A fitting special edition for a crossover that could turn into one of Mercedes’ key electric models

Mercedes-Benz attended the 2019 New York International Auto Show with a special edition electric SUV that pays tribute to its past and looks ahead to its future, all at the same time. It’s called the Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition, and as you might imagine, the “1886” in its name is a direct nod to the year Karl Benz applied for a patent for a “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” The EQC 1886 Edition is, in many ways, unique in its celebration of the German automaker’s history and its plans for a new electric-powered era of models. Like most special edition models, the EQC 1886 Edition benefits from a bevy of aesthetic upgrades in its exterior and interior. There’s no mention of any power and performance upgrades, though it’s hard to expect one from a vehicle whose identity is less about actual performance and more about showcasing Mercedes’ electrified future. Mercedes has yet to reveal a price tag for the special edition EQC, but it will be available sometime in 2020.

Exterior

  • Black panel vanity radiator grille
  • Gloss black louvres
  • 1886 Edition badges on the fenders
2019 Mercedes EQC 1886 Edition
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The Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition doesn’t look like a profound special edition model, at least when you compare it to other models that have been given the label. But for Mercedes, not only is it a special edition model, but it’s also a symbolic model that will usher in a new era of mobility for the German automaker. If for nothing else, there is something special about that.

Physically, the EQC 1886 Edition doesn’t stray away from its standard counterpart. It still looks the same, though a few additions were placed to give the electric crossover an identity worthy of its special edition name. It’s only available in one color — a shiny metallic high-tech silver finish — but it does feature a black panel vanity radiator grille with gloss black louvers and edges. This is a subtle departure from the chrome grilles and louvers on the standard model.

Over on the side, a small rectangular blade sits on the fenders of the EQC. It’s also finished in gloss black, but it does have a blue “1886” lettering to denote its special edition status.

The special edition EQC also sits on a set of 20-inch gloss black, 10-spoke wheels with white accents. It’s a different design from what we’ve seen from the standard EQC, though it’s unclear if this particular look is exclusive to the special edition model. Either way, the set of wheels is a natural fit to the aesthetics that Mercedes wants to show off.

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The rest of the crossover is standard fit. From the overall look of the front to the side profile to the rear design. On its own, the Mercedes EQC isn’t as striking as I’d like it to be, but it has proven itself to be an acquired taste. There are sections that still could’ve been designed better — the shape of the headlamps look dated — but there are a number of design aspects that have gotten better to the eyes as time has passed, specifically the rear section and the aesthetic symmetry and balance cast by the stretched taillight bar, the horizontal body line that separates the bumper, the thin brake lines, and the chrome trim at the bottom. That’s quality design work right there.

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Now, you’re probably wondering about the significance of “1886” and how it connects to all of this.

Obviously, 1886 stands for the year 1886. It’s a very important year for Mercedes because, according to the company, it was the year it gave birth to the automobile, specifically on January 29, 1886, the day Carl Benz supposedly applied for a patent for a “vehicle powered by a gas engine.”

Seven months after filing that patent, Mercedes unveiled a three-wheeled vehicle in July 1886, ushering in an era for the automaker and gas-powered mobility in general. The idea behind the EQC 1886 Edition isn’t just about creating a special edition model — Mercedes is known for these First Edition models — but also bridging its past with its future. There’s something poetically romantic about that notion, and while the EQC 1886 Edition isn’t something that I’d describe as a poetic representation of Mercedes’ nostalgia, I can still see the message behind it.

Interior

  • Indigo Blue and Black seats with white stitching
  • "1886 Edition" embroidery on the seat and center console
  • "EQC" embroidery on the floor mats
  • Energizing Package is available in the special edition model
2019 Mercedes EQC 1886 Edition
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The interior of the Mercedes EQC 1886 Edition is arguably the more interesting section, in part because there are more exclusive touches in the cabin to go with a very intriguing package that includes, among other things, air fragrance and ionization systems. Catch your attention yet?

First, let’s start with the Indigo Blue and Black seats with the latter part looking more like gray than black.

