Replacing both the Viano minivan and the ill-fated R-Class crossover, the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class went on sale in 2014. Unlike its predecessors, the model is powered exclusively by a range of four-cylinder diesel engines, but Mercedes is expected to add other drivelines in the near future. One of those could be a gasoline plug-in hybrid, albeit Mercedes-Benz is still studying the interest for such a model.

Based on the production V-Class, the Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E offers a take on a future plug-in hybrid version for the luxury MPV, blending increased performance with much-improved fuel economy. The concept is powered by an improved version of the plug-in hybrid system used on the C350e, offering the highest output of any V-Class and the option of all-electric driving.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept V‑ision E.

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    333
  • Torque @ RPM:
    442
  • 0-60 time:
    6.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    75000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619764

Mercedes-Benz didn’t go too far in differentiating the Concept V-ision E from the regular V-Class, but there a number of revamped exterior elements. The front fascia received an A-shaped bumper that is not unlike one from an AMG model, while each side intake features two horizontal silver bars for a slightly classier look. Going over to the side, the Concept V-ision E meets the eye with sportier side skirts and 20-inch, multi-spoke wheels with a high-sheen finish.

The rear end gets a sportier bumper and a subtle spoiler on top of the hatch, while the right taillight is now accompanied by a small lid for the exterior electric charging socket. Even though the model is painted in a gorgeous designo titanium alubeam, the overall look is of a well-equipped road-going model, which in many ways it actually is.

Interior

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E Interior
- image 619772

A fully equipped production V-Class already has a business class-like interior, but the concept V-ision E takes it up a notch. Virtually the entire roof of the model is a panoramic sliding roof with Magic Sky Control, which can block the exterior light at the touch of a button, while the cabin atmosphere is that of a modern penthouse. The two power executive seats in the rear can recline 49 degrees, and have three-stage heating and ventilation and massage.

A large center console is equipped with several cup holders that can either heat or cool, a stowage compartment, USB ports, an SD card slot, a 5-liter cooler and two 220V and 12V electric sockets. Almost every touchable surface, including two tables, are engulfed in white nappa leather, while the floor is covered in wood veneer. The dashboard’s design is dominated by a large slab of aluminum, while virtually every button and knob is constructed from the same material. Most of the interior features of the Concept V-ision E are available in the production V-Class as options.

Drivetrain

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619768

This is were the Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E truly excels compared to your average V-Class, since the model is powered by a more powerful version of the plug-in hybrid system found in the C350e. The power comes from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill with an output of 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Working either individually or together with the engine is an electric motor with 121 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque.

Oddly enough, the combined power output is 333 horsepower (instead of the expected sum of 331 horsepower) and only 443 pound-feet of torque (instead of 509 pound-feet of torque). Mercedes-Benz doesn’t specify what type of gearbox transmits the power to the rear wheels, but I suspect that a version of the seven-speed automatic transmission is involved.

The electric motor gets its juice from a 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, which gives the concept an all-electric range of 31 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph. The combined fuel economy is a satisfying 78.4 mpg, while the naught to 62 mph acceleration takes place in just 6.1 seconds, making the Concept V-ision E faster and more frugal than any production V-Class.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type four-cylinder gasoline engine
Output 210 HP
Maximum torque 258 LB-FT
Electric output 90 kW (121 HP)
Electric torque 250 LB-FT
Combined output 333 HP
Combined torque 443 LB-FT
0–100 km/h (62 MPH) 6.1 seconds

Prices

With the most expensive version of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class currently starting at a little over 51,000 EUR in Germany (approximately $56,500 as of 4/3/2015), a production plug-in hybrid model shouldn’t cost more than the equivalent of $60,000, despite being the new top of the range model.

Competition

Volkswagen Transporter Multivan

2003 - 2008 Volkswagen Transporter Exterior
- image 462755
Volkswagen Transporter

The Volkswagen Multivan is the only direct rival for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, despite the fact that the Vee-Dub is older and oddly a bit more expensive than the Merc. The fifth generation of the model received a mid-cycle facelift in 2009, which brought a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, improved comfort and safety features and a slightly redesigned exterior.

