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Mercedes flips switch on EV future with EQC

New electric crossover is almost identical in size and shape to GLC-Class

Joe Duarte
Published: September 5, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: September 8, 2018, 3:03 AM

Mercedes-Benz EQC badge

Mercedes is flipping the switch on its electric vehicle line-up with the introduction of its first product under the EQ banner — the EQC 400 4Matic compact electric crossover.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

As evident from the letter designation, the EQC is almost identical in size to the GLC crossover, sharing the same 2,873-mm wheelbase. Its profile is similar to that of GLC, though the EQC has a definitive electric look with colour accents to keep it in line with Mercedes’ Progressive Luxury idiom.

“The EQC embodies the Progressive Luxury design idiom of our new EQ product and technology brand,” said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “This creates an experience and a preview of the ‘next big thing’ to come tomorrow. With its seamless, clear design, the EQC is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look with trailblazing design details and colour highlights typical of the brand both inside and out.”

Mercedes-Benz EQC

The front features a large black panel incorporating the headlights and grille. The top optical fibre links the daytime running LED light crescents, creating a distinctive light band in low-light situations. The inner housings and bezels of the LED headlamps are high-gloss black, with contrasting blue stripes flowing from the grille slats to unify the face.

The Mercedes-brand’s dynamic performance is carried on through the use of two asynchronous electric motors (one at each axle) with a combined output of 300 kW (408 hp) and peak torque of 564 lb-ft. The outputs translate into 0-100 km/h acceleration in a reported 5.1 seconds. Towing capacity is 1800 kg (when properly equipped) and top speed is limited to 180 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

An 80-kWh battery grants a range of more than 450 km, while adding 650 kg to the curb weight of 2,425 kg, and the driver can choose from five driving modes — Comfort, Eco, Max Range, Sport and an individually adaptable program that learns from its driver.

The interior carries on the avant-garde electro twist on the C-segment crossover (ribbed low-profile vents trimmed in pink-gold, blue ambient light strips, etc.), with the most evident example being a wide digital display that stretches from in front of the steering wheel across to the centre stack, offering digital readouts of most vehicle systems and touchscreen controls over most vehicle functions.

Mercedes-Benz EQC interior

“The new EQC is a genuine Mercedes-Benz. This particularly applies to classic attributes such as quality, safety and comfort,” said Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “These are accompanied by dynamic performance and an intelligent operating strategy for a superior electric range. The EQC is part of a growing family of purely electrically powered vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.”

Built alongside the GLC-Class at Daimler’s Bremen plant (as well as C-Class, E-Class and SL-Class), the unveiled crossover was named EQC 400, showing that Mercedes-Benz nomenclature will prevail in the new “Class” of vehicles (where the numbers designate levels of performance), and suggests we might expect a mightier EQC in the future.