You open the driver’s door and settle into a seat which is both supportive and so comfortable that you’ll be shooting critical looks at your living room sofa the next time you see it. You put on your seatbelt, press the Power button and the brake pedal, engage first gear and nudge the accelerator. And nothing happens. Well, something does happen, just not what you were possibly expecting. The car pulls away slowly, smoothly, majestically even. But engine vibrations and noise are conspicuous by their absence. You ask yourself what exactly is going on here. Am I dreaming? What has happened to the world as I know it? Do the normal laws of acoustics, inertia and gravity no longer apply? Get behind the wheel of the new C 350 e and existential questions quickly become the order of the day; the driving experience seriously challenges your understanding of “what is”. The plug-in hybrid sedan is fitted with both a 4-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric drive system, burns just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (112 mpg) and can run on electric power alone for 31 kilometres (19 miles). So if you’re cruising through the city at anything between 40 and 60 km/h (25–35 mph), the rev counter needle will remain rooted to the spot, the combustion engine unstirred.
C 350 e: Fuel consumption combined: 2,4–2,1 l/100km;
combined CO₂ emissions: 54–48 g/km.*