Fuel-cell crossover is only being offered on lease

With the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell now available in Germany, final details about the plug-in hybrid fuel-cell crossover have been revealed.

The GLC F-Cell is driven by an electric motor pumping out 155kW of power and 365Nm of torque. Under the bonnet, where diesel or petrol engines would normally reside, is the company's latest hydrogen fuel-cell stack.

The rear seats have been raised slightly to accommodate the car's two carbon-fibre hydrogen fuel tanks, which can hold a total of 4.4kg of compressed liquid hydrogen. Mercedes-Benz says refuelling the SUV takes only three minutes.

Unlike other fuel-cell cars, which only feature a small capacity lithium-ion battery, the GLC F-Cell has a 13.5kWh pack with 9.3kWh of usable capacity, and needs to be plugged into mains power to be fully recharged.

The GLC F-Cell, according to the NEDC standard, has a pure electric driving range of 51km. Total range is claimed to be 478km, and the car's top speed is electronically limited to 160km/h.

Looking downright normal compared to the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity FCV, and Hyundai Nexo, the F-Cell's most obvious differences from regular internal combustion-engined GLCs are the F-Cell badges, and the blue trim on the grille, side sills, alloy wheels, and rear bumper.

For now the GLC F-Cell is only available in Germany. Unlike the Toyota Mirai, which can be bought outright, the GLC F-Cell is only being offered through a full-service lease, priced at €799 ($1299) per month.

H2 Mobility, a consortium including Daimler, Shell, Total and Linde, is aiming to roll out 100 hydrogen fuelling stations across Germany by 2019.

Mercedes-Benz told Automotive News Europe it also plans to offer the GLC F-Cell in Japan. The country is building out its hydrogen infrastructure with a view to showcasing it at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.