Mercedes reveals B-class facelift
Mercedes-Benz has revealed a facelifted B-class. It will make its public debut at the upcoming Paris motor show.
Set for international deliveries early next year, the refreshed B-class receives a range of mild exterior styling changes, high-quality interior appointments and more efficient engines, including a revised version of the Renault-supplied 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel unit that provides the B180 CDI Blue Efficiency with increased efficiency and reduced emissions in standard six-speed manual guise.
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The highlight of the facelifted line-up is the B-class Electric Drive, a car developed and engineered by Mercedes-Benz in close co-operation with EV manufacturer, Tesla. Powered by an electric motor developing 177bhp and 34.7kgm of torque, Merc's first true production electric car is claimed to provide 0-100kph acceleration in 7.9sec and a top speed limited to 161kph. The B-class Electric Drive uses a 16.6kWh lithium ion battery.
It will rival the BMW i3 and recently introduced Volkswagen eGolf when it goes on sale in international markets.
All up, the battery and its ancillaries add some 200kg to the kerb weight, taking it up to 1650kg. In comparison, the i3 tips the scales at 1195kg while the e-Golf is claimed to weigh 1510kg.
Among the stylistic changes brought to the B-class is a new front bumper with larger air ducts for more efficient cooling, a revised grille and daytime-running lights integrated into the headlamps assembly rather than lower down on the bumper as before.
Mercedes-Benz's design team has also tidied up the rear with altered tail lamps graphics and a deeper bumper that houses trapezoidal shaped tail pipes, as seen on the German car maker's more expensive models.
Inside, the new B-class receives updated appointments, equipment and safety equipment, including a new standard 8-inch monitor, optional keyless entry and a revised attention assist system that now monitors driver fatigue within an extended speed range from 60 to 200kph and uses a five-stage display.
The B-class will continue to be sold exclusively with four-cylinder engines. On the petrol side they range from a 120bhp 1.6-litre on the B180 through to a 208bhp 2.0-litre with the B250. The diesel line-up starts with an 89bhp 1.6-litre on the B160 CDI and progresses through to a 175bhp 2.2-litre in the B220 CDI. Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual or optional seven speed dual clutch unit.
In a further development, a total of four facelifted B-class models - the 181bhp 2.0-litre B220, 208bhp 2.0-litre B250, 134bhp B200 CDI and 174bhp B220 CDI - will be sold internationally, with optional 4Matic four-wheel drive.
Expect the facelifted B-class to come to Indian markets sometime in 2015.