Mercedes-Benz plans on selling the B-Class extended-range plug-in vehicle that it premiered last September at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in the U.S., Automotive News reports, citing an interview with Joachim Schmidt, head of the German automaker's sales and marketing division. A production version of the car will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April, PlugInCars reported separately.
The car, known as the B-Class E-Cell, is one of a handful of smaller models Mercedes-Benz will introduce to the U.S. during the next few years as it attempts to boost its domestic fleetwide fuel economy. Schmidt didn't say when the extended-range vehicle would debut in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz showed off a version of the B-Class E-Cell at Frankfurt last year that included an electric motor and battery that could drive the car as far as 62 miles on electric power alone, and a three-cylinder 1.0-liter gas engine that acts as an on-board generator and an additional power source at higher speeds. The company said the car's powertrain supplied 136 horsepower and gave the car a top speed of 93 miles per hour and a total range of 373 miles.
In addition to the B-Class E-Cell, Mercedes-Benz plans on debuting an A-Class hatchback and a compact SUV in the U.S. by next year, Automobile News said, citing Schmidt. Mercedes-Benz also makes a hydrogen fuel-cell electric version of the B-Class, which has been available for lease in limited numbers in Southern California and is slated for a 2014 model year debut.