Mercedes is working on a plug-in hybrid model of the upcoming A-Class hatchback. A camouflaged test mule of the variant was spotted recently and it gives us a pretty good look of what’s in store. A prototype model shod from head-to-toe in orange was seen earlier but it was passed off as the standard model by most automotive magazines (untill now).
The A-Class’ cabin was revealed last month and its dashboard clearly hinted at a PHEV model. The car’s tachometer had a curved battery symbol, similar to ones seen on other Mercedes cars. The icon showed 36 km at 75% charge, which means that the car could potentially have an all-electric range of 50 km (31 miles).
|Electric system||40 Volt|
|Electric Range||31 miles (50 km)|
In terms of design, hardly anything differentiate the PHEV A-Class from its gasoline sibling. The bodywork and the colour of its brake calipers are all similar. However, the variant might be provided with an exclusive colour scheme on entering production.
What give its ways is its details. First and most striking of all is the yellow ‘hybrid stickers on the front and rear wind shields. It comes complimented by ‘high voltage’ and ‘highly flammable’ warnings. Similar stickers are provided on the rear seat as well. Secondly, if you look closely under the thick camouflage, you can see two fuel caps on its sides.
Interestingly, there seem to be no exhaust ports coming out from the rear. They are most likely short or concealed, and not hinting at an all-electric model, even though the manufacturer has something similar planned for the future.
Mercedes has not revealed which gas-guzzler will power the dirty part of the powertrain but it could be one of the smaller and more efficient ones.
We should see the 2018 Mercedes A-Class and its hybrid version at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March. Official release will only happen by 2nd half of 2018.