First it was diesel, and now it looks like natural gas is making the jump from commercial vehicles to passenger vehicles. Yes, there are some cars out there running on natural gas but those carry a heavy tank in the boot. The Mercedes-Benz B 200 Natural Gas Drive doesn’t.

This is the first B-Class to make use of the ‘Energy Space’ body concept, which has a partial double floor that clears up space for one large and two smaller natural gas containers. These containers will hold a total of 125 litres of natural gas without having to give up any seating or cargo space. It also does away with the large unsightly tank in the rear.

Running only on natural gas yields a range of around 500 km. However, should the tank run dry, this car is also fitted with a small 12-litre petrol tank that extends the vehicle’s range.

The engine is capable of producing 156 hp, can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h and completes the century sprint in 9.1 seconds; performance is far off the the standard B 200. Gas consumption is just 4.2 kg per 100 km, and CO2 emissions are low at 115 g per km. The latter is 16% lower compared to the petrol-powered B 200 BlueEfficiency. This car also meets Euro 6 emission standards, which will only come into effect in September 1, 2014.

There will be a few changes done to the B 200 in order to differentiate from the other B-Class models, particularly on the exterior of the vehicle. This natural gas driven car receives tweaks to the front bumper and the DRL.

The B 200 Natural Gas Drive will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show 2012 and is scheduled to arrive in dealerships around Europe at the start of 2013. We’ve previewed the B 200 earlier this year, click here to get our take on it.