Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz unveils C450 AMG and C350 plug-in

The AMG C450 pumps 362 horsepower through an all-wheel-drive train, and goes 0 to 60 in under five seconds

Mercedes-Benz took the floor at the Detroit Auto Show to show off its new C450 AMG 4Matic sports coupe and its new C350 plug-in hybrid.

Promising sports styling and V6 power, the new C450 matches a 362-horsepower, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo powerplant with full-time all-wheel drive and suspension adapted from the German company's AMG C63 sports car.

Mercedes said in the reveal that, along with the previously revealed GLE450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, the C450 is the next in a planned collection of sportier AMG-badged cars.

"More emotionally inspiring AMG sports models will follow," the company said.

The C350 plug-in expands the company's commitment to electricification from the S-class and offers 275 horsepower, 443 pound-feet of torque and a battery-only range of 20 miles before the gas engine kicks in.

Pushing the performance aspects of the C450, Mercedes is playing up the vehicle's multiple "Eco," "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" driving modes -- especially the latter. Using "Sports Plus," the driver will experience heightened throttle response, acceleration and "exhaust rumbling," the company promises.

The other end of the spectrum, the "Eco" mode, includes a stop/start and a "sailing" function, which will disengage the transmission from the engine, at speeds between 37 mph and 99 mph, to allow the vehicle to coast when it's not accelerating.

Power is distributed through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifting, in a manual setting in "Sports Plus" mode, will allow the driver to push the engine to redline and beyond for maximum performance, the company boasts.

Top speed is 155 mph, the company says, and the 0 to 60 pace is 4.9 seconds.

The C350 uses the same transmission but powers it with an electric motor paired with a 4-cylinder gas engine. That power plant makes 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor makes 80 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque.

The combined system makes 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. But when the car is in all-electric mode, the clutch disengages the gas motor from the drive train.

When fully engaged, the C350 can go from 0 to 60 in under six seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph.

The C350, like some other Mercedes models, also comes standard with "Pre-Entry Climate Control," which allows the operator to set a departure time and step into a vehicle that is cooled or heated to optimum temperature -- right down to the heated or cooled seats.

Twitter: @misterfleming

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