The rumors were true – Mercedes is finally electrifying some models from its compact car range by installing a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the A-Class hatchback, A-Class Sedan, and the B-Class minivan. Carrying the “250e” suffix and “EQ Power” branding, the trio largely retains the design of the conventionally powered models, but obviously with an extra fuel cap on the other rear fender to charge the 15.6-kWh battery pack.
At the heart of the 250e models is the very same turbocharged four-cylinder 1.33-liter gasoline engine you’ll find in a regular A-Class or B-Class. It produces 158 horsepower (118 kilowatts) and 250 Newton-meters (184 pound-feet) of torque and works together with an electric motor rated at 101 hp (75 kW) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft). The PHEV system enables a combined output of 215 hp (160 kW) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) and is linked to an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The electrified punch helps the five-door hatch run to 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in 6.6 seconds, while its sedan counterpart needs an extra tenth of a second. Go for the B-Class and the time will increase to 6.8 seconds. As far as top speed is concerned, the hatch and the minivan max out at 146 mph (235 kph) compared to the slightly higher 149 mph (240 kph) velocity achieved by the sedan. In pure electric mode, all three top out at 87 mph (140 kph).
The battery pack weighs approximately 150 kilograms (331 pounds) and provides the A250e hatch with a zero-emissions range between 60 and 68 kilometers per WLTP or 74 to 76 km according to the NEDC regime. The sedan offers a slightly higher range, 61 to 69 km WLTP / 75 to 77 km NEDC. As for the people-mover, the B250e can do 56 to 67 km WLTP or 70 to 77 km NEDC before running out of battery juice.
Mercedes wishes to point out the extra hardware has only “slight limitations on the trunk volume” thanks to clever packaging. One example is the exhaust system, which rather than extending to the end of the car, it ends in a centrally mounted outlet underneath the floor and has the rear silencer positioned within the transmission tunnel. In addition, the gasoline fuel tank is built into the axle installation space, therefore making room for the battery pack under the rear seats.
The German automaker is already taking orders for the electrified A-Class models and will open the order books for the B250e in the weeks to come. More than 20 EQ Power-branded vehicles will be available beginning with 2020.