Mercedes-Benz may be in the midst of preparing a new plug-in hybrid variant of the W177 A-Class, one that could possibly offer a pure electric driving range of of up to 60 km, according go an Autocar report. At launch, the A-Class PHEV – likely to be called the A 250 e – will be parked under the company’s EQ line of cars.

Motive power comes from a 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s already used by the A 200, and on its own the petrol engine makes 163 hp and 250 Nm of torque. For the A 250 e, a gearbox-mounted electric motor, which produces 101 hp and up to 300 Nm of torque, will be deployed to assist the petrol engine.

When combined, Mercedes-Benz insiders said the PHEV setup offers similar performance to the existing A 250. Just to remind you, the A 250 makes 224 hp and 350 Nm of torque, enough for a 0-100 km/h sprint of 6.2 seconds and 250 km/h top speed.

For the A 250 e, it’s expected to use the new eight-speed 8G-DCT gearbox that’s already confirmed for a range of new Mercedes-Benz compact models, including the new GLB. Expect the gearbox to be tuned to withstand high torque loads that the PHEV powertrain offers.

Equally important to performance is range – the A 250 e is said to draw power from a 15 kWh lithium-ion battery. If true, that makes it considerably larger than even the 12.0 kWh unit found in the G20 BMW 330e. According to official German transport authority documentation shown to Autocar, top speed in electric mode for the A 250 e is 140 km/h.

The battery pack will be mounted beneath the boot floor, and for that the company has shrunk the car’s fuel tank from 45 litres in the A 200 to 35 litres. Other modifications include an uprated rear suspension to help manage the 120 kg lithium-ion battery.

For charging, the A-Class PHEV is expected to support DC charging at up to 22 kW, although other details pertaining this have yet to be disclosed. The Mercedes-Benz A 250 e is expected to make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and the plug-in powertrain will be spread across other compact models as well, namely the B 250 e, CLA 250 e and GLB 250 e.