Mercedes GLA, CLA and A-Class are getting plug-in hybrid variants

Joel Stocksdale



The subcompact Mercedes-Benz lineup is thoroughly fleshed out nowadays with the A-Class sedan, CLA-Class, GLA-Class and GLB-Class in the U.S., and the A-Class hatch, CLA-Class Shooting Brake and B-Class in Europe. Mercedes even revealed its roughly 400-horsepower versions of those vehicles in the past couple of months. Now the German automaker is launching plug-in hybrid versions of the little luxury cars and crossovers.

The hybrid powertrain going into several of these mini Mercs is a turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four paired with 75-kW motor. Combined they make 215 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That's just shy of the 224 horsepower of the CLA 250's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, and a fair bit more torque than that car's 258 pound-feet of torque. Power goes solely to the front wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A nifty bit of trivia is that this engine does not feature a 12-volt starter, instead relying on the electric motor, which is a first for a production Mercedes.

As with many plug-in hybrids, the small Mercedes hybrids can drive in full electric mode as desired. They get a 15.6-kWh battery pack that, on the WLTP cycle, returns a range of 44 to 49 miles depending on the model. Top speed in electric mode is 87 mph, and the car can adjust the mix of electric and gas operation depending on the route for optimum efficiency.

All of the small Mercedes hybrids get the suffix of 250e, and will be available as A 250e in hatch and sedan shapes, B 250e, CLA 250e in wagon and sedan shapes, and GLA 250e. Mercedes hasn't announced hybrid versions for the U.S. If they did, expect the CLA, GLA and A-Class sedans to get it. One potential hurdle is that Mercedes hasn't certified this powertrain in any form for the U.S.

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