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Mercedes planning B-Class plug-in hybrid for U.S.

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.

Frankfurt Preview: Lotus develops a range extender engine

The latest product of Lotus Engineering's ongoing development work on alternative drivetrains is a new engine custom designed for use as a range extender in electric drive vehicles. The engineers at Lotus have developed an optimized architecture using a mono-block layout that combines the cylinder head, exhaust manifold and cylinder block into a single casting. Such an architecture allows for lower weight and reduced cost which is critical to making range extended EVs or series hybrids economica