Mercedes-Benz is bringing its latest plug-in hybrid system to some of its smallest models. The same hybrid system recently released in the S Class is going to be offered in the A Class and B Class models, at least for European customers.
Dubbed the 250e hybrid system, the powertrain starts with a 1.3-liter inline-four that has an electric motor integrated in an eight-speed automatic. Combined system output is 227 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. All power is sent to the front wheels in both the A250e and B250e models.
Like most hybrids, the 250e models are able to recover energy via regenerative braking. This power is stored in a 15.6 kWh battery pack. The battery pack is stored under the cargo area in both models, but Mercedes’ engineers have ended the exhaust system in the center of the car, alleviating some additional space for the battery, thus minimizing cargo space loss.
Mercedes says the system is good for 40 miles of electric range, but that is on the European cycle, which tends to be higher than the U.S. EPA cycle. Thus far fuel economy statistics have not been disclosed.
The 250e system marks the company’s third-generation hybrid system and it leverages some different operating tactics. For example, the system is capable of leveraging navigation system data to optimize the car’s drive mode based on the route. It takes speed limits and other factors into consideration.
Aside from the fancy route-based mode, Mercedes will have traditional drive modes as well. The traditional modes include Electric mode and Battery Level mode.
For now Mercedes has only confirmed the A250e and B250e models for the European market. At least the A250e is expected to ultimately arrive in the U.S., though the timing is not yet known. Mercedes is planning to rollout 20 plug-in vehicles by the end of next year.