Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e 4MATIC, EDITION 1, (X 253) 2015

The hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz GLC has been confirmed. According to Mercedes-Benz head of research and development, Thomas Weber, the production version of the fuel-cell car, dubbed the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell will be launched by 2017, Autocar UK reports.

It will have the “newest fuel cell technology available,” claims Weber. The R&D chief revealed this at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He also added that the brand is currently in the middle stages of the “roll-out phase” of the model.

Weber further revealed that the technology that was needed to generate electric power from hydrogen has been downsized significantly. In that, he explained that the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, when launched, would do its part to demonstrate this.

Previously, Weber disclosed that the brand was aiming for a combined range of up to 600 km (both fuel cell and battery) and a refuelling time of three minutes for the hydrogen tanks in its F-Cell vehicle.

He noted however, that a hydrogen fuel-cell model will only be commercially viable in higher classes at this moment in time, due to the high cost of the fuel cell stack. That said, the production vehicle – reportedly to be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – is rumoured to cost around 50,000 euros (RM230k).

History has shown that the company has already been exploring hydrogen powertrains. As early as 2007, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class featured the F-Cell system, and likewise, in the B-Class in 2010. More recently, the Vision G-Code and Vision Tokyo concepts also feature hydrogen fuel cell tech.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class