2014 Mercedes-Benz B Class Electric Drive Live Photos
That lineup is expected to increase over the next few years, reports Automotive News.
Mercedes will expand its roster of front-wheel drive models when a new platform, announced by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, debuts in 2018.
This follows the launch of the CLA-Class recently introduced in the U.S. While the CLA takes Mercedes into previously unexplored territory in the U.S, the marque's next front-drive model will be even further from home--the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.
The company had already confirmed the model for the U.S, but the Electric Drive has kept a fairly low profile outside of auto show appearances. We now know it should hit the U.S. in Spring 2014, a revision from the previous estimates of "early" 2014.
Based on the gasoline and diesel B-Class models sold in Europe and elsewhere, the Electric Drive features a 100-kilowatt (134 horsepower) and 228 lb-ft electric motor, which Mercedes says should match the torque of a 3-liter gasoline engine.
A 0-60 mph sprint of "considerably less than 10 seconds" is on the cards, as is a limited top speed of 100 mph. Range should be around 115 miles.
What we're most intrigued about is what the B-Class may cost. Mercedes hasn't revealed any estimates, but with BMW's i3 electric car now priced at $42,275, competition has just become a little tougher for the B-Class.
The next front-drive Mercedes model will be the next-generation GLK crossover, debuting in September 2014. From 2018, a whole new front-drive platform will debut, with both a CLA-based convertible and a two-door roadster mooted.
The compact A-Class, on which the CLA sedan is based, is still not planned for U.S. sales.