Mercedes C-Class Prototype High Performance Hybrid Coupe

Employing prototype hybrid technology, Siemens on Thursday showed off a modified Mercedes C-Class Sport Coupe that boasts faster acceleration, more torque — and better fuel economy — than its gasoline-powered equivalent. The demo Mercedes C-Class Sport Coupe car packs its electric power into a lithium-ion battery in its trunk. This type of battery can hold more energy yet weigh less than batteries used in today’s hybrids, but it is susceptible to overheating. Siemens is using the vehicle as a test for its battery cooling systems. The coupe employs two types of electric motors within the same vehicle. A parallel hybrid electric motor integrated into the vehicle’s powertrain can power the car on its own or assist the gasoline engine. A second side mounted motor can start the gasoline engine while the other electric motor is driving the car, and bring the engine up to speed.

That ability to have high-torque electric startup and a boost in power when accelerating gives the modified Mercedes C-Class Sport Coupe its performance edge. The coupe reaches about 62 mph in six seconds — a second faster than a gasoline equivalent with the same 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine. The vehicle uses 24 percent less gasoline than a standard Mercedes model and the demo car can exceed 35 mph in electric-only mode. The cost vehicles battery prices it out of the market reach at present. Siemens hope battery prices to fall in the next three to four years and work done on this demonstration has validated the rest of the vehicle’s technology.