This is a classic example that tuning and customizing EVs at this point is easier said than done

Brabus seems to be adapting to the “rEVolution”. After working on a butt load of Mercedes-Benz’s cars, Brabus has now laid its hands on the company’s first all-electric crossover – the EQC. The tuner has customized EVs from its subsidiary, Smart Fortwo, but this is the first time it is working on an EV with the three-pointed star logo. The EQC has been given typical Brabus-treatment. There are changes made to the exterior as well as the powertrain. The interior in the stock crossover is plush as it is and Brabus hasn’t messed around with it other than adding a few things. But, the main question is – are aftermarket companies prepared to customize EVs already, or is it too soon?

Overview

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
- image 794239

When compared to some of its competitors, Mercedes-Benz has been the slowest to get into mainstream EVs. Its first all-electric crossover, the EQC, has still not arrived in the States and is not expected to be launched in 2021. However, the crossover was unveiled some time back and it looks very impressive. In stock form, the crossover looks pretty neat and clean in terms of aesthetics. It is also loaded to the gills on the inside and features a powertrain that the German automaker has developed from the ground up. In terms of appearance, the EQC is neither overdone nor understated. The interior, on the other hand, can solely be the reason for you to put your money on the EQC. Contrary to the segment norms of everything becoming ‘touch-friendly’, the EQC retains some physical buttons and keys, but not to the extreme where everything feels cluttered. It is a perfect blend and looks phenomenal.

What Does The Brabus EQC Look Like On The Outside?

  • Black Matte Exterior Shade
  • “Circuit Board” Design On The Body
  • Brabus Logos Replace the Three-Pointed Stars All-Around
  • 21-inch Monoblock Z Forged Wheels Look Stunning
  • Wrapped Around Continental High-Performance Tires
  • 20-inch Wheels Also Available With Pirelli Tires
  • Brabus Rear Spoiler
  • New Aerodynamic Kit Under Development
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Exterior
- image 891074

Brabus has retained the structural design of the EQC as it is.

The tuner has opted for a matte black exterior shade with a “circuit board” design all over the body that’s finished in glossy black.

Does it stand for electrification? Up front, the Brabus EQC has the same grille, but all the chrome elements apart from the top-border are blacked out. This includes the vertical slats within the grille as well. The big Mercedes-Benz logo is replaced with the same-sized Brabus emblem. The circuit design is subtle and blends with the body paint, but it is also something you would see on a demo or a test-drive car. The MultiBeam LED headlights are carried over as it is. The headlamp clusters could have been given a ‘smoked’ treatment to make it look sporty, but this isn’t too bad either.

left right

The side profile looks the best, in my opinion. Other than the good looking silhouette, Brabus has given it some neat touches. For starters, the EQC logo on the fender with the blue font and detailing looks stunning. The circuit design is comparatively subtle on the sides. In a few spots, the design lines end with a Brabus logo. Sweet! Brabus has carried over the side step board also as it is.

The tuner has also installed a fantastic set of 21-inch Platinum Edition Monoblock Z Forged wheels. The five-lug nut wheels are finished in black and silver and are wrapped in Continental Sport Contact 6 high-performance tires. The company has installed 255/40 section tires at the front and 285/35 tires at the back. Brabus is also offering another set of wheels and tires on the EQC. The 20-inch wheels features are wrapped around Pirelli P Zero tires that measure 255/45 at the front and 285/40 R 20 tires in the back.The brake calipers are stock with the Mercedes-Benz branding on them.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Exterior
- image 891051
The EQC looks a little incomplete without the roof rails.

Brabus could’ve added them for the sake of aesthetics, even if they weren’t usable. Brabus says it is developing an aerodynamic-enhancement kit for the EQC. It would’ve been a nice touch. Overall, the side profile is the best angle to view the Brabus EQC.

I find the circuit design to be overdone in the rear. With the long slim taillight that run from one end to the other, the tailgate is quite busy as it is. With this pattern, it looks obnoxious. You can see the Brabus logo on the tailgate and the pattern above the right-hand-side taillight. Brabus has also swapped the Mercedes spoiler for one of its own, even though there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. With that said, I’d choose the Brabus treatment over the stock design any day, primarily for those hot smokin’ set of wheels.

