The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive just made its world debut at the New York International Auto Show. It’s an ohm-inous reveal, especially for died-in-the-mohair enthusiasts who will no doubt find the car re-volt-ing and have amp-le things to complain about.
Terrible puns aside, this battery-operated hatchback is hauled around by an electric motor that delivers “more than” 134 horsepower with 228 lb-ft of torque, a figure Mercedes points out is similar to what a 3.0-liter gasoline engine can muster. Top speed is limited to 100 miles an hour.
The vehicle’s electrics are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack mounded under the floor, a location that saves space and allows this amped-up B-Class to retain the same roomy cabin as its conventionally powered brethren. Depending on driving conditions the electric model should offer motorists a range of 200 kilometers, about 115 miles.
According to the press release the car will offer drivers “brisk acceleration” and “near perfect silence.” We believe the latter quote, but apparently Mercedes’ definition of “brisk” differs from AutoGuide’s. The B-Class Electric Drive should be able to scamper from a standstill to a mile a minute in “less than 10 seconds.” If that’s brisk then the SLK55 AMG’s performance must be warp drive. It accomplishes the same feat in 4.5 seconds.
Like probably every other hybrid and EV on the market today, the car features regenerative braking, which helps juice the battery while slowing down. Speaking of that lithium-ion pack, it can go from nothing to 60 miles of range in less than two hours using a 240-volt charger.
In addition, the B-Class Electric Drive is digitally networked, meaning owners can connect with their vehicle via the internet. This allows them to check the battery’s state of charge, the car’s range or preset the climate control system, among other things.
The 2014 B-Class Electric Drive is the first pure-electric car from Mercedes-Benz. It launches in the U.S. early in 2014.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive Live Shots
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive
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