Either way, the two-tone color is offset by white stitching, which adds another layer to its visual charm. The backrest also comes with an embroidered 1886 logo while the seats themselves feature a new design in MB-Tex vinyl and Dynamic microfiber. More embroidery can be found in the center console where “Edition 1886” proudly sits. As expected, the floor mats aren’t left out fun the fun, either, as “EQC” is embroidered in all of them.

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The exclusive touches are nice, and they embrace the aesthetic language that Mercedes has created for the crossover. But the real treat in this section of the electric crossover is the Energizing Package, which, Mercedes claims, can literally energize you. Maybe there’s a little hyperbole on Merc’s part about that, but you can’t deny that the package was developed for anything else other than what it sounds like. According to Mercedes, the Energizing Package works with a number of the EQC’s onboard systems, including lighting and climate control. The goal of the system is to keep the driver alert while driving on the road. It sounds trivial — a cup of coffee should do the trick, right? — but even with all the ways we can be alert on the road, there are still instances where that attention wanes and, more often than not, that leads to possible accidents on the road. While the package doesn’t promise to eliminate that possibility, it does do its part, thanks to a series of computer-driven data that are processed by what Merc calls an “energizing coach.”

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Using this data, the coach chooses specific programs for the driver that best suits him to keep him from losing focus on the road.

The system can also be personalized by integrating Garmin smart wearables. Hardly a surprise that the American tech company known for its pioneering GPS efforts is involved. The two companies have an existing partnership that covers many aspects of Mercedes production, specifically in the navigation front. It turns out; an integrated Garmin smart wearable provides the EQC 1886 Edition with individual health and well-being information. The Energizing Package is probably something that isn’t for everyone, but it’s nice to know that it’s there when you’re making a purchase of the EQC 1886 Edition.

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The last interior bits of note include offerings like a Burmester Surround Sound System and power adjustable driver and front passenger seats with memory. Should you wish, you can also add special remote and navigation services.

Drivetrain

  • 80-kWh battery pack; two asynchronous motors
  • 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque output
  • 4MATIC all-wheel drive
  • 4.9-second 0-to-60-mph time
  • Up to 293 miles range on a single charge
2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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The Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition does not feature any changes to the powertrain and drivetrain, though that is to be expected. Making performance changes to the crossover’s battery pack doesn’t make sense at this point given how new the EQC still is. If Mercedes had done it, a bigger battery pack would have been needed, and the EQC is not yet at that stage where it can be tinkered with in that fashion. Soon enough, there could be updates in store for the electric crossover that bolster its power and performance capabilities. But that’s a topic for another day.

For now, the EQC 1886 Edition utilizes the same powertrain as all other EQC models: an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery and a pair of asynchronous electric motors.

Together, the two power sources combine to produce an impressive 402 horsepower and an even more impressive 564 pound-feet of torque. Merck’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive ensures that all that power travels to all four wheels of the crossover, helping it sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The performance figure is impressive, too, even if it falls a bit short compared to what other same-segment electric crossovers have to offer.

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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The Jaguar I-Pace, for example, is powered by a bigger 90-kWh battery pack, and while it produces “only” 394 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque, it has an edge in acceleration time over the EQC, achieving a 0-60-mph time of just 4.5 seconds. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model X is an unfair comparison, especially if you use the P100D. Fortunately, Tesla now has the 90D siblings — the 90D and the P90D — that utilize a 90-kWh battery pack like the Jaguar I-Pace. 90D produces 259 horsepower from both the front and rear electric motor, and when properly applied, 60 mph can appear in as little as 4.8 seconds. The performance-oriented P90D, on the other hand, can tap 259 horsepower in the front and another 503 horsepower in the rear, enabling it to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Throw in the vaunted Ludicrous Speed Upgrade, and you’re looking at a 0-to-60 time of just 3.2 seconds, which is as just as a Koenigsegg CCX. Welp.

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You might think that the Mercedes EQC trails its rivals in the performance department, and while there are nuggets of truth to that, the Merc electric crossover does well for itself in the range department by returning up to 293 miles on a single charge.

For its part, the I-Pace can only do 240 miles in the U.S. while the Model X achieves only 257 miles and 250 miles in the 90D and P90D variants, respectively.

