Pair of PHEVs to debut in Frankfurt, with the GLE350de capable of around 100 kilometres of pure-electric driving.
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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the GLE350de and GLC300e plug-in hybrids for the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, as the three-pointed star continues its electrification rollout. The GLC300e will launch in Australia during the second quarter of next year.

Headlining the reveals is the new GLE350de, which boasts some impressive figures from its PHEV system. Pairing a 143kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with a 100kW electric motor and a large 31.2kWh lithium battery pack, the GLE PHEV claims to offer 106km of electric range on the NEDC cycle, or 90-99km on the stricter WLTP protocol.

Fuel consumption, meanwhile, is rated at just 1.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

Combined outputs for the GLE350de are quoted at 235kW and 700Nm, with Mercedes-Benz claiming the big plug-in SUV can hit triple figures from a standstill in just 6.8 seconds. The company adds the GLE PHEV can hit 160km/h in EV mode, with a max speed of 210km/h possible with the diesel engine running.

The EQ Power version of the GLE offers AC and DC charging solutions, with the latter able to replenish the battery pack from 10 to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes, or 30 minutes from 10 to 100 per cent.

Furthermore, the electrified powertrain hasn't hurt the GLE's capability as a load-lugger, with Mercedes-Benz claiming a maximum towing capacity of 3500kg.

The company has also announced a plug-in hybrid version of its top-selling GLC crossover – though we don't have any imagery at this stage.

Named the GLC300e, the PHEV variant shares its petrol-electric drivetrain with the related C300e (which recently went on sale in Australia), teaming a 155kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 90kW/440Nm electric motor.

System outputs for the GLC PHEV are 235kW and 700Nm, while the lithium battery pack is rated at 13.5kWh – good for a claimed EV driving range of up to 43km on the WLTP test cycle.

Mercedes-Benz says the GLC300e can dispatch the 0-100 sprint in a hot hatch-beating 5.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 230km/h ("over 130km/h" in EV mode). Fuel consumption is rated at between 2.2 and 2.5L/100km on the combined cycle depending on specification.

Above: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLC Coupé

By the end of 2019, Mercedes has committed to offering "more than ten" plug-in hybrid models across its line-up – from the A-Class hatchback right through to its flagship S-Class limousine.

From there, the company aims to have "well over 20 model variants" on the market next year.

"Plug-in hybrids offer customers the best of both worlds: in town they run in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the range of the combustion engine. They make the vehicle more efficient overall, because they can firstly recover energy during braking and secondly allow the combustion engine to run in favourable operating ranges," Mercedes-Benz says in its press release.

"Plug-in hybrids are also an important milestone on the way to emission-free driving. Mercedes Benz Cars is systematically developing its plug-in hybrids further under the EQ Power label. EQ Power is also a guarantee of exceptional dynamism. EQ Power+ is the name of the performance hybrid technology that Mercedes‑AMG will use on the road in future, and is already used successfully in Formula 1 today."

Australia

Mercedes-Benz's local division has confirmed the GLC300e will be headed to Australia during the second quarter of next year, though the GLE350de won't be coming here.

Stay tuned for our international first drive review of the GLC300e, in the coming weeks.