How Different Is It From The Stock EQC On The Inside?

  • Two 10.25-inch Displays
  • Brabus Logo On The Door Lock Pins, Floor Mats, and Leather Seats
  • Brabus Illuminated Door Sills With Changing Colors
  • Aluminum Pedals
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Interior
- image 891068

The EQC has an overly smart cabin, and there wasn’t much that could be done here. The fit and finesse of the cabin in stock form is exemplary. There are two 10.25-inch displays here, one each for the instrument cluster and the infotainment system. THE MBUX infotainment system displays the range, charge status, and energy flow, and it enables the driver to set up the EQ-optimized navigation system, driving modes, and charging current. The system also includes an intelligent voice control that is activated by saying, “Hey Mercedes”. Swell!

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Interior
- image 891071

As for Brabus, the company hasn’t made a lot of changes inside. The most prominent add-ons include:

  • Brabus Logo Inscribed On The Door Lock Pins
  • Brabus Illuminated Door Sills With Changing Colors
  • Brabus Leather Seats and Floor Mats
  • Brabus Aluminum Pedals

Did Brabus Tune the EQC’s Electric Motors?

  • Develops 422 Horses – 20 More Than The Stock EQC
  • 612 Pound-Feet of Torque – 48 Pound-Feet More Than The Stock EQC
  • 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds – Two-Tenths Faster
  • One Pedal System Is A Nice Touch
  • No Word If The Range Is The Same Or Gotten Worse
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Drivetrain
- image 891059

Mercedes-Benz has designed a new drivetrain for the EQC. The crossover comes with two electric motors - one on each axle - that generate 402 horses and 564 pound-feet of torque, combined. They are powered by an 80 kWh battery pack that, according to Mercedes, delivers up to 200 miles of range. This is pathetic compared to its primary competitor, the Tesla Model X, which delivers 305 miles with its 100 kWh battery pack. Yes, it’s a bigger battery, but do the math and you’ll see how bad the EQC’s range is.

Brabus has given the EQC an “E-PowerXtra performance upgrade” that bumps output up to 422 horses and 612 pound-feet of torque.

Post this upgrade, the crossover can sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds as opposed to 5.1 seconds in the stock form. The top speed, however, remains at 112 mph. Mercedes also offers five drive modes on the EQC – Comfort, Eco, Max Range, Sport, and Individual. Instead of giving a new button or a switch for the extra power to be unleashed, the company has integrated the performance mode into the present system itself. The peak performance from this upgrade comes when you select the Sport mode in the standard Dynamic Select Switch. With such integrations, you get a feeling of having the same factory finish itself.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Drivetrain
- image 891058
When you’re driving in the Eco mode, the Brabus PowerXtra Electric upgrade allows you to choose "one-pedal driving".

With this, the EQC will decelerate sharply when you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. It requires far less frequent use of the brakes in normal traffic and further increases the energy recovery rate. The stock EQC does not have this feature. Instead, it comes with something known as the Eco Assist System that notifies you when it’s appropriate to lift off the accelerator pedal. This happens when the vehicle is approaching a change in speed limit or an area where coasting can be enabled to save battery. The system works with the data from navigation, traffic sign recognition, and intelligent safety assistants.

How Much Does The Brabus EQC Cost?

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Exterior
- image 891057

Brabus is selling its version of the EQC for €120,000, which is approximately $135,000. The Mercedes-Benz EQC starts at $67,900. That means the Brabus EQC is twice the starting sticker price of the standard EQC. Brabus hasn’t announced the warranty-related data on this electric crossover yet.

Final Thoughts

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC by Brabus Exterior
- image 891054

Given Brabus’ other upgrades to date, the EQC doesn’t feel that expensive. But, when you realize that it is double the price of the standard EQC, you realize that it’s not going to be the tuner’s best-seller. The upgrades offered by Brabus are nice and do make the overall experience a lot better than the standard EQC would. However, in all honesty, it is not worth the premium. Yes, it would’ve been worth it if Brabus has worked on the crossover’s Achilles’ Heel – the range. But, instead, expect it to deliver even lesser range with all the ‘subtle’ performance upgrades.

