Mercedes B-class Electric Drive first appear: Benz goes soon after the BMW i3

Benz goes following the BMW i3

By: Greg Kable on 3/03/2014

The Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive has been a lengthy time coming. Its specifications have modified a number of occasions given that its unveiling at final year’;s New York auto show, but Mercedes-Benz says its B-class Electrical Drive is finalized and (practically) ready to head into showrooms.

U.S. dealers will get the new Mercedes EV in June. The car’;s construction is not as superior as that of the carbon-fiber BMW i3, but the Benz we drove has arguably much better finishing, with tauter panel match and increased-high quality detailing—and this was a prototype. The B-class seats 5 grownups, and its luggage capacity is a generous cubic feet.

This is the second Mercedes EV, following the Wise For2 Electrical Drive. The electric B-class is created on the same production line as gasoline, diesel and all-natural-gas B-lessons at M-B’;s Rastatt factory in Germany.

A Tesla-developed, front-mounted electric motor powers the automobile, whilst Benz builds the electronic-management method. The motor produces 174 hp—8 hp much more than the i3. The 251 lb-ft of torque helps make driving very a bit much more fun—there’;s sufficient poke to effortlessly spin the front wheels away from traffic lights. Mercedes claims a 6.9-second -62 mph time, so this is the quickest B-class you can get your hands on, even at 3,858 lbs. Leading pace is constrained to 100 mph, and range is 90 miles.

Energy delivery is linear, and the vehicle feels more than energetic enough for standard city driving. Steering wheel-mounted paddles alter brake-power recuperation in 3 modes from aggressive to mild to coast the latter disconnects the drivetrain for a free-wheeling impact.

Tesla’;s 28.-kWh lithium-ion battery provides juice to the electrical motor. It is mounted lower in the floor in between the front and rear seats. A stage in the cabin floor accommodates the battery but barely impedes on area. Charging time is 3 hrs, and the car also has a so-known as “up charge” function it offers the battery 15 % far more power for higher selection. Employing it is an easy procedure: Punch the center console-mounted button, plug in the auto and you’;re accomplished. Benz acknowledges the perform isn’;t greatest for long battery life and hopes clients use it sparingly.

Managing is tidy and predictable, thanks to the minimal-mounted motor and battery. It truly is no sports car, though—added fat and stiff, run-flat tires demand firmer springs and dampers, so the trip is a bit harsh.

Total, the electric B-class is simple to operate. It is sensible, and it has great good quality. Initial impressions are good. Benz has not announced pricing yet, but it is anticipated to compete squarely with the i3, so figure around $ 42,000.

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