A plug-in game changer? Hybrid Mercedes hatchback confirmed for NZ
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Mercedes-Benz have revealed more new models this year than just about any other manufacturer, with a stack of new C-Class, A-Class, and SUV nameplates and trim-levels debuting in some way, shape or form this year.
And add two more to the list; the A 250e and B 250e plug-in hybrids.
Shown off for the first time earlier this week, each shares the same electrified powertrain. A 1.3-litre inline four-cylinder that makes 118kW of power and 250Nm of torque is combined with an electric motor hooked to a 15.6kWh battery that's said to be good for 75kW of power and 300Nm of torque.
Total output is rated as 160kW/450Nm, making the two compacts quite tantalizing prospects on paper.
In a curious first for the brand, Mercedes have engineered the powertrain in such a way that the electric motor is used to start the petrol engine.
Mercedes claims that the plug-in A-Class hatch and sedan models are good for a range of between 60-68km on a single charge according to the WLTP test cycle, while the larger B-Class can travel between 56-62km.
Fast-charging will get each model from 10 per cent charge to 80 per cent charge in approximately 25 minutes, while a 7.5kW wallbox will charge from 10 per cent to full in an hour and 45 minutes.
For those concerned with performance, the A 250e hatchback is said to be capable of the 0–100km/h sprint in just 6.6 seconds, with the sedan another two tenths behind. The sedan gets one back in the top-speed stakes, rated for 240km/h versus the hatchback and the B-Class' 235km/h.
The addition of electric functionality compliments what is one of Driven's favourite premium hatchbacks. The styling remains chic inside and out, with that excellent MBUX infotainment system gaining a couple of minor additions — including the ability to find nearest charging stations as well as additional menus for battery information.
And, there's good news for Kiwis keen on the new plug-in Mercedes models.
Driven contacted Mercedes-Benz New Zealand, who confirmed that — while we won't be getting the B 250e — they do plan on bringing the A 250e in both body shapes into the country.
The two models are expected to join the local line-up in the second quarter of 2020.