2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Mercedes-Benz has its heart set on boosting its U.S. sales by more than 20 percent, and Automotive News reports that mission may include plans for an extended range hybrid. Joachim Schmidt, head of global sales for Mercedes-Benz, said a special, U.S.-only B-Class plug-in hybrid with a range-extending electric motor may be headed to the States soon.

The vehicle would give Mercedes-Benz a suitable competitor to the Lexus CT200h, but will the B-Class Hybrid be enough to help Mercedes-Benz dethrone BMW as the best-selling luxury brand in the United States? That all depends on how many units Mercedes-Benz could move. Last year, BMW beat Mercedes-Benz by just 2,715 vehicles.

Currently the C-Class is the smallest vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz U.S. stable. European buyers have been snapping up the new B-Class since last year, and the German automaker is expected to add an even smaller A-Class to the mix soon. A new CUV may also be part of the mix in coming months, though there's no indication either of those models will make their way across the Atlantic to American buyers.