Mercedes-Benz has given us a view of the new plug-in electric version of the second-generation B-class before it is officially launched later this month at the Paris Motor Show. The near-to-production-ready MPV was built with the cooperation of Tesla. It presages the B-class Electric Drive that will be offered in certain markets starting in early 2014.
This model is part of Mercedes-Benz’s campaign for the Paris show to launch a barrage of zero emission models. This new car would probably be available with an extended monthly lease scheme comparable to what the Smart Electric Drive has. This electric motor is positioned in the space that’s frequently intended for the different four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines of the B-class.
The brushless unit has an output of 134bhp and 228lb ft torque. The motor’s electrical energy comes from a lithium ion battery pack of a still-undetermined capacity located low on the floor of the front-wheel drive B-class’s platform before the rear axle.
The automaker is calling this set-up as the Energy Space. The batteries offer a 200-km range overall on a full charge.
Charging is done either by using a plug-in or via recuperative means while on the run. At the Paris motor show, the B-class Electric Drive will debut together with the definitive production version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive and new Smart Brabus Electric Drive.
The latest Mercedes-Benz B-Class is in the frontline of its present market segment for its excellent cd = 0.26 drag coefficient.
Apart from its aerodynamic exterior design, quite a number of optimization measures in points of detail including the air flow all over the front wheels, cooling air flow and the underbody design also play an important role to its excellent aerodynamic performance. It is fitted with the serrated wheel arch spoiler, which is among the features that still have pending patents.
This new version is on the same level as the world-class aerodynamic qualifications similar to the E-Class Coupé with its optional ECO Technology package which will be made available in due course, attaining as well a cd of 0.24 drag coefficient -- not sensational for a rear end station wagon vehicle.
New concept: lower overall height but more space inside
The latest Mercedes-Benz B-Class’ dynamic aspirations are underscored by the new concept of the vehicle with its height reduced at 1557 millimeters which is the main striking aspect of the new model, making it crouch around five centimeters lower than its predecessor on the road. To facilitate boarding and at the same time maintain a clear outline of the contours of the vehicle, the height of the seat is also reduced by 86 mm.
The headroom and sitting positions have been improved to be more upright in response to the requests of numerous customers. In its segment, the B-Class is one of the most spacious cars with its 1047 mm maximum headroom at the front excluding the sliding roof. The improved upright sitting position is ergonomically expedient together with the vehicle floor lowering at the back which leads to a 976 mm degree of legroom making the latest version the most spacious in its segment, surpassing even the E- and S-Class.