W213 Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV Lisbon-5

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia says it has plans to expand the W213 E-Class range in the country, and these will include the introduction of both hybrid and performance variants. Speaking at the launch of the car earlier today, MBM’s vice president of marketing, Mark Raine, said that the E 200, E 250 and E 300 won’t be the only W213 offerings to be sold here.

We asked him if these included bringing in the E 350 e plug-in hybrid, since the company was already looking at the C 350 e version. Raine confirmed that there were plans to introduce the new E-Class hybrid as a successor for the outgoing W212 E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid.

“Yes, there are plans to eventually bring in the E 350 e, because we want to continue our hybrid initiative,” he said, adding it was still too early to say when the car would make it here. Though seen in Detroit and showcased at the international drive of the W213 back in March, the variant hasn’t entered the market yet, but is expected to do so later in the year.

The E 350 e works with the same M274 DE 20 AL 2.0 litre petrol mill as seen on the C 350 e, with the same output as well (208 hp and 350 Nm, identical to that seen on the regular E 250), but there are slight differences to its motor and total system output numbers.

On this one, the electric motor is rated at 87 hp/440 Nm (80 hp/340 Nm on the C 350 e), and combined power output for the car is 281 hp and 550 Nm (275 hp and 600 Nm on the C 350 e). Juiced by a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, the all-electric range of the E 350 e is quoted as being over 30 km. The battery can be recharged from an external power source in around 1.5 hours via a wallbox, or three hours via a standard domestic power socket.

Raine also reaffirmed that the C 350 e is set to go on sale here. In January, he had told this publication that the company was exploring the possibility of the plug-in hybrid, and though no time-frame was again mentioned, the arrival of the C 350 e may not be too far away. We’ve learnt that colour options have been made available for the variant, and dealers have started taking initial orders for the car.

Close to home, the C 350 e – along with the S 500 e – is currently being sold in Thailand. Both plug-in variants are locally-assembled in the Land of Smiles, the first PHEVs to have gone that route when they began production earlier in the year.

On the performance variant front, we asked if the local E-Class programme will follow the path taken by the C-Class with the introduction of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S. Raine said the new AMG E 63 – which is due to be launched soon – has already been earmarked as a future model. “You’ve seen that we’ve introduced AMG models such as the C 63 and S 63 Coupe, so you can expect that we will do the same with the E-Class version when it appears,” he said.

Finally, on the topic of diesels, Raine said that there are no plans to introduce any diesel variants for the W213 in Malaysia. Looks like we won’t be seeing the new OM 654 oil burner, the replacement for the 2.1 litre OM 651 seen on the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, now that the new E-Class hybrid has gone the petrol route.