Unlike the V-Class, which can be either RWD or all-wheel-drive, the transverse-engined Transporter comes with either FWD or all-wheel-drive, with power coming from a range of four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines. In a similar fashion to the V-Class, the Volkswagen van has various lengths available, and a multitude of interior configurations.

Conclusion

With the Mercedes-Benz V-Class only sporting three different versions of the same, 2.1-liter turbo-diesel engine with either one or two turbochargers, a more powerful gasoline powerplant would be a pretty nice addition to the lineup. Considering that you would also be able to drive it in all-electric mode and the combined fuel economy would be (in theory) better than the diesel versions, what would there be not to like? Mercedes-Benz has already announced that virtually its entire model lineup will be have plug-in hybrid versions, and the only major downside I see is obviously its high price. Other than that, you get the best of both worlds.

  • Leave it
    • * Not yet in production
    • * Not exactly a bargain

Press Release

At the Geneva International Motor Show the Concept V‑ision e from Mercedes-Benz presents a preview of the great variety of development potential offered by the V-Class. The concept vehicle combines environmentally friendly performance with the lightness of modern luxury. The most advanced PLUG-IN HYBRID technology available ensures extremely powerful propulsion in the model, as the highly efficient drive-system duo consisting of a gasoline engine and an electric motor delivers total system output of 245 kW (333 hp) and system torque of up to 600 Nm. This guarantees sporty driving performance, even as rated fuel consumption amounts to less than 3.0 liters per 100 km. The vehicle can travel up to 50 km in the all-electric mode, making short daily trips a locally emission-free delight.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619765

The interior of the Concept V‑ision e offers a unique feeling of comfort in a modern loft-like atmosphere. The biggest panoramic sliding roof in the mid-size-van segment floods the spacious interior with light. In combination with bright white appointments and a brown real-wood floor, this creates a previously unattained feeling of expansiveness, freedom, and lightness. Additional possibilities for personalizing the V‑Class are offered by numerous new comfort features, such as rear executive seats with calf support, a massage function, and footrests, as well as a large center console with thermal cup holders and a five-liter cooler.
“The Concept V‑ision e demonstrates the potential the Mercedes among MPVs will offer in the future when it comes to accommodating our customers’ wishes — and market demand — by offering greater exclusivity and more personalization options,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “Our pioneering Mercedes-Benz PLUG-IN HYBRID technology has enabled us to increase the output
of the most powerful V‑Class at the moment by 105 kW, even as we’ve lowered fuel consumption to the level of a compact. That’s what I call forward-looking performance enhancement.”

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619766

PLUG-IN HYBRID: Sporty performance at the highest level of efficiency
The Concept V‑ision e utilizes the same advanced drive system that ensures the extraordinary dynamic handling and efficiency in the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine has an output of 155 kW (210 hp) and develops a maximum torque of 350 Nm, while the electric motor delivers 90 kW and 340 Nm of torque. This results in a system output of 245 kW (333 hp) and a system torque of up to 600 Nm. The Concept V‑ision e sprints from 0–100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, which makes this hybrid even faster out of the box than the current V 250 BlueTEC top engine variant — and more than well equipped to overtake other vehicles quickly. The model’s top speed is 206 km/h. Its NEDC fuel consumption of 3.0 liters per 100 km corresponds to CO2 emissions of 71 g per km. The MPV concept can travel up to 50 km in the all-electric mode if driven at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. This means that short daily trips to work, for example, can be driven completely emission free, which offers a major environmental benefit in cities especially.
Energy for the electric motor is stored in a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 13.5 kWh. The high-voltage battery can be recharged using an external power source and thus makes a very effective contribution to the model’s low fuel consumption and emissions. The vehicle’s intelligent drive-system management program automatically selects the ideal combination of combustion engine and electric motor. The range of options here includes a nearly silent electrical start (silent start), use of the electric motor to support the gasoline engine during acceleration, for example (boost), and energy recovery (recuperation) during braking and when the vehicle is coasting.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619767

