Mike Stevens | Jan 7, 2010

FIRST REPORTED in July last year, Mercedes-Benz is working to bring a diesel-electric hybrid to market. Previous reports suggested the upcoming E300 BlueTEC would launch later this year, but a new article by Autocar now claims a late 2011 arrival.

The report goes on to say Mercedes will be the first to offer a diesel hybrid model. However, while it will beat Volvo's diesel hybrid to market, Citroen has long had 2011 in sight for its own diesel hybrid.

As with the E300 BlueTEC shown at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, the upcoming hybrid will pair a 2.2 litre direct-injection four-cylinder diesel engine with a brushless electric motor and a lithium ion battery pack, creating a combined output of around 165kW and 560Nm.

Fuel economy for the concept was claimed to be a healthy 5.4 l/100km, but given the improved aerodynamics of the just-released W212 E-Class (read our first drive here), the production E300 hybrid should be able to beat that figure.

Mercedes-Benz hints that fuel consumption for the upcoming car could get as low as 4.5 l/100km on the combined cycle.

The E300 BlueTEC Hybrid is expected to spearhead a number of new fuel-efficient models from Mercedes, including the M, GL and R-Classes.

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