Mercedes holds back UK launch of plug-in GLC
14 July 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The plug-in hybrid version of Mercedes' forthcoming GLC off-roader may not come to this country for another two years, the firm's company cars chief engineer has said.
The car is powered by the same 211hp 3.0-litre petrol engine that features in the plug-in hybrid S500 and C350e models, and in the BMW X3-rivalling GLC emits 60g/km of CO2. It can run for up to 21 miles on electric power alone.
"The plug-in hybrid will come to the UK, just at a different timescale to the rest of Europe. I think you can expect it to come one or two years later," Dirk Streichert, company cars chief engineer, told BusinessCar. "There are lots of things that have to come together before the model can come to the UK: R&D, production, supply, marketing the product worldwide, and supplying the components."
Streichert revealed that plug-in hybrids could appear lower down the model range in the future: "We do see plug-in hybrids as a long-term solution to pollution and we are making heavy investments in that, and there's a lot more coming. At some point. we will bring the technology to our compact cars as our CO2 targets are important for the environment. The UK leads the worldwide market in terms of CO2 relevance."
"With the A-class, we are working with the current-generation diesel engines, and that's all we are planning to offer for now, but are discussing other options for the future," Claudius Steinhoff, A-class product manager, told BusinessCar. "The CLA Shooting Brake will be the last current model to be based on our MFA [Modular Front Architecture] platform and that's all we can talk about now."
Mercedes is also in the middle of renaming its vehicle naming structure in an attempt to make it more understandable for customers. The model designation is an acronym made up of between one and three upper-case letters, while the engine type is indicated by a lower-case letter.
Streichert explained the firm's naming structure: "We have a core model-line up - A-class, C-class, E-class and S-class, which everyone is familiar with, while all SUVs will start with G-class, with the GLA being the A-class SUV, the GLC being the C-class SUV, the GLE being the E-class SUV, the GLS being the S-class SUV and the G-class remaining as it is.
"Four-door coupes are CL-driven, with CLA being the A-class variant, and CLS being the S-class variant. With roadsters, the SLK will move to SLC with the SL staying as it is."
Regarding powertrains, the diesels carry a 'd' badge (instead of the current CDI), hybrids change to 'h' (instead of Hybrid or Bluetec hybrid) and EVs carry an 'e' instead of Electric Drive, Plug-in hybrid or Bluetec Plug-in hybrid.