Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 de 4MATIC and GLC 300 e 4MATIC: New third-generation plug-in hybrids

The GLE impresses with its all-electric range: thanks to a battery with a capacity of 31.2 kWh, it is capable of over 100 kilometres with a corresponding driving style. It also has a top speed of up to 160 km/h under electric power. Its state-of-the-art four-cylinder diesel engine is also highly efficient. The GLC 300 e 4MATIC likewise uses the third-generation plug-in technology of Mercedes-Benz.

The considerably longer range of the GLE 350 de 4MATIC compared with other plug-in hybrids points the way to an even more rewarding e-driving experience. A special rear end design and a modified rear axle create space for the large battery. There is no step in the luggage compartment, the capacity of which is still generous at up to 1915 litres. The proportion of electric driving is not only increased by the long range, but also by rapid recharging en route. To this end the SUV has a combined charging socket for alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging. It is located in the left side wall, symmetrical with the fuel flap on the right side of the vehicle. At corresponding DC charging stations, the battery can be charged in approx. 20 minutes (10-80 percent state of charge (SoC)) or in approx. 30 minutes (10-100 percent SoC).

As the largest member of the EQ Power family, the GLE 350 de 4MATIC benefits in particular from cutting-edge technology. This also includes the high potential made possible by recuperation at all four wheels, with a maximum recuperation torque of 1800 Nm. In this mode, most driving situations can be controlled merely by accelerator action. Also, as a plug-in hybrid the GLE has an unrestricted towing capacity of up to 3500 kg. Trailer Manoeuvring Assist makes manoeuvring with a trailer easy even for the inexperienced. It controls the steering angle of the towing vehicle automatically.

The highlights of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe include:

  • Electric operating range of 106 km (NEDC)
  • System output 235 kW/320 hp
  • Electric output 100 kW
  • System torque 700 Nm
  • Top speed of up to 160 km/h (electric)/210 km/h (overall)
  • Acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e 4MATIC: freedom in its most versatile form

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is in its element on any terrain. This mid-size SUV is an intelligent combination of functionality and agility in a modern design. This model offers outstanding comfort and functionality with its spacious interior. By virtue of these all-round qualities, the GLC is attractive to customers who wish to drive a highly versatile premium SUV. The new model year sees the GLC boasting an even more striking design, the intuitive MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system and state-of-the-art driving assistance systems. With the new GLC 300 e 4MATIC, customers only have to accept minor restrictions in terms of load capacity. As an all-wheel drive SUV, the GLC 300 e is also predestined for towing, as it has a towing capacity of 2000 kg (braked).

The exterior design is characterised by sporty features. A distinctive off-road look is accentuated by muscular surface contours and striking details such as the chrome trim that now continues from the front end to the rear as standard, and by the heavily contoured radiator grille. The GLC now has LED High Performance headlamps as standard. Their contours have been significantly changed, and they are now smaller and flatter. This makes the torch-like outline of the daytime driving lights even more prominent, and the typical Mercedes-Benz light signature even more recognisable. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available as optional equipment. Redesigned all-LED tail lights are also included as standard.

From the very start, the GLC was designed for space-saving integration of a battery. This is assisted by the lowered rear axle and a bodyshell designed for battery integration. The result is a large, level luggage compartment whose capacity of 395-1445 litres is only just below that of other GLCs.

The third plug-in generation from Mercedes-Benz

More power, more range, more fun. The hybrid drive units of the models with a longitudinally installed engine, from the C to the S-Class and the GLC to the GLE, are already the third hybrid generation since the introduction of the S 400 Hybrid in 2009. The current electric engine has been redesigned for the 9G-TRONIC plug-in hybrid drives and is designed according to the principle of a permanently excited synchronous motor as an internal rotor. The likewise new, significantly enhanced power electronics have allowed considerable increases in power and torque density.

One of the greatest innovations compared with the previous version is the use of a torque converter with integrated lockup clutch as a starting device, and an additional clutch between the combustion engine and electric motor for all-electric driving. The stator of the electric motor is permanently integrated into the traction head housing, while the rotor is between the power flow of the separating clutch and transmission input. On-demand stator and rotor cooling allows use of the electric motor’s peak and continuous output without any problems.

The high-voltage on-board electrical system supplies not only the drive components and the vacuum pump of the regenerative braking system, but also the electric refrigerant compressor and the high-voltage heater booster. Both allow pre-entry climate control of the interior not only in summer but also in winter, because they can also operate without the combustion engine.

The Mercedes-Benz plug-in strategy

By the end of 2019, Mercedes-Benz will have more than ten plug-in hybrids in the range – an attractive portfolio from the compact car to the flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The aim is to be able to offer customers well over 20 model variants in 2020.

Plug-in hybrids offer customers the best of both worlds: in town they run in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the range of the combustion engine. They make the vehicle more efficient overall, because they can firstly recover energy during braking and secondly allow the combustion engine to run in favourable operating ranges. The intelligent, route-based operating strategy activates the electric driving mode where this is most appropriate for the route. For example, it takes into account navigation data, topography, speed limits and the traffic conditions for the entire planned route.

Plug-in hybrids are also an important milestone on the way to emission-free driving. Mercedes Benz Cars is systematically developing its plug-in hybrids further under the EQ Power label. EQ Power is also a guarantee of exceptional dynamism. EQ Power+ is the name of the performance hybrid technology that Mercedes‑AMG will use on the road in future, and is already used successfully in Formula 1 today. The first members of the EQ Power family with front-wheel drive recently celebrated their premiere: the A and B-Class are mainstays of the plug-in initiative by Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes me Charge helps with charging en route

The new on-board charger more than doubles the charging capacity from 3.6 kW to 7.4 kW and strikes an ideal compromise between size, weight and charging capacity. A discharged battery can thus be fully recharged in 1.5 hours at a wallbox, for example in the convenience of one’s own home. The same is possible in around five hours even at a conventional domestic power socket.

As well as using the domestic power supply, e.g. at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox, convenient and uncomplicated charging is possible during the journey, too. That’s because the MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) assists the driver in finding charging stations. The MBUX system understands natural speech, allowing the driver to start a search simply by saying “Hey Mercedes, find charging stations nearby”.

Via Mercedes me Charge, drivers of a plug-in hybrid model can optionally obtain access to one of the world’s largest charging networks, with over 300 different operators in Europe alone (municipalities, car parks, motorways, shopping centres, etc.). Thanks to navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can find these stations easily and can gain convenient access to the charging stations via the Mercedes me Charge card, the Mercedes me App or directly from the car. No separate contracts are necessary for this: apart from simple authentication, customers benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing after they have registered their payment method once. Each charging procedure is booked automatically. The individual charging processes are clearly listed in a monthly invoice.

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