What you see here is the first dedicated electric Mercedes model to enter series production. Called the EQC, it’s a five-seat SUV based around a heavily modified version of the GLC’s platform. When it goes on sale in international markets next year, it will be a key rival to the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and upcoming Audi E-tron Quattro.
In design, the EQC draws heavily on the early Generation EQ concept of 2016. It retains the same basic shape and five-door layout of the earlier concept, albeit with altered detailing such as the front-end design. At 4,761mm long, 1,884mm wide and 1,324mm tall, the EQC is 105mm longer and a considerable 315mm lower than the GLC, with which it shares its 2,873mm wheelbase.
Inside, the new model uses an upgraded version of the GLC’s cabin, parts of which are set to appear on a facelifted version of the standard SUV due in 2019. These include a newly designed dashboard with a digital instrument and infotainment panel, reworked ventilation units and a new multi-function steering wheel featuring touch pads within the horizontal spokes. Interestingly, the EQC will count versatility as one of its strong selling points offering 500 litres of luggage space, which is 79 litres more than in a GLC.
The EQC is powered by a newly developed electric drivetrain that’ll be used across the EQ range. The drivetrain consists of two electric motors – one powering the front wheels and another the rears – that enable four-wheel drive capability, depending on the driving mode. They deliver a combined 407hp and 765Nm to move the EQC’s 2,425kg kerb weight. By comparison, the 400hp Jaguar I-Pace weighs 2,130kg.
Each of the EQC’s motors is configured differently: the front one is tuned for efficiency in the low- to mid-load range, and the rear one is described as being more performance orientated, with a greater emphasis on the mid- to high-load range. In Sport mode, the EQC will sprint from a standstill to 0-100kph in 5.1sec. Top speed is limited to 180kph.
Energy to power the motors is supplied by an 80kWh battery. All up, the lithium-ion unit weighs 650kg. With a claimed range of 450km on the current NEDC test cycle (which is being phased out) and 400km on the WLTP cycle, the EQC can’t quite match the 540km NEDC and 470km WLTP claimed range of the I-Pace, which features a larger, 90kWh battery. That should translate to around 320km of real-world range.
A standard 7.4kW onboard charger enables AC charging via either regular mains or high-voltage public charging stations. Under DC charging, the EQC’s battery can be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent at up to 110kW in around 40min. There are no plans to offer different battery sizes on the EQC, at least for the time being.
The EQC will be produced at Mercedes’ Bremen plant in Germany and a joint-venture factory in Beijing, China. Prices are expected to start at around Rs 62 lakh (before taxes and import duties), which would put the EQC on par with the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace. Right-hand drive market deliveries are estimated to begin in Q3 2019 though there is no word on an India launch in the near future.
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