Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the EQC, a midsize electric SUV that will take the fight to the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and upcoming Audi e-tron.
The EQC steals a lot of visual cues from the related GLC, while incorporating some ‘electro-look’ styling elements to highlight its unique drivetrain. Shape wise, Mercedes claim it is designed to bridge the gap between a regular SUV and a ‘coupe’ like the existing GLC/GLE Coupes. Up front, there’s a large, traditional grille, flanked by black trim that’s used to connect the grille with the full-LED headlights. Around the rear, the EQC employs a slim, LED taillight that runs the full width of the car – below it are the badges. For those who want to spruce up the look of their EQC, an AMG styling pack can be optioned – it adds sporty side skirts, a more aggressive front bumper, GLE63-style grille and larger wheels.
At launch, the EQC will be offered in one trim, the EQC 400 – it’s powered by an 80kWh battery pack and two electric motors, with one on each axle for full all-wheel-drive. It is rated at 300kW of power and a mammoth 765Nm of torque, with the 0-100km/h sprint dispatched in just 5.1 seconds. Drivers can pick from one of five modes: Comfort (for regualr driving), Eco (a more economical version of Comfort), Max Range (used to extract the EQC’s maximum range), Sport (for performance driving) and Individual (a customisable mode).
Mercedes claims the EQC can drive over 450 kilometres on a charge, according to the legacy NEDC test cycle – a real world range in the high 300s is likely. It can be charged in 3 ways: with regular AC mains power at home, using the 22.2kW Mercedes-Benz Wallbox charger, or using a dedicated 110kW DC fast charger – the latter option can charge the car from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. Daimler (Mercedes’ parent company) recently partnered with Ford, BMW and VW to build a network of ‘Ionity’ fast chargers around major roads in Europe – these chargers will support the EQC.
Inside, like the A-Class, the EQC features two 10.25-inch tablet-style touchscreens, which run Mercedes’ new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. It brings a host of new features, including the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant, augmented-reality satellite navigation and, just for the EQC, an EQ app with displays showing charging speed and time, energy flow, power consumption and other metrics. The navigation system now displays charging stations, and can optimise driving routes based on range and energy consumption.
Safety wise, the EQC packs a number of active and passive technologies, including autonomous emergency braking, belt tensioners and an auto emergency call if the car gets in a crash. Speaking of crash, advanced crash structures have been implemented around the battery to ensure it doesn’t crack or pierce in a collision.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC goes on sale in Europe in mid-2019, with an Australian launch to occur in the months after. Pricing is expected to sit around $100,000 to $150,000 based on options and equipment – similar to that of the Jaguar I-Pace.