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Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its E300 Bluetec Hybrid is on the way and will hit showrooms in Europe by the end of 2012. While it hasn’t been confirmed for a U.S. launch, execs also haven’t ruled it out.
The first capable diesel hybrid from Stuttgart available for public use debuted at this past March’s Geneva Auto Show. It combines the latest generation 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel with a 20-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack to deliver a sedate 204-hp. Torque, however, is significant at 428 lb-ft at some very low revs. The fuel economy advantages are impressive with an estimated 57.4 mpg average on the European test cycle. The EPA rating is a less impressive, but no less significant 45-mpg.
What hasn’t been confirmed is the cost, but you can bet it won’t be cheap, with both diesel and hybrid technology certain to tack on significant premiums to this already un-cheap luxury sedan.