2020 Mercedes EQC drivetrain specifications
Estimated Range Up to 200 miles
Drive system 2 asynchronous motors, all-wheel drive
Rated output 402 hp
Peak torque 564 lb-ft
Top speed (mph) 112 mph (electronically limited)
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.9 s (est.)
Battery Lithium-ion
Battery capacity 80 kWh
Length / width (width with mirrors) / height 187.4 / 74.2 (82.5) / 63.9 in
Track width (F/R) 64.0/63.6 in
Wheelbase 113.1 in

Pricing

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The Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition will be available for purchase in 2020. That much we know already. Less known is the price tag for the special edition crossover. In fact, Mercedes hasn’t revealed the pricing details of the standard EQC, so there’s that to worry about it, too. That said, there have been rumors that the standard EQC will start at around $70,000. Given its perceived exclusivity, don’t be surprised if the EQC 1886 Edition fetches a hefty premium over its standard model counterpart. A price tag of around $80,000, perhaps? Nothing’s off the table at this point, so the best way to go about it is to prepare to pay a lot in the event that you want to buy one.

Final Thoughts

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I like the idea behind the Mercedes EQC 1886 Edition. Given its penchant for releasing First Edition SEs in the past, a special edition EQC that launches at the same time as the model itself is completely in Mercedes’ wheelhouse. I’m not overly impressed with the special edition model itself, but I do find myself drawn into that Energizing Package. That’s something I’d like to check out, even if it doesn’t have to be in the EQC1886 Edition. I understand the charm behind the special edition, though. I wouldn’t even begrudge anyone who wants to buy one. It’s a good special edition to buy, especially if you’re the type who’s interested in the story behind its name. But it’s not for me. If I have to spend north of $70,000 to buy one, I’d put that money to good use buying something else. Nothing against the Mercedes EQC 1886 Edition, of course. It’s just not my cup of tea.

  • Leave it
    • Price could be expensive
    • Not for everyone
    • Very little in the way of exterior upgrades that justify its SE label

Further Reading

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC.

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.

Mercedes EQC vs Mercedes Generation EQ Concept
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Mercedes EQC vs Mercedes Generation EQ Concept

Mercedes EQC vs Tesla Model X
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Mercedes EQC vs Tesla Model X

A limited special edition marks Mercedes-Benz’s resolute dawn of a new era of electric mobility – the EQC Edition 1886 (combined electric energy consumption: 20.8 - 19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)[1]. With the EQC Edition 1886, the brand with the three-pointed star is emphasizing that its idea of future mobility goes well beyond vehicles themselves. The EQC Edition 1886 therefore combines an extensive range of optional extras with customer-friendly services related to electric mobility. The Edition model celebrates its world premiere today at the New York International Autoshow.

“The EQC is the pioneer of our future Mercedes-Benz EQ vehicle portfolio. For the market launch, the EQC Edition 1886 serves as a reminder of the invention of the first automobile and we are emphasizing the pioneering spirit that sustains and characterises us today more than ever. Back then, we were the ones to first revolutionise individual mobility. The EQC now once again marks the departure into a new era. An era in which electric mobility is reliable, simple and at the same time exciting,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. “The EQC Edition 1886 not only stands for progressive design, exciting driving dynamics and a range more than suitable for daily use, it also stands for intelligent additional services that anticipate and fulfil the driver’s needs. Long-term, worry-free vehicle use is the focus here.”

Exclusive appeal, high-quality looks

Carefully coordinated elements on the exterior and interior are among the optional extras for the EQC Edition 1886. The black panel radiator grille with louvres and edging in high-gloss black ensure a particularly exclusive character on the exterior. The EQC Edition 1886 is available exclusively in metallic high-tech silver. Further individual features include the high-gloss black badge with special EQC Edition 1886 lettering on the mudguard and the 10-spoke 20-inch light-alloy wheels in high-gloss black with white decorative elements.

