2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e PHEV Coming Next Year at $61,200

Mercedes-Benz Canada says the redesigned GLC 350e plug-in hybrid will arrive in Canada in early 2020 following its world debut this week at the Frankfurt auto show.

Building on the refreshed 2020 GLC-Class compact crossover lineup, the GLC 350e boasts Benz's new, third-gen plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology, built around a 13.5-kWh battery pack promising up to 43 km of electric driving range based on Europe's optimistic NEDC testing method.

The car's EV range will be less than that in real-world driving, but it will outdo the current model, which in Canada is good for just 21 all-electric kilometres. The new GLC 350e's $61,200 starting price is a $1,000 increase over the current model.

Benz says the new GLC 350e derives 315 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque from a turbo four-cylinder engine and electric motor. That matches the outgoing car's horsepower but adds more than 100 lb-ft in the torque department, which will help push the plug-in GLC to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds -- a 0.2-second improvement -- and to a top speed of 210 km/h. On electricity alone, Mercedes says the GLC 350e will be capable of "more than" 130 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz's improved PHEV drivetrain uses a torque converter with a lockup clutch so that the electric motor can double as a starter for the gas engine. Another clutch disconnects the engine from the electric motor in electric driving mode.

The GLC 350e's new high-voltage electrical system runs the car's air conditioning compressor and an electric heater booster, both of which can be used to pre-condition the car's cabin in hot or cold weather.

Mercedes says the new GLC 350e's 7.4 kW charging capacity more than doubles that of the old model for shorter charging stops, and the MBUX infotainment system helps by seeking out charging stations in response to the "Hey Mercedes" prompt.

Benz says the 2020 GLC 350e is one of 10 PHEVs it plans to have on the market around the world by the end of 2019, and will double that number next year.

More notably, the new GLC 350e will serve as an appetizer before Mercedes' electric vehicle main course -- the EQC -- arrives here later in 2020 with an all-electric powertrain promising 400 km on a charge. It will be the first of 10 EVs Mercedes plans to have in its showrooms worldwide by 2022.

The EQC will be Germany's second EV crossover to reach Canada, following this year's launch of the Audi e-tron, and both the EQC and e-tron will challenge the Tesla Model X in the electric utility arena.

⚡ More power, more EV range 9/9/2019 3:15:00 PM