1,500km in a Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid on one tankPOSTED BY Vishal Bhaskaran ON 20 April 2015
The Mercedes Benz W212 E300 Bluetec Hybrid covers the distance from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok with less than 80 litres of diesel
By AZMI ABDULLAH
IMAGINE driving from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok with a tankful of diesel for a distance of 1,500km in a facelifted Mercedes Benz W212 E300 Bluetec Hybrid.
The tankful of 80 litres costs RM156.00 at RM1.95 a litre.
The 2.1-litre hybrid comes with a 4-inline, 4 valves per cylinder diesel engine, capable of a maximum of of 204hp at 4,200rpm and torque of 500Nm at 1,600-1,800 rpm, combined with an electric motor rated at 20kW and 250Nm.
The features of the car is not unsimilar to the E400 featuring an AMG sports package which includes 18-inch 5-twin spoke alloy wheels with mixed tyres.
The AMG body styling consists of an AMG designed front grille, rear aprons and side skirts. It also comes with larger front disc and twin exhaust system with rectangular stainless steel pipes integrated into the rear bumper.
Inside, it comes with an AMG sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, stainless steel sport pedals and AMG floor mats.
It is also equipped with 360-degree surround view camera which covers all four sides of the car, thus enabling all round and bird’s eye view to assist parking in tight spaces.
The drive started from Saujana Hotel Subang to Simpang Pulai R&R(185km). Then from Simpang Pulai to Juru Autoworld Seberang Prai (147km), Juru Autoworld to Bukit Kayu Hitam (145km) and Bukit Kayu Hitam to Centara Hotel Hatyai (58km).
The drive from Subang started at about 10am to avoid the heavy morning traffic along the NKVE. There were eight identical cars. The lead car, No. 1 and the sweeper, No. 8, were driven by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia support personnel.
Car No. 2, 3 and 4 were driven by Malaysian journalists, with two to a car. The writer was assigned to car No. 3 and paired with another journalist. Cars No. 5, 6 and 7 were driven by Thai journalists.
The traffic along the way was not heavy, thus we were able to maintain fuel consumption below 5 litres/100 km by monitoring the on-board fuel consumption gauge. By the time we stopped at Simpang Pulai R&R, the average consumption was 4.7 litres/100km.
The drive along the North-South Highway to the next check point, Juru Autoworld, despite the steep climb from Jelapang to the Menora Tunnel, still managed to clock an average of 4.7 litres/100km as the downhill drive after the tunnel helped to reduce the overall consumption.
From Juru Autoworld, we were informed that the Thai immigration check point at Bukit Kayu Hitam/Sadao closes at 7pm our time or 6pm Thai time. We were asked to speed up to 110 km/h.
This increased the consumption to 4.9 litres/100km but overall, we managed to maintain 4.6 litres/100 km. But it was a false alarm. The immigration checkpoint actually closes at 10pm Thai time.
The drive started from Centara Hotel Hatyai to PTT Spitech Ron Phibun District (162km) and then from PTT Spitech to PTT Surat Thani (151km) and PTT Surat Thani to Hotel Novotel Chumphon (184km).
The drive from Hatyai to Chumphon involved the Phet Kasem Highway, which is not a real highway compared with our Malaysian highway as it passes through many towns and villages with traffic lights at junctions, shops, houses and factories along the way and also many U-turns.
The overall road surface is not so good. Along this stretch, we managed a fuel consumption of 4.6 litres/100km.
The drive started from Novotel Chumphon to PTT Narong Thap Sakae (148 km) and then from PTT Narong to Hyatt Regency Hua Hin (142km) and Hyatt Regency Hua Hin to the Mercedes-Benz Metro Auto House in Samae Dam, Bangkok.
The drive from Chumphon to Samae Dam was also along the Phet Kasem Highway with about same road conditions incurred on Day 2. This time around, all drivers were trying to outdo each another.
In trying their best to use the least amount of fuel, most of the cars were driven with minimal use of the air conditioner. By the time we reached Samae Dam, the writer’s car managed a day consumption of 4.2 litres/100km and an overall average fuel consumption of 4.5 litres/100km covering a total 1,478km, average speed of 67km/h and total drive time of 22 hours and 12 minutes, with enough fuel left for another 427km drive.
The best result was by car no.4 with an overall average fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100 km.
In the writer’s opinion, with no real time penalty, the fuel consumption achieved does not reflect the actual day to day situation but it does proved that under certain driving conditions, the manufacturer’s claimed figure is achievable.