Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off its new A250e (offered in both hatchback and sedan body styles) and B250e plug-in hybrid variants, each boasting total system outputs of 160 kW and 450 N.m.

The electric element of this new powertrain for the A-Class and B-Class ranges contributes 75 kW, working alongside a turbocharged 1,33-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (yes, the unit used in the A200 and B200).

The Stuttgart-based firm says this “EQ Power” element delivers “impressive” performance, with the A250e hatch sprinting from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 6,6 seconds (the sedan takes one-tenth longer and the B250e a further tenth of a second). Top speed is 235 km/h, with the electric top speed pegged at 140 km/h. The electric operating range, meanwhile, is between 70 and 75 km.

The lithium-ion high-voltage battery – which is water-cooled and weighs around 150 kg – bears a total capacity of approximately 15,6 kWh and can be charged with alternating or direct current. A corresponding vehicle socket is located in the right-hand side wall of the vehicles.

Mercedes claims the A250e and B250e can be charged from 10 to 100 percent at a 7,4 kW wallbox with alternating current in one hour and 45 minutes. For direct-current charging, the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in “around” 25 minutes.

Interestingly, the petrol engine’s exhaust ends in a centrally positioned outlet under the vehicle floor (with the rear silencer housed in the transmission tunnel) rather than extending to the end of the vehicle. Integrating the fuel tank into the axle installation space, meanwhile, created room beneath the rear seats for the high-voltage battery. Mercedes-Benz says this resulted in a “minimal reduction in boot capacity” for both variants.

The new plug-in hybrid models each feature an "electric" drive mode, which means the combustion engine is only engaged if the driver uses the kickdown function on the accelerator. In this programme, the recuperation strength can also be selected via paddles behind the steering wheel.

Since the A250e and B250e both have an electric refrigerant compressor, Mercedes has also been able to add a pre-entry climate control feature (which can be set via smartphone).