It’s always great when a widespread speculation becomes the truth. Our reliable sources have found out that the German car manufacturer currently works on an interesting SUV. The luxurious high-riding vehicle won’t be entirely new, but this isn’t our focus this time. No, we are looking under the hood, because the carmaker works on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC350 plug-in hybrid.
The current Mercedes-Benz GLC features just one engine. It’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is producing 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The mill provides enough power and it’s not too thirsty either, but they want to introduce something more. The V6 option is out of the question this time. Instead, the carmaker will offer a more powerful model with a hybrid drivetrain. The setup will combine a 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor. Basically, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC350 plug-in hybrid features the same engine as the current non-hybrid model, but the unit delivers less power. It provides around 211 horsepower. The electric motor will add 85 kW, which is around 116 horsepower. Of course, the power will run all four wheels, but instead of today’s nine-speed auto gearbox, the plug-in model will use a seven-speed transmission.
An 8.7-kWh lithium-ion battery isn’t too big, but it still encroaches on the cargo space. It also enables a respectable all-electric driving range, which is speculated to be around 30 miles. On the other hand, a combined range could be around 330 miles. The latest rumors also suggest that the crossover should have a respectable fuel economy. Our insiders claim it will have around 90 MPGe, which would be a really impressive result.
The exterior styling of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC350 plug-in hybrid shouldn’t differ too much from the regular model, but it will feature some changes. The carmaker will likely refresh front and rear ends with several cosmetic tweaks. The new nose will feature a redesigned grille and new bumper. Well, more precisely, the grille will be borrowed from the GLC coupe, so it should make the crossover more handsome. In addition, they might refresh the headlights and taillights, as well as wheels. Inside, the luxurious SUV could get new upholstery and more premium features.
The plug-in hybrid should be introduced before the end of this year, most likely at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. However, it won’t become available before early 2018.