As BMW announced that the i3 will cost $41,350 in the United States, Mercedes-Benz is preparing to take on its German rival with the all-new 2014 B-Class Electric Drive. According to the official press release, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will cost $41,450. Based on the standard B-Class, the B-Class Electric Drive uses a Tesla drive system that generates 177 hp (132 kW) and a maximum torque of 251 lb-ft (340 Nm) of torque.
With these numbers, the B-Class Electric Drive accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 7.9 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 100 mph or 160 km/h. Power supply to the electric drive is delivered via a lithium-ion battery, located in the “Energy Space” in the underfloor of the vehicle.
Depending on the driving cycle, the battery offers a range of 85 miles or 137 km/h. For a range of 60 miles (96 km/h) can be charged at 240V in the United States in less than 2 hours, while a full recharge takes about 3.5 hours. The charge socket is located behind the conventional fuel door.
The BMW i3 delivers 170 hp (125 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. I3 sprints from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed limited at 93 mph or 150 km/h. The range is 80-100 miles (129-160 km). Still, as an option BMW offers a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine that delivers 34 hp and boosts the total range to 160-186 miles (257-300 km).
Regarding the design, the B-Class Electric Drive comes fitted with a special blue front grille and exterior mirrors for the model painted in white, while the version finished in blue offers silver front grille and exterior mirrors.
Inside, Mercedes-Benz offers as standard the 5.8 in (14.7 cm) color display, twin tuner and MP3- Page 4 compatible CD player as well as USB port, Becker Map Pilot navigation system. As an option, COMAND multimedia system with internet access, navigation and LINGUATRONIC voice control, are available.
Sportiness along with visually appealing attractiveness, the B-Class Electric Drive is further evidence of the confident and vivid Mercedes styling, with strong, taut lines and stylish aspects. The front and back both determine the theme for the car's breadth, which is formed from the broad, pronounced grille and headlamps reaching into the vehicle’s sides, along with the broad window in the back, two-pieced rear light cluster, and the ample tailgate with lowered boot sill. The sill panels on the sides and attractive bumpers with bar-like LED daytime driving lights radiate vitality. The charging socket is inconspicuous in its location in the back of the charging flap.
Athletic interior with quality touches
The cabin emphasises the elevated standards for comfort in a Mercedes-Benz. Premium materials and superbly structured shapes, first-rate touches, and concise finishes all underline the point that electric vehicles are achievable now at the highest level according to the Mercedes-Benz ideals.
The centre trio of ample, rounded air vents with their distinct design of cross-formed nozzles are features that add to the interior’s emotive design motif. The display over the air vents is for the telematics system, and it appears to be floating above, which is an attractive, contemporary facet of the cockpit.
For the systems managing information and communications, the electric B-Class provides standards of ease and practicality normally found within vehicles at a higher class. Onboard, standard features include the Audio 20 with a 14.7 cm colour display, a dual tuner, an MP3-CD player, and a USB port. The Becker MAP PILOT fulfils the navigation functions. The multimedia COMAND Online system with internet access, navigation, and LINGUATRONIC voice control is available as an option.