Mercedes-Benz has added EQ Power to its compact vehicle range with the introduction of the A 250 e hatchback and sedan.

The first Merc to have rapid DC charging, the new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has a range of up to 73 kilometres (ADR) in all-electric mode. Mercedes Australia says that city and urban motorists are likely to be largely emission-free motoring on a daily basis.

A 1.3-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine is there any time owners want to complete longer road trips.

Switching seamlessly between EV and ICE reduces total emissions to 1.6 litres per 100km (ADR combined cycle), with tailpipe emissions measured at 34 grams/km CO2.

The latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class was engineered from the start to accommodate a PHEV drivetrain. So the water-cooled lithium-ion, high voltage battery requires only a small reduction to overall boot space – which is a handy 310 litres (hatch) or 355 litres (sedan).

For the first time on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the combustion engine is started by the electric motor, the A 250 e does not have a separate 12-volt starter.

The A 250 e models are equipped with a standard Type 2 charging plug and are capable of delivering charge via AC power at a rate of up to 3.7 kW.

To maximise the speed of charging at home or work, customers can buy a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home ($1250 MRLP). This can be installed on regular single-phase power (by a qualified electrician) to deliver up to 7.4 kW, or up to 22 kW on three-phase power for further future-proofing.

Optionally, customers can purchase a DC Charging Package ($1490 MRLP), marking the first time this feature has been made available on a Mercedes-Benz PHEV passenger vehicle. This introduces fast DC charging at 24 kW via a Type 2 CCS plug. Using DC charging, it may be possible to charge from 10 per cent capacity to 80 per cent in as little as 25 minutes. In addition, the Charging Package upgrades the AC charging system to 7.4 kW.

The A 250 e hatch and sedan are sporty models and acceleration to 100km/h from rest takes 6.6 seconds for the A 250 e hatch, and 6.7 seconds for the sedan. Both A 25 e models have 18-inch Aero alloy wheels.

Drive programs ‘Electric’ and ‘Battery Level’ are available. Maximum e-performance can be experienced in Electric. When selected, the combustion engine is only engaged if the driver extends the accelerator beyond the ‘kickdown’ point. In the Electric program the braking recuperation strength can be selected via paddles behind the steering wheel.

The intuitive MBUX infotainment system with voice control and a fully digital widescreen cockpit, NTG6 navigation, ARTICO upholstery and smartphone integration including wireless charging.

A key comfort feature is pre-entry climate control before the vehicle is started, as the A 250 e has an electric refrigerant compressor. This can be controlled via the Mercedes me Connect suite of services from a connected smart phone, which also includes remote vehicle status monitoring.

Standard safety equipment includes Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, nine airbags, PRE-SAFE® accident anticipation system, and Adaptive High Beam Assist.

The new Mercedes-Benz A 250 e is priced at $63,400 (hatch) and $66,000 (sedan) plus on-road costs.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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