Mercedes plug-ins have taken a massive leap forward.
Mercedes-Benz is going full steam ahead with fully electric cars like the 2020 EQC and concept vehicles like the EQ Concept. But the German brand isn't ready to give up on internal combustion and will also use the 'EQ' name on plug-in hybrid models, which marry the best of both worlds with gasoline and electric drivetrains.
At this week's 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes is revealing the 2020 GLC 350e 4MATIC EQ Power, the first model to use the company's third-generation plug-in hybrid system. It's a long-winded name for an important entrant into the GLC range. The plug-in hybrid variant will sit between the four-cylinder GLC 300 4MATIC and the V6-powered GLC 43 AMG, which are priced at $44,500 and $59,500 respectively. Pricing for the 350e EQ Power has not been revealed but it is expected to arrive at US dealers mid-2020, whereas all other 2020 GLC trims will arrive in late-2019. (Photos show GLC 300)
The 2020 GLC features a slew of updates including an increase in power for the 300 and AMG 43 models, a new steering wheel, infotainment system, safety features, and styling changes. The outgoing 2019 GLC 350e was powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor producing a total of 315 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. As with the other GLC trims for 2020, the new 350e EQ Power also sees a significant jump in performance and range.
It still uses a 2.0-liter engine producing 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque on its own but the electric motor is now rated at 121 hp and 321 lb-ft, combining with the engine to produce a total of 315 hp and 516 lb-ft now going out through a nine-speed automatic transmission replacing the seven-speed unit. Mercedes says this new drivetrain will launch the GLC up to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds and the batteries will recharge from 10% to 100% in around 7.5 hours on a Level 1 charger or 10% to 80% in around 2.25 hours on a Level 2 charger.
The NEDC-rated electric range is estimated at around 28-30 miles but EPA ratings have yet to be determined. Since the outgoing GLC 350e could only travel around 10 miles on electric power alone, this new version will be a massive improvement. Mercedes says the new GLC was designed with battery integration in mind, meaning cargo space is only slightly lower than non-hybrid models. By the end up 2019, Mercedes will offer more than ten plug-in hybrids globally ranging from the compact segment all the way up to the S-Class.