All recovered energy is stored in the battery and can later be used for electric driving or for the boost function. Drivers can also manage hybrid interaction manually, in which case they can choose from four different modes (Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save and Charge) that can be selected using a switch.
Sporty exterior and a modern, loft-like interior
The extraordinary handling and efficiency of the high-tech hybrid drive system is underscored by the exterior design of the Concept V‑ision e. The concept vehicle has a fascinating designo titanium alubeam paint and a sporty-aerodynamic styling. Sporty side skirts and bumpers, a rear spoiler and multi-spoke 20-inch wheels with a high-sheen polish give the V‑Class a distinctly athletic and agile look.
The interior of the Concept V‑ision e brings to mind the atmosphere of a modern loft — sun-drenched luxurious spaciousness. Virtually the entire roof of the vehicle is made of glass. The 1.92 x 1.12-m panoramic sliding sunroof is divided into two sections and lets in an extraordinary amount of light. Combined with the white nappa leather and white DINAMICA microfiber material that seem to float above the contrasting dark floor made of English walnut, the roof creates an incomparable feeling of expansiveness, freedom, and lightness.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E High Resolution Exterior
- image 619768

Executive seats, comfortable tables and a large center console
Along with the panoramic sliding sunroof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, the Concept V‑ision e also includes other new equipment features that make for even greater comfort and more varied personalization options for the V‑Class as a private or business vehicle — and for even more exclusive tastes as well.
The executive seats in the rear offer outstanding additional comfort, especially on longer journeys. As is the case in the S‑Class, these seats are ideal for either concentrated work or relaxation. The push of a button is all it takes to recline the seats into a lying position with an inclination of up to 49 degrees. With their integrated calf supports, separate footrests, and additional pillows, the seats offer the highest degree of sleeping comfort or relaxation when fully reclined. The executive seats are also equipped with a three-stage heating and ventilation system and a relaxing massage feature. Because the V‑Class interior is so spacious, the executive seats can be combined with standard individual seats or optional seat benches as well. They thus expand the wide variety of seating configuration options in the Mercedes-Benz MPV in a most exclusive way.
The Concept V‑ision e provides a comfortable working environment with two foldable convenient tables and two iPad holders integrated into the driver and front-passenger seat backrests. Each of the tables is 35 x 35 cm, which offers sufficient space for documents. The table surfaces are covered in white nappa leather. The iPad holder can be tilted and rotated 90 degrees and is equipped with an integrated charging interface and two USB charging ports. Another new feature that benefits both the rear passengers and the driver and front passenger is the large center console. It offers several cup holders, a large stowage compartment, USB ports, an SD card slot, a five-liter cooler as well as a 220-V and a 12-V socket.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E Interior
- image 619769

Concept V‑ision e: The V‑Class is becoming even more personalized
From its sporty exterior design to its exclusive comfort features and environmentally friendly PLUG-IN HYBRID drive system — the Concept V‑ision e makes it clear that the Mercedes among MPVs offers enormous potential in terms of the versatility required to meet varied customer requirements and wishes. Regardless of whether it’s used as a private vehicle by families and people who participate in a lot of leisure activities, or as a luxury business sedan, the V‑Class will offer even more personalization options in the future. The Concept V‑ision e thus underscores the V‑Class claim of being the ideal vehicle for anyone interested in a spacious model with its very own style — and one that offers the highest degree of comfort and an ultra-modern drive system to power it.
Expansion of the V-Class product range by new body lengths and all-wheel drive models
Since its market launch at the end of May 2014 the V-Class has been performing extremely well. In the second half of 2014 Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved sales growth of almost 20 percent for the MPV compared with the same period last year. “Our V-Class is well received by our customers. In 2015 we will continue this course for growth with the introduction of further body lengths and all-wheel drive models as well as new features“, says Volker Mornhinweg.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Concept V-ision E Interior
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Already since January the V-Class is also available in the body lengths compact (4.895 mm length and 3.200 mm wheelbase) and extra long (5.370 mm length and 3.430 mm wheelbase with extended overhang). Moreover since March customers can not only order the top-motorization V 250 BlueTEC (140 kW/190 hp), but also the models V 200 CDI (100 kW/136 hp) and V 220 CDI (120 kW/163 hp) with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. The all-wheel drive system is available for all three body lengths. This leads to an expansion of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class product range to a total of 18 different versions this year. Beyond that a heating for the comfort individual seats in the rear will be available on demand from September on.

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