Mercedes-Benz confirms range-extended EV coming to U.S. in 2013
Although there's still not much available in the way of specific details, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that part of its plans to bolster sales in America by adding new compact models to the lineup will include offering a super-efficient range-extended electric vehicle.
Although expected to share basic platform architecture with the automaker's recently-launched B-Class crossover/SUV, we were advised by one Mercedes source that the styling of this unique U.S. variant likely will have more in common with the striking Concept A Class that was simultaneously introduced last April at Auto Shanghai 2011 and the 2011 New York Auto Show.
No information was offered as to the powertrain that may be used in this upcoming range-extended EV - nor has its name been released. However, the upcoming B-Class E-Cell Plus plug-in model due for a 2014 launch in Europe will match a 136-horsepower electric motor fed directly from a lithium-ion battery pack with a 1.0-liter/67-horse turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine. The latter can serve as a real-time recharger plus provide supplemental power when necessary -- and any time vehicle speed exceeds 37 mph. Key performance stats for the B-Class E-Cell Plus Concept include a 62-mile per-charge range in pure EV mode, a maximum combined range of 373 miles, a 0-60 mph time of less than 11.0 seconds and a 93-mph top speed.