The decision to do away with sixcylinde­r engines completely for the new C-class puts added focus on the performanc­e capabiliti­es of its plug-in hybrid variants.

It’s the C300e that leads the way, with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a gearboxmou­nted electric motor combining to produce 308bhp and 405lb ft.

The big developmen­t, though, is the battery. At 25.4kwh, its capacity has been almost doubled. Together with an improvemen­t in efficiency for the motor, whose energy consumptio­n is rated at 2.6-4.4kwh per mile, this gives the C300e a range of 55-68 miles on the WLTP test (up from 19-31 miles) and with it CO2 emissions of between 14g/km and 24g/km.

Charging can be achieved at up to 11kw from an AC charger or at up to 55kw on a DC charger, the latter of which can fully charge the battery in half an hour.

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