19.8.2019Mercedes reveals PHEV versions of A-Class and B-Class
Mercedes Benz has announced that its EQ Power plug-in hybrid powertrain will be added to the A-Class and B-Class ranges. The A 250 e badge will be fitted to both A-Class hatch and saloon, and the B 250 e gets the same set-up in the B-Class.
Electric-only driving ranges of between 35 - 43 miles (WLTP) on a single charge are possible from the three new models. All use a 75 kW electric motor powered by a 15.6 kWh battery combine with a 160 hp 1.3-litre petrol engine. Total output is 218 hp (160 kW) and 450 Nm of torque, put through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds possible for the A 250 e.
Fuel economy is quoted at between 176.6 - 201.8 MPG on the WLTP combined cycle, with CO2 emissions between 32 and 34 g/km depending on model. Electrical consumption is rated from 14.7 kWh /100km on the B-Class and A-Class saloon, and 14.8 kWh/100km on the A 250 e hatch. Judging on past performance from EVs and PHEVs, the WLTP driving range should be reasonably attainable in real-world driving, something that can't be said of NEDC figures.
Charging can be carried out at up to 7.4 kW AC via a Type 2 inlet, bringing charging times down to around 1 hour 45 minutes for a 10-100% charge. In other countries, DC charging is possible via a CCS inlet, available as an option, bringing the time down to around 25 minutes for a 10-80% charge. However, this option will not be available on UK-spec models.
Mercedes has designed some clever packaging to fit the electric powertrain into the A- and B-Class architecture. Both models are mode compact than the previous smallest EQ Power model from Mercedes, the C-Class. As such, the exhaust now ends in a centrally-positioned outlet under the vehicle's floor, rather than the rear of the car, with the silenced installed in the transmission tunnel.
This frees up space at the rear to fit the fuel tank into the axle integration space, allowing the battery to be installed beneath the rear seats. As such, there is only a small drop in load space compared to a non-PHEV model.
All models make use of Mercedes Benz's third-generation PHEV technology, which includes predictive electric use over a planned route, and selectable brake energy recuperation levels. Using the steering wheel paddles, drivers can pick D Auto, D+, D, D-, and D--, Comfort, Eco, and Sport driving modes available, and pre-conditioning via smart-phone is possible.
Charge points can be found using the MBUX infotainment system, which allows for natural voice commands, such as 'Hey Mercedes, find charging stations nearby'. Mercedes me Charge allows access to points from more than 300 networks across Europe.
The new A- and B-Class EQ Power models join the C-, E-, and S-Class models in the line-up, with the new EQ Power GLC being readied for production. A GLE EQ Power model with a range of 62 miles on a charge is being developed, and the company is looking to have more than 20 EQ Power variants by 2020. Mercedes Benz will also continue to expand its EQ pure-electric line-up, which currently features the EQC.
UK launch and pricing is yet to be confirmed.