It’s understandable if the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept grabbed all the attention from the Mercedes booth at the 2012 Paris Motor Show all by itself. An electric supercar with 740 horsepower on tap?
Yeah, that’s insane.
But it’s also important to remember that the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept isn’t the only car Mercedes brought to Paris because they also brought the B-Class Electric Drive Concept.
Now that we know how serious Mercedes is when it comes to emission-free electric vehicles, it’s worth pointing out that the German automaker has taken the steps to ensure that they’re ready to build series production vehicles that demonstrate high everyday practicality.
“In developing our electric vehicles we accord top priority to customer benefits,” says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
“Accordingly, the Concept B-Class Electric Drive demonstrates premium-standard electric mobility for all the family. The concept vehicle offers outstanding everyday practicality and great driving enjoyment.”
Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Concept.
Make no mistake, the B-Class Electric Drive Concept is nowhere near as awesome as its SLS AMG counterpart. On the flip side, it’s nowhere near as expensive either, so yeah, that balances everything out.
Aesthetically though, we see a lot of noteworthy qualities about the B-Class EDC. The front bumper, for one, looks far more pronounced and appealing to the eyes than what we’ve come accustomed to from the B-Class. Likewise, the addition of new side skirts creates a visual eye of flowing lines that are both inconspicuous and elegant and that flow into both the front bumper and the newly redesigned rear bumper.
The subtleties of the B-Class Electric Drive Concept is also pretty impressive, particularly the way Mercedes managed to keep the car’s charging unit from becoming a visual eyesore when it’s out on the road. Installing it just behind the filler cap not only keeps the car’s body smooth and clean, but when treated to the eye-catching reflecting blue chrome finish on the body, the whole package just looks clean...in a spellbinding, attractive fashion.
The B-Class Electric Drive Concept also comes with an interior that generously blends functionality with the high-end plush design that Mercedes has been known for.
The use of Soft Nappa inside the vehicle is immediately noticeable as it is present throughout the interior. The steering wheel, seats, door center panels, armrests, and the dashboard, which is bordered with decorative turquoise blue stitching, has been dressed in Soft Nappa. Offering a nice contrast to that is the passenger compartment, which has been decked in a black, white, and crystal grey finish. Meanwhile, the perforated seat center panels and armrests retain Mercedes’ sporty and aggressive character while adding more visual treats in the form of fine piping in black, white, and turquoise provides a border for the light seat surfaces.
If you’re really proud of the car you’re driving, as we’re sure you are if you own it, you probably won’t mind the embroidered Electric Drive logo on the head restraints.
The instrument panel just in front of the driver also offers everything you’re going to need to know how the car is performing. In particular, the round dial on the right has the power display, which tells you how much power is being used - the dial rises - and when its feeding recuperative energy back into the battery - it drops below the zero line.
Pretty handy information if you’re driving a car like this.
Just like with the set-up of the SLS AMG Electric Drive Concept, it’s B-Class counterpart is powered by an "Electric Drive" electric motor, netting a tidy output of 100 kW (134 HP) to of with a maximum torque of 310 Newton meters (228 lb-ft). It doesn’t come close to the SLS AMG’s capabilities, but for its standards, there’s a mighty powerful acceleration ready to be unleashed for this model. The 0-62 mph sprint only takes less than 10 seconds, and the top speed is set at 93 mph. Even better, the capacity of the highly efficient lithium-ion battery ensures a range of 200 local emission-free kilometers, making for a car that can pretty much go short or long distances without hurting Mother Nature’s feelings.
The car’s battery can also be recharged at any standard 230 V power outlet with a rapid charging function that allows charging to be done in just under an hour. When you’re on the move with the B-Class Electric Drive Concept, the electric drive itself can transform kinetic energy into electric current in deceleration mode and during braking and feeding this energy into the battery’s recuperation.
| Output || 100 kW (134 HP) |
| Torque || 310 Nm (228 lb-ft) |
| Range || 200 km (124 miles) |
| Charging time for range of 100 km (62 miles) || Under an hour at 400 V |
| Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) || Under 10 seconds |
| Top speed || 150 km/h (92 mph), electronically limited |
No word yet on pricing, but we’ll be sure to update you when Mercedes has the figures that will cause your wallets to shiver.
Remember when Audi had grand plans for the A1 E-Tron and the A2? High production costs ultimately derailed plans for production for those cars, which means this battle could potentially be won by which concept hits production first. This one, or the BMW Concept Active Tourer.
Powertrain set-up is good news to eco friendly folks
Can they keep that chrome blue body?
No nonsense ride
Styling could have been improved to accommodate language from the Styling Coupe Concept
No concrete production plans