That’s right, Mercedes-Benz has made their most accessible model, the A-Class, available as a hybrid in both hatchback and saloon form, meaning it is now more affordable to own a Mercedes than ever before. The A-Class is already extremely popular in the UK but it looks like the ongoing success is going to continue with the new A250e and A250e Sal models. ‘Sal’ is short for 'saloon'.
So, what is it all about?
The A250e models will use a 1.3-litre turbocharged engine, the same one you’ll find in a petrol-powered A200, and combines it with an electric motor offering a further 100 bhp. The electric motor will be able to offer roughly 40 miles of emission-free electric-only range and it brings the CO2 output of the A250e models down to just 33g/km of CO2, which immediately makes this an appealing option for company car buyers.
The battery pack is stored beneath the rear row of seats and weighs 150 kilograms, which means the exhaust system has been heavily revised to make sure that the boot-space remains mostly intact.
The performance figures for the A250e look particularly attractive. Mercedes have promised a 0-60 mph time of just 6.6 seconds, which is considerably faster than the A200 model, and a top speed of 146 mph. Perhaps the most relevant performance figure, though, is the electric-only top-speed of 87 mph, so even if your daily commute involves a short motorway drive, you will still be able to accomplish this without sipping on any fossil fuels.
In terms of charging, the 15.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be charged using a wall box in just under 2 hours which isn’t bad at all for a plug-in hybrid, but a rapid connector will reduce that time down to just 25 minutes. The new A-Class hybrid will also come with Mercedes’ ‘MBUX’ infotainment system which can locate the nearest charging stations to you and also plan your route via charge points, so you’ll never need to panic about ‘range anxiety’ and you can ensure that wherever you are going you will be able to get there in the most efficient manner.
Mercedes plan to have more than 10 plug-in hybrid models within their model lineup by the end of 2019, with this figure doubling to twenty by the end of 2020, which shows the manufacturers insistence on creating a more sustainable and affordable experience for their buyers.
The A250e will start from £32,500 for the hatchback model when it goes on sale after being unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, and deliveries are expected to begin at the start of 2020. If the hatchback or saloon models are taking your fancy, then watch this space to ensure you are one of the first to drive these models out on the roads.