Hybrid A250e joins the A-Class range in Australia

Mercedes adds EQ power to the entry level A-Class.

The popular Mercedes A-Class received a hybrid powertrain option earlier this year with the A250e, and a recent press release has detailed its arrival into Australia. Available in hatch and sedan configuration, Mercedes aims to popularise the model to play their part on the increasingly prominent road to zero-emissions driving.

Under the bonnet sits a small 118kW (158hp) 1.3L inline-4 for long road trips, but the main selling-point is the car’s 75kW (101hp) electric motor, which can last for up to 73 kilometres on full-electric mode from its 15.6 kWh battery.

When combined, 160kW (215hp) of power and a healthy 450Nm of torque is available to the driver, whilst averaging a fuel consumption of just 1.6L per 100 kilometres.

The inclusion of the electric powertrain necessitates a small reduction to boot space from the standard A-Class hatch and sedan (370L down to 310L and 410L down to 355L respectively), however some space is saved from modifying the exhaust system to fit tighter gaps, and the reduction of fuel-tank size down to just 35-litres. Although this sounds like a significant reduction, the car should still theoretically be able to cover over 2,000 kilometres a single tank of fuel.

For the first time in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the starter motor is omitted, having the engine sparked by the electric motor. This electric motor itself can be charged via a standard Type 2 AC plug which charges at a rate of up to 3.7 kW, and it can be further enhanced by a ‘Wallbox Home’ optional extra, which maximises charging speeds to up to 22kW on three-phase power.

For the first time ever, Mercedes-Benz buyers have the option to purchase a ‘DC Charging Package’, which includes a Type 2 CCS fast-charging plug. Under DC charge, the car is able to regain up to 70% charge in as little as 25 minutes.

The package also includes a better AC charging system, which delivers a rate of up to 7.4kW.

The second Mercedes A-Class to receive eight gears, the new A250e will transfer power to the front wheels through a dual clutch ‘8G-DCT Hybrid Transmission’. Mercedes states that this new gearbox is designed to ‘maximise the all-electric range’, whilst not compromising on driving dynamics.

The car features switchable drive modes; Comfort, ECO, and Sport, thus is able to retain a dynamic driving feel while managing to pick speed up at a reasonable pace – with 0-100km/h taking just 6.6 seconds for the hatch and 6.7 seconds for the slightly weightier sedan.

In full-electric mode, the inline-4 engine still activates if the accelerator is pressed passed the ‘kickdown’ point, and energy can be regenerated via braking and engine-braking with shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

MLRP starts at $63,400 AUD for the hatch and $66,000 AUD for the sedan.

AutoNews Australia

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