The exclusive appeal continues in the interior, for example with the new seat designs with upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather/ DINAMICA microfibre in indigo blue and black. A special EQC Edition 1886 lettering is embroidered into the seat backrests. The lettering can also be found as a badge on the centre console. This level of detail is also evident in the specific trim elements in silver matrix look as well as the floor mats with the “EQC” embroidery.

ENERGIZING package ensures individual feel-good atmosphere

The EQC Edition 1886 also has outstanding driving assistance systems for the highest level of safety and driving comfort. The Burmester® surround sound system provides remarkable sound and fully shows its potential in the extremely quiet interior of the EQC. The ENERGIZING package is also on-board. The ENERGIZING comfort controller combines various systems in the car, thus creating an optimal environment from the lighting mood to the fragrancing and ionisation of the air to keep the user fresh and vitalised. The ENERGIZING COACH uses data from the vehicle and surroundings to recommend one of the ENERGIZING programmes that fits the situation and the individual. Aspects such as the traffic situation, weather and length of the journey, for example, are included in the assessment. In addition, data providing information on the driver’s current well-being can also be used. This is made possible by networking with available Garmin® wearables (smartwatches/fitness trackers). Further optional extras such as electric adjustable driver and front passenger seats with memory function round off the Edition package.

Key topics: long-term worry-free vehicle usage

With an extensive range of standard service packages, the EQC Edition 1886 covers the most important customer needs and ensures long-term worry-free vehicle usage. These include the service packages “Maintenance Service”, “Pick-up & Delivery Service” as well as “Vehicle Warranty Extension”.[2]

“Maintenance Service” comprises all required maintenance work for a period of up to six years or a mileage of 150,000 kilometres. Special attention is paid to checking safety-relevant components and checking the functionality of electric components. Usage of Mercedes-Benz Genuine Parts and special tools ensures a smooth and reliable driving experience.

Combined with the “Maintenance Service”, the “Pick-up & Delivery Service” makes planning workshop visits as convenient as possible. The EQC Edition 1886 will be collected for maintenance work over a period of six years (or up to six times) and will also be returned upon the customer’s request. This service is available from the customer’s home, from the office or from any other place within a defined radius around an authorised Mercedes-Benz workshop.

The service package “Vehicle Warranty Extension” protects the vehicle owner against unexpected repair costs beyond the standard Mercedes-Benz new car warranty up to a vehicle age of six years. The extended vehicle warranty is the optimal enhancement to the standard Battery Certificate for the high-voltage battery, which covers a period of eight years or a mileage of 160,000 kilometres. It guarantees a properly functioning high-voltage battery and also covers a significant capacity loss.

All three service packages are bound to the vehicle for a period of six years and are transferred to subsequent owners in case the vehicle is sold. This additionally contributes to the vehicle’s value retention.

Charging: Flexible and fast

Like every EQC, the EQC Edition 1886 has a water-cooled on-board charger (OBC) with an output of 7.4 kW and is therefore ready for charging with alternating current (AC) at home and at public charging stations. Charging at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. It is even faster with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC, with a suitable market-specific plug. Depending on the SoC (status of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station.

Special remote and navigation services are also available for the EQC Edition 1886, as is the digital charging service Mercedes me Charge, which gives access to a number of public charging stations. Drivers of the EQC Edition 1886 also receive discounted access to the European rapid charging network IONITY.

Technical data

CO2 emissions

0 g/km

Electric energy consumption (NEDC)

20.8 - 19.7 kWh/100 km[3]

Range (NEDC)

445 - 471 kmiii

Drive system

2 asynchronous motors, all-wheel drive

Output

300 kW (408 hp)

Peak torque

760 Nm

Top speed

180 km/h (governed)

Acceleration 0-100 km/h

5.1 s

Battery

Lithium-ion

Battery capacity (NEDC)

80 kWh

Battery weight

652 kg

Length/width (incl. mirrors)/height:

4,761/1,884 (2,096) /1,623 mm

Track width (FA/RA)

1,625/1,615 mm

Wheelbase

2,873 mm

Luggage compartment (depending on equipment fitted)

approx. 500 l

Kerb weight/perm. GVW/payload

2,495/2,940/445 kg

Perm. trailer load for 12% uphill gradient

1,800 kg

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