The EQ wave now also covers the compact Mercedes models. Even before EQ A and EQ B arrive as pure electric cars, the Swabians are launching a plug-in hybrid for the MFA family in autumn. At the first ride, the A-Class looks pretty good.
Every time Andreas Soens drives past one of the fine dust measuring stations in Stuttgart, a smile is put on his lips. Yes, even Mercedes has a - well, somewhat problematic diesel history and also in the Swabians the sales suffers from the crisis of confidence of the diesel. But Soens has a good laugh. After all, he works on developing the compact models on the so-called MFA platform, where he advances electrification. In any case, his prototype does not provide for thick air in the boiler, but drives as quietly as it emits emissions; at least most of the time.
Soens is behind the wheel of an A-Class with plug-in hybrid, which will celebrate its premiere at the IAA in September together with the A-Class sedan and the B-Class and will be available later this year. Thus, the electric offensive proclaimed by the new Daimler boss Ola Källenius reaches for the first time also the compact class of the Swabians and will sooner or later almost completely penetrate them. For CLA and GLA are also intended for temporary battery operation, only the GLB has no space for the batteries because of the third row of seats.
Unlike some compact competitors, the package for the MFA models is designed to take all current funding hurdles and have key data suitable for everyday use. Thus, the 15 kWh battery is sufficient under almost all circumstances for more than 60 kilometers, promises Soens. The 75 kW / 102 PS strong Stromer, which is integrated in a double clutch with now eight gears, creates at least 140 km / h and the acceleration should be at the level of an A 250, suggests Soens.
Although Mercedes already has plenty of experience with plug-in models in the large series. But that it took a little time in the compact class, not least due to the limited space, which have not just made the installation of a powerful electric drive easy. Especially not if neither the inside nor the trunk should be cut. That's why the batteries are now stuck where the tank used to be: under the backseat. The gasoline spills in a reduced reservoir from 45 to 35 liters and the rear axle and the charging and power electronics have housed Soens and his colleagues in the spare wheel well. "Up to a few liters, the trunk volume has actually been preserved," says Soens, while he drives the first-best charging station. He has selected thanks to MBUX on the sat nav and also unlocked via the Mercedes software, the tedious game with various cards and payment systems, he can save himself in this way. The battery is charged there with up to 22 kW, so that the A-Class in the best case after less than half an hour is full again.
Anyone who rolls through Stuttgart's city traffic with their cars will experience the plug-in drive as mature and inconspicuous in the best sense of the word. This is not least because the electronics rarely have to change between the drive types. At least when you're in comfort mode, the Distronic gently keeps the distance and with navigation and radar data even finds the balance between braking and recuperation, then the A-class drives most of the time through the city and the burner only turns on Kickdown too. However, in view of 300 Nm from the e-machine and an electrical top speed of 140 km / h rarely needed, so that one is almost surprised at the end of the city drive, when suddenly suddenly the needle in the rev counter twitches on the highway ,
In addition to the comfort mode, there is still a decidedly sporty set-up and three driving profiles, which has newly programmed soens for the hybrids: one for the pure electric mode, one that activates the electric drive only in the city and one, the battery status a defined level, so that, for example, the last few kilometers in their own housing estate also has electricity for a whisper in the garage.
As proudly as Soens rolls through Stuttgart with his prototype, which is only slightly camouflaged, and confidently he parks the A-Class next to the Tesla on the fast-loaders, no one knows better than he that the compact part-time streamers will enjoy only short star glory. While the development of the plug-in hybrids is currently on the home stretch, Soens works in the background already on EQA and EQB, which will steal the short-range Stromer as a pure battery cars soon show.
Benjamin Bessinger / SP-X