4Matic.

The C350 Plug-in Hybrid is the latest car in the lineup to receive the S-Class' more advanced plug-in hybrid tech, and there will be many others to follow. Mercedes says there will be a total of 10 PHEVs by 2017, but for now, let's just focus on the C350 PHEV. Combined power is rated at 275 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque from a 208-hp 2.0-liter I-4 and 80-hp electric motor. Power to the electric motor is supplied by a 220-pound, water-cooled 6.2-kWh battery mounted underneath the rear axle. A seven-speed automatic drives all that power to the wheels, which help the C350 PHEV go from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph, per Mercedes' estimates. When switching to all-electric mode, the German automaker says the C350 PHEV can travel up to 20 miles. 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug In Hybrid Rear Side View© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug In Hybrid Rear Side View

While regenerative braking isn't anything new on electrified vehicles, the C350 PHEV does boast something that's completely new. A haptic accelerator pedal further helps reduce fuel consumption by creating a point of resistance in the pedal when driving in electric mode. If the gas pedal is pushed beyond that point, the engine will kick in. Vice versa, the eco assist function signals to the driver they should take their foot off the gas pedal to decouple the gas engine from the drivetrain. When they do, Mercedes says that the C350 PHEV's management system will vary the deceleration mode between "sailing" and recuperation, using data from the vehicle's radar systems. Per usual, the C350 PHEV also offers a number of driving modes, including Sport and Sport +, Comfort, and Economy. Other standard features include an air suspension, pre-entry climate control, central controller with 7-inch display, collision prevention, and Bluetooth.

Those less concerned with fuel savings will likely be more interested in the C450 AMG 4Matic. Like the GLE450 AMG, the C450 AMG is not a full-blown AMG, but a member of the new AMG Sport Line and still carries enough of the DNA to wear the Affalterbach badge. The C450 AMG benefits from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 from the C400 4Matic, and in this application makes 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says this power helps rocket the C450 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Other familiar items include the seven-speed automatic and the usual selectable driving modes, while AMG goodies include 4Matic all-wheel drive, AMG adaptive sports suspension, and more aggressive styling. 2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4Matic Rear Side Motion View© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4Matic Rear Side Motion View

Other markets will get wagon body styles of the above variants (included in the gallery below), but don't count on seeing those stateside anytime soon.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4Matic Front Side Motion View© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4Matic Front Side Motion View

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