Today’s official introduction of the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e plug-in hybrid and the ASEAN premiere of the all-electric EQC also saw Mercedes-Benz Malaysia displaying the new C 300 e as a technology showcase.

The PHEV was officially introduced in Thailand last week, but unlike in the Kingdom, where it will go on sale as a locally-assembled model, the car isn’t coming to Malaysia anytime soon. If anything, it might not even make it here at all, with the company revealing today that there are no plans at present to introduce the facelifted W205 hybrid here.

Much has to do with finding a resolution in tax and pricing – according to MBM VP of sales and marketing Mark Raine, the car would simply not be able to be priced competitively (for example, against the C 300 AMG Line) based on current conditions, which are reportedly different than they were before. He said the hybrid would be around 30% more expensive than an equivalent petrol C 300 without tax incentives.

Shame about that, because it’s quite a jump from the pre-facelift C 350 e from a performance point of view. The C 300 e’s hybrid powertrain combines the workings of a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which offers 208 hp (or 211 PS) at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,200 to 1,400 rpm, and a 121 hp (or 122 PS) electric motor.

Working with a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, the system provides a maximum combined output of 315 hp (or 320 PS) from 4,500 to 5,500 rpm and 700 Nm. This is higher than the 275 hp (or 279 PS) and 600 Nm that was available on the C 350 e, the increase in output coming from the electric motor.

Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 5.4 seconds (half a second faster than the old car) and a top speed of 250 km/h, the same as its predecessor.

Four operating modes for the powertrain are available, with Hybrid being the default setting. There is E-Mode, which allows for all-electric driving, E-Save to reserve the power in the charged battery until needed, and Charge, which juices up the battery while driving.

As with the S 560 e, the C 300 e utilises a new 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery built by Deutsche Accumotive, the increase in capacity from the 6.2 kWh (reported as 6.38 kWh in recent times) in the previous iteration a result of 37 Ah lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (Li-NMC) cells replacing the 22 Ah lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo) units used previously.

Like the S 560 e, the battery provides the car with a longer all-electric range of around 50 km, a marked improvement over the claimed 31 km offered by the C 350 e.

With a water-cooled 7.4 kW on-board charger (double that on the C 350 e, which was 3.7 kW), charge times are identical to the S 560 e – it takes 1.8 hours to recharge the battery from 10% to 100% SoC (status of charge) with a Mercedes Wallbox at full power and around six hours with a conventional domestic power socket running a 230V/13A 3.0 kW single-phase supply. If charging is carried out via a 230V/16A 3.7 kW single-phase public charge point, the process will take just under four hours.

Not that it matters, but anoraks will be pleased to know that the C 300 e tech showcase example is fitted with an AMG Line exterior and 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke alloy wheels. Specification for the particular car includes Multibeam LED headlamps, an Airmatic suspension and a panoramic sliding sunroof.

Inside, you’ll find an AMG Line interior with black leather upholstery, black roof liner and open-pore black ash wood trim. Kit includes an Audio 20 radio navigation unit and a Burmester sound system, with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, smartphone integration and wireless charging on the features list.

Driver assistance and convenience systems include Active Parking Assist, Active Brake Assist, a surround view camera and Keyless-Go package.