Mercedes A35, GLE, EQC And Smart Forease Concept Debut In Paris

The Paris Motor Show doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped Mercedes from unveiling an assortment of new models at a special event in the city.

Starting things off is the Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC which is designed to slot between the standard A-Class and the upcoming A45. Given its positioning, the model has a hot – but not too hot – turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 301 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an all-wheel drive system.  This setup enables the hatchback to rocket from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds before hitting a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

As part of the AMG makeover, the car has been equipped with a sportier front fascia which features a revised grille, a new splitter and small flics. The rear end has also been updated thanks to a new bumper, a distinctive diffuser and an AMG dual exhaust system. Other highlights include a sports steering system, an AMG Ride Control suspension and 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels which are backed up by a high-performance braking system.

While the A35 is certainly an interesting addition to the Mercedes lineup, crossovers were front and center at today’s event. The more interesting of the two was the electric EQC which will compete with the Audi E-Tron.

Set to become Mercedes’ first mainstream electric vehicle, the EQC has two electric motor which are powered by an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This setup gives the crossover all-wheel drive and a combined output of 402 hp (300 kW / 407 PS) and 564 lb-ft (765 Nm) of torque.

In terms of performance, the EQC can accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 5.1 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 111 mph (180 km/h). The company also says the model will be able to travel more than 279 miles (450 km) on a single charge in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

The other crossover at today’s event was the 2019 GLE. Set to battle the redesigned BMW X5, the GLE sports an evolutionary design which follows the company’s latest styling philosophy.

Larger and more luxurious than its predecessor, the GLE will be launched with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 362 hp (270 kW / 367 PS) and 358 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. The powertrain also has an EQ Boost function which can temporarily deliver an additional 21 hp (16 kW / 22 PS) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. The engine is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission which sends power to a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.

Besides the new powertrain, the GLE has an upscale interior with two 12.3-inch displays. The model also has a more spacious second row which can be equipped with segment exclusive six-way power seats.

Last but not least, Smart showcased the Forease concept. Designed to pay tribute to the 2001 Crossblade and 2011 Forspeed concepts, the Forease is based on the EQ Fortwo Cabrio and features unique styling inside and out.

Mercedes hasn’t released detailed specifications, but the electric concept likely has a 17.6 lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that develops 80 hp (60 kW / 81 PS) and 118 lb-ft (160 Nm) of torque. This should enable the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in approximately 11.8 seconds.

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