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Why the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Matters:
Mercedes-Benz sells small city cars in other parts of the world, models called the A-Class and the B-Class, each equipped with practical 5-door body styles. The fact that the B-Class is finally coming ashore in the United States, a country whose residents routinely dismiss hatchbacks as cheap little tin cans, is notable in and of itself. With the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes will find out if Americans are ready to accept smaller, more efficient models with premium price tags and three-pointed stars.
Now consider this model’s purely electric drivetrain, which launches in the U.S. before going on sale anywhere else in the world. If people buy the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, it helps pave the way for the electrification of future Mercedes-Benz models, all the way up to the SLS AMG sports car.
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What’s New for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive:
- First time Mercedes offers a B-Class in the U.S.
- 5-door, 5-passenger hatchback body style
- Electric drivetrain makes global debut
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New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Styling and Design
Imagine what might happen if a Mercedes R-Class spawned with a Toyota Matrix. Now paint it a color that could easily be called Jellybean Blue. That’s the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive that debuted at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Of course, because it is a Mercedes, it wears a prominent star emblem in its grille, and is tricked-out with LED running lights, big wheels and tires, and other details that reflect what is likely to be a lofty price.
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New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: What’s Under the Hood
The new B-Class Electric Drive is equipped with a 100-kW electric motor and a 28-kWh Lithium ion battery. Mercedes says the drivetrain produces 134 horsepower and 228 lb.-ft. of torque, accelerates to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, and can be recharged to 50% battery capacity in 2 hours when using a 240-volt power outlet.
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New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Features and Technology
According to Mercedes, the new B-Class Electric Drive will have instrumentation specific to an electric vehicle, a 5.8-inch touchscreen radio, a navigation system, and COMAND Online technology that allows the owner to remotely check vehicle charge status and pre-condition the climate control system prior to driving. A Collision Prevention Assist system with an adaptive braking system is standard, and the automaker plans to offer an Active Park System, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot Assist as options.
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New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: What Autobytel Thinks
Ford has found success with a vehicle similar to the B-Class Electric Drive. The Ford C-MAX combines a 5-door hatchback body style with upscale styling, equipment, and technology, and a choice between hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Ford’s electric vehicle, the Focus Electric, isn’t nearly as popular. Perhaps Mercedes might find that a plug-in powertrain solution is necessary to give consumers pure-electric driving when they want it, combined with limitless range when they need it.
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