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Mercedes-Benz’s dedicated EQC electric SUV touches down


Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the first all-electric model under its new EQ division in the form of the EQC at a special launch in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Incorporating styling traits from both the GLC and GLE, but featuring a swoopy grille design with a black panel connecting it with the slim multi-beam LED headlights in what Mercedes-Benz refers to the as the ‘electro-look’, the EQC rides on an adaption of Benz’s MRA platform known as EVA, aimed specifically at electric models.

Measuring 4 761mm in overall length with the same 2 873mm wheelbase as the GLC and a width of 1 884mm, the EQC will come with the option of wheel sizes ranging from 19 to 21-inches and gloss finishes around the windows and on the front fenders.

Boasting a rear end seemingly derived from the S-class Coupe, the EQC features a full-length LED light strip with a black bumper and diffuser, as well as a subtle roof spoiler and omission of roof rails claimed to have been left out as a means of improving aerodynamics. As with other models, the EQC can be specified in the AMG Line exterior finish which sees it receiving a bespoke grille and silver mirror caps, AMG designed alloy wheels ranging from 20 to 21-inches and a wider rear facia design.

Inside, the interior is less radical with an overall look that mirrors that of the C-class and A-class, the latter being most prominent in the dual 10.25-inch displays with the infotainment system benefitting from the MBUX system. Unique to the EQC though are graphics showing the range, consumption, charging time and available charging stations using the satellite navigation system.  

While available with the optional AMG Line trim that adds a three-spoke sport steering wheel, brushed stainless pedals, black Artico leather/micro-fibre seats and AMG branded floor mats with optional carbon-fibre look trim and leather, the EQC also offers what the three-pointed star calls the Electric Art option that pairs the standard blue interior lighting and gloss black surface with rose-gold detailing and metallic ribs claimed to take inspiration from high-end sound systems.

Speaking of colours and materials, the EQC offer a selection of both with the latter ranging from aluminium to open-pore wood finishes, as well as a new woven fabric finished in Indigo Blue or beige dubbed Sunnyvale. In addition to this, the centre sections of the seats, when specified with this option, comes with rose-gold top stitching and man-made leather side bolsters.

The EQC’s biggest talking point though is what lies underneath, where in 400 guise as depicted, it utilises two electric motors mounted on the axles to produce a combined output of 300kW with torque rated at 765Nm. With a 80 kWh lithium-ion battery being used to the power the electric motors, Mercedes-Benz claims that the four-wheel drive EQC will get from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds and reach a top speed 180km/h despite ticking the scales at a still heavy 2 425kg.

Conforming to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions regulations that came into force in Europe on September first, the EQC has a reported range of “over 450km” and can be charged via the on-board 7.4kW water-cooled charger or by the dedicated Mercedes-Benz Wallbox that can charge up to three times faster. Surprisingly, no exact charging times were revealed.

As with Benz’s Dynamic Select system, the EQC offers a choice of five driving modes; Eco, Max Range, Comfort, Sport and Individual, and paddles behind the steering wheel intended to adjust the level of energy recuperated when braking. A further new feature is Eco Assist which uses the navigation functions and forward facing cameras to tech the driver about ultimate efficiency.

In terms of driver assistance tech, the EQC comes with items such as Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Brake Assist in the Driving Assistance, Pre-Safe Plus, Tailback Control that automatically hits the brakes when oncoming traffic or a road block is detected and a cut-off function that detectives all of the electrics when in an accident.

Initially, production of the EQC will take place at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Bremen before being expanded to China as part of its partnership with Beijing Benz Automotive. Sales are likely to commence next year but don’t anticipate it to debut in South Africa anytime soon.

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