Mercedes-Benz has announced recently that it will bring an electric hatchback concept, named EQ A, to the Frankfurt motor show.
The new hatchback, the first one in Mercedes’ EQ sub-brand, will be their second dedicated electric model after the EQ C when it goes on sale in 2020.
The teasers that came with the confirmation see the EQ A concept sport a smooth surfaced body, black panel grille and a series of distinctive light graphics in a design similar to that of the early EQ C.
Meant to take the BMW i3 and the yet-to-be-launched Volkswagen I.D. hatchback head-on, the new EQ A is one of 10 new all-electric models currently under development in a €10 billion (approximately Rs 76,306 crore) programme and are expected to arrive in international markets before 2025.
The first model in Mercedes’ EQ sub-brand, the EQ C, was revealed publically as a concept at the previous Paris motor show.
Recent trademark applications suggest Mercedes also plans more luxurious EQ E and EQ S models.
The EQ A is expected to be the volume seller of the EQ line-up and is the German manufacturer’s bid to become an electric car leader within the next decade.
The all-electric hatchback is also said to play a vital role in Daimler’s Car-To-Go car sharing division, with high level executives suggesting it will be offered on a short term drive away lease basis similar to today’s Car-To-Go scheme as part of what is described in internal Mercedes-Benz correspondence as a global mobility eco system.
The EQ A is underpinned by Mercedes' new MEA (modular electric architecture) platform and follows the EQ C’s lead in adopting a conventional silhouette, with a defined bonnet line at the front, traditional glasshouse housing a five-seat cabin and a hatchback style tailgate at the rear.
While there is no official word on the powertrain, Mercedes hints at a cheaper and simpler solution than the one used by the EQ C, suggesting it will receive a single front-mounted electric motor with drive sent to the front-wheels via a fixed ratio gearbox. However, a more performance orientated set-up, with a second electric motor mounted within the rear axle assembly and providing four-wheel drive capability similar to that seen on the EQ C is also possible, according to Mercedes-Benz sources.
The German carmaker has already confirmed the EQ C will be produced in Bremen, Germany, with more upmarket EQ models, including the EQ E and EQ S, set to be assembled at its main manufacturing unit in Sindelfingen, Germany.
Although it is not giving away too much prior to its official unveiling next week, Mercedes officials suggest the EQ A will be assembled on a special electric car line to be established at the German car maker’s original compact car plant in Rastatt, Germany – the same site responsible for production of existing A- and B-class models.
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