Mercedes sparks more life into A and B Class with plug-in hybrid models

Mercedes has unveiled a pair of plug-in hybrid versions of its popular A and B Class models.

Badged A250e and B250e respectively, the pair utilise the same 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine linked to a 75kW electric motor and 15.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Driven through an eight-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain develops 215bhp and 450Nm overall. It means that despite the compact engine, the A350e will go from 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds, topping out at 146mph. In terms of all-electric range, Mercedes claims that the A Class will cover between 37 and 42 miles before all of the charge is depleted.

The charging port is handily located

It also claims that the A350e will return up to 188.3mpg combined, with CO2 emissions between 33-34g/km.

A saloon version of the A Class hybrid will also be available, offering up slightly slower performance compared to the hatch – 0-60mph takes 6.5 seconds – though the pair share the same top speed. Economy is up, however, to 201.7mpg, though emissions worsen a touch to between 32-33g/km CO2.

The B Class is ever-so-slightly slower owing to its larger size, with 0-60mph taking 6.6 seconds. The all-electric range is reduced too, falling to between 35 and 42 miles. Economy-wise, the B Class should return a claimed 176.5mpg and emit between 32-36g/km CO2.

The B Class' practicality remains largely unblemished

Mercedes claims that the plug-in hybrids can be charged from 10 to 100 per cent in one hour and 45 minutes via a 7.4kW wallbox. Via a DC fast charger, the battery can be brought from 10 to 80 per cent in 25 minutes.

Prices for the A250e start at £32,500 for the hatchback and £33,100 for the saloon, while the B250e will commence at £33,700. Order books are expected to open in October, with first deliveries due to start early next year.

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