Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3 Series? E versus 5, S over 7? These are the usual questions petrolheads ask each other, to judge where their allegiances lie. It’s either one or the other, with little to no middle ground. Soon, a new battle/question will arise, between the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and BMW i3.
Actually, no, petrolheads won’t be asking that question as neither vehicle runs on the oily stuff. Technicalities aside though, the new age clash of the titans on the electric front shapes the future of automobiles as we know it. Or at least they say it will.
By the time Mercedes’ entry arrives in the market next year, it will be a year late to the party. No surprise, then, that Daimler R&D boss Thomas Weber is already firing warning shots against the electric BMW, saying that Mercedes’ offering is better in “all key criteria.” Talk about blowing one’s own trumpet.
Weber told German publication Automobilwoche that the B-Class Electric Drive will have five seats with an uncompromised boot space, a range of 200 km that can be achieved in “normal daily use,” top speed of 160 km/h and more than 300 Nm of torque. That compares favourably next to the i3’s four seats, 190 km range, 150 km/h top speed and 250 Nm.
Mercedes will have to concede though, that the smaller and lighter i3 is the faster accelerating vehicle, capable of getting from 0-100 km/h in 7.2 seconds compared to the Merc’s 7.9 seconds. Tit for tat, really, a classic game of German one-upmanship.
Their biggest difference, over everything else, is their appearance. One looks like a standard car while the other just doesn’t. Should an electric car really look like one? That’s your choice to make.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive