The first iterations of the refreshed 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March. I've already driven it, and it's a solid, competent compact SUV. And now, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it's about to get a little extra efficiency by way of a big ol' battery.
Mercedes-Benz on Sunday unveiled the 2020 GLC350e EQ Power plug-in hybrid. The PHEV carries the same adjustments as every other 2020 GLC-Class SUV, but there are a few extra tricks here that can really improve a person's efficiency.
The GLC350e starts with a 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That gets mated to an electric motor, and the two combine to put out a sufficiently meaty 315 hp and 516 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The old 8.7-kilowatt-hour battery has been swapped out in favor of a 13.5-kWh unit that boosts the electric-only range to between 24 and 27 miles by European WLTP estimates. This new pack will take 7.75 hours to charge to 100% at 1.2 kW, but a 3.8-kW charger will drop that time to just 2.25 hours. Charging capacity has been bumped from 3.6 kW to 7.4 kW to reduce time spent charging.
Otherwise, the changes to the GLC350e are the same that we've seen on the GLC300. There's a new look with revised LED headlight and taillights, and the GLC350e gets a unique set of bumpers to help differentiate it from the others. Standard tech includes a 10.25-inch infotainment screen running the MBUX infotainment system, which responds to natural-language requests for vehicle chargers. Other standard stuff includes heated power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic emergency braking.
Expect to see more of these in the future. Mercedes-Benz said that, by the end of 2019, it will have more than 10 PHEVs available globally, with the hope to expand that number to more than 20 in the following year. The GLC350e should arrive at US dealers by mid-2020, and pricing will be announced closer to that time. For context, though, it lands in the lineup between the $44,500 GLC300 and the $59,500 AMG GLC43.
Editors' note: The car pictured here is a gasoline-only 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC300. Images of the GLC350e EQ Power were not available at the time of publishing; this story will be updated when the correct photos have arrived.