The company’s first EQ vehicle is a crossover

Like most luxury automakers out there, Mercedes-Benz is looking to expand its lineup with electrified models. It already offers a few hybrids and small EVs like the B-Class and the Smart ForTwo, but its lineup still lacks the bigger electric models it needs to compete in the more popular segments. This is why Mercedes-Benz created the EQ division, which will soon include bigger sedans and crossovers. The Germans have already unveiled a few concept cars, and at least one is scheduled to become a production model in 2018. It’s called the EQC and is being developed alongside a hydrogen-powered version of the GLC.

Tested on public roads for a few months know — we know this because Mercedes-Benz released a few photos of the crossover — the EQC seems to be ready for the assembly line. Although still covered in swirly camo, it appears to be fitted with all production parts, including a new-generation electric drivetrain. It was initially rumored that the crossover was set to debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but the EQC didn’t show up. This leaves the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October as a likely event for the EV to break cover. Until that happens, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about the EQC.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz EQC.

2019 Mercedes EQC Exterior

- * Compact size
- * GLC-inspired features?
- * New headlamps
- * Somewhat sporty

2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The "C" in the "EQC" badge suggests that the crossover will be part of the GLC family

Mercedes-Benz released just two photos of the EQC and only one gives us a good look at the upcoming crossover. Unfortunately, the camouflage covers everything but the grille, headlamps, and windows, so it’s hard to guess if the EQC is a brand-new design or based on an existing Mercedes-Benz model. Also, because there are no reference points in the photo, it’s tough to estimated the vehicle’s size and place it in a certain segment.

The "C" in the "EQC" badge suggests that the crossover will be part of the GLC family. The GLC is a compact SUV based on the C-Class sedan that competes against the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. However, there are claims that the EQC might bridge the gap between the GLC and the GLE, so it could be nearly as big as a midsize SUV. Truth be told, the crossover looks a bit massive compared to the GLC, but again, in the absence of a reference point in the photo, I could be wrong.

Styling-wise, it could have a familiar look when compared to the GLC. I’m not saying it will look identical, as the headlamps and the front fascia suggest otherwise, but Mercedes-Benz could unveil an updated design language that will expand to the next-generation GLC. All told, I’m not expecting anything radical, but the EQC should be more than a mildly revised GLC.

2019 Mercedes EQC Interior

- * Based on GLC?
- * Premium features
- * EV-specific displays
- * State-of-the-art tech

2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept High Resolution Interior
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The concept vehicle looks way too fancy and futuristic on the inside

The interior of the EQC is still a mystery and although the Generation EQ Concept might provide a few hints, I wouldn’t expect much of its cabin to make it into production. The concept vehicle looks way too fancy and futuristic on the inside with that touch-sensitive center console, the carved-in dashboard, and the wide and flat door panels. The steering wheel is one feature that we could see in the EQC though, alongside the ultra-wide instrument cluster and infotainment display combo that’s already available in a wide range of production models.

If I were to take a guess, I’d say that the EQC’s cabin will be based on the GLC. Even if it gets a revised interior, it will still share features with the current crossover, which in turn is based on the C-Class. So look for the cool rounds vents in the center stack and loads of premium materials, especially in the range-topping model. Also expect to find the company’s latest technology in there, including some semi-autonomous features.

2019 Mercedes EQC Drivetrain and Performance

- * 70-kWh battery
- * Two electric motors
- * Up to 402 horsepower
- * 310-mile range
- * 0 to 62 mph in less than five seconds

2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The EQC will draw its juice from the drivetrain that Mercedes showcased in the Generation EQ Concept

Although specific powertrain details aren’t yet available, we already know that the EQC will draw its juice from the drivetrain that Mercedes showcased in the Generation EQ Concept. The show car uses a pretty big battery with a capacity of over 70 kWh. Made by Deutsche Accumotive, a subsidiary of parent company Daimler, they feature some new "high-efficiency lithium-ion" technology.

The battery feeds a pair of electric motors that deliver a combined output of 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. While we may get a EQC model with this much oomph, it won’t be the only version available. A 402-horsepower version will probably sit at the top of the range, with less powerful models offered with more affordable price tags. The base model will probably have close to 200 horsepower, while the mid-range version will probably get around 300.

The 70-kWh battery feeds a pair of electric motors that deliver a combined output of 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet

The concept car sprints from 0 to 62 in less than five seconds, which is pretty impressive for an all-electric SUV. The figure is totally doable for a production model, but as I mentioned before, the less powerful variants won’t be this fast.

Moving over to what matters most in an EV, this battery and motor combo promises a range of about 310 miles. That’s a competitive range given the competition, but the base model will probably cover less miles per charge. I’d say that the entry-level EQC will be good for around 240 miles.

As far as charging goes, the battery will work with both induction charging or a wall bod. Mercedes is also readying an energy storage system that works with both charging technologies and could give the car a 62-mile range in as little as five minutes.

2019 Mercedes EQC Pricing

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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Electric cars aren’t as affordable as we’d want them to be right now and the fact that the EQC will compete in the premium segment means more bad news for the wallet. It’s difficult to predict how much it will cost in comparison to the regular GLC, but I wouldn’t expect Mercedes to ask less than $55,000 for the base model, while the range-topping version could fetch at least $75,000.

2019 Mercedes EQC Competition

BMW iX3

2020 BMW iX3
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As usual, where there’s a Mercedes-Benz on offer, there must be a competitor from BMW. Okay, it might not be available in all segments, but BMW is indeed working on a similar vehicle. It’s called the iX3, it was previewed by a concept car, and it shares many design features with the current X3 crossover. We know this because unlike Mercedes’ concept, the iX3 show car is pretty much a production X3 with mild revisions. The powertrains is a new-generation version of BMW’s eDrive combo, which groups the electric motor, the transmission, and the power electronics within a separate component. The 70-kWh battery enables the electric motor to deliver more than 270 horsepower, but much like Mercedes-Benz, BMW could offer various outputs in the iX3. Range is estimated at around 249 miles. The entry-level model will probably cost more than $50,000. The iX3 could be unveiled in early 2019.

Learn more about the upcoming 2020 BMW iX3 from our speculative review.

Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Surprisingly enough for an automaker that joined the SUV market in 2016, Jaguar has already launched an all-electric crossover. It’s called the I-Pace, and it’s based on the gasoline-powered E-Pace, but it’s almost as big as the F-Pace. It looks sportier though and stands out in the lineup thanks to a wide range of unique features. The I-Pace draws its juice from a big, 90-kWh battery that powers two electric motors rated 394 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque combined. Impressive! The British crossover needs only 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, while mileage is estimated at 240 miles in the U.S. and up to 298 miles in the U.K. Charging the batteries to 80-percent capacity takes only 85 minutes. Pricing for the I-Pace starts from $69,500, which makes it the most expensive of the bunch. Hopefully, Jaguar will develop a less powerful but more affordable version soon.

Read our full review of the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.

Final Thoughts

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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It’s hard to believe that Mercedes-Benz is has fallen behind automakers with far less experience in the crossover segment, but the new EQ division is a sign that the German will soon flood the market with electric vehicles. And the EQC is a great start to this campaign, as crossovers are still highly popular and the market continues to expand at a fast rate.

  • Leave it
    • * The Jaguar I-Pace is already available
    • * BMW iX3 underway

References

2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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