The Mercedes EQC is priced very well for what is on offer, and, in fact, has the lowest starting price when compared to the competition. It’s immediate competitors, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Audi e-Tron, and the Tesla Model X start at $69,850, $74,800, and $84,990, respectively. You could rather add a little more moolah and get an E-Tron as well! Two stock crossovers at the price of one Brabus EQC. Or even better, a stock EQC and a Tesla Model Y in the Performance Spec for $60,990 that offers better performance and range figures than the Brabus EQC anyway – 315 miles, 145 mph top speed, and 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

And, to answer the question I posed in the intro – No, aftermarket companies aren’t there yet. They need a lot more time and hands-on experience to customize electric vehicles with the same finesse that they do to the internal combustion engine vehicles.

  • Leave it
    • The circuit design on the body is a hit or a miss
    • Performance upgrades don’t make a whole lot of change
    • Pricey transformation
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

With the EQC 400 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz launched its EQ model series of electrically powered vehicles. Using the many years of expertise of its ZERO EMISSION business division, BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, internet www.brabus.com) developed an exclusive refinement concept for this compact crossover. BRABUS symbolizes the hi-tech character of this new mobility generation with a special design on the bodywork of the concept car.
As has been a successful tradition of the world’s largest independent automotive tuner for more than four decades already, the BRABUS development engineers devised a performance upgrade for the electric powertrain of the EQC, which delivers even more agile driving dynamics.
The BRABUS E-PowerXtra performance upgrade increases the output to 310 kW / 422 hp (416 bhp) and bumps peak torque to 830 Nm (612 lb-ft). As a result, the five-door delivers even sportier performance: From rest, the enhanced electric SUV sprints to a speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds.
While the aerodynamic-enhancement kit with the exception of the already available rear spoiler is still under development, the looks of the electrically powered SUV can already be upgraded with tailor-made BRABUS Monoblock Z alloys with diameters of 20 or 21 inches.
As for all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, BRABUS offers a host of custom refinement options for the interior of the EQC 400 4MATIC that culminate in an especially exclusive BRABUS fine leather interior.

BRABUS has been the epitome of fascinating high-performance variants of practically all Mercedes-Benz automobiles. This tradition continues also with the launch of the electric powertrain in the model series of the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. As a look ahead to the more near future, BRABUS already presents an initial exclusive refinement concept for the Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC – with performance upgrade, of course!

The development engineers, electronics engineers and software specialists of the Bottrop-based company came up with a concept for the BRABUS PowerXtra ELECTRIC performance upgrade that is designed to become active when the driver selects drive mode "S" with the standard DYNAMIC SELECT switch.

In this case, peak torque right from the start increases from stock 760 Nm to 830 Nm (561 to 612 lb-ft). At the same time, peak output rises from 300 kW / 408 hp to 310 kW / 422 hp (402 to 416 hp). This results in significantly enhanced driving dynamics, which are reflected in the sprint time from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) being cut to just 4.9 seconds. The top speed remains limited to 180 km/h (112 mph).

When drive mode "E" is active in the Mercedes EQC, the BRABUS PowerXtra ELECTRIC upgrade offers "one pedal driving," a feature often requested by drivers of electric vehicles. The SUV decelerates sharply when the driver just lifts off the accelerator pedal. This requires far less frequent use of the brakes in normal traffic and further increases the energy recovery rate.

While the BRABUS PowerXtra ELECTRIC is currently undergoing trials, the BRABUS Monoblock Z wheels with diameters of 20 or 21 inches for the EQC 400 4MATIC have already been independently safety-certified. The eCrossover can be refined with two variants of the sporty and elegant ten-spoke design available for this model.

The 20-inch variant features alloys eight inches wide on the front axle, mounted with Pirelli P Zero tires of size 255/45 R 20. The rear axle runs on wheels nine and a half inches wide carrying size 285/40 R 20 tires.

The BRABUS Monoblock Z "PLATINUM EDITION" wheels with 21-inch diameter are even more exclusive still. As the result of being produced using a hi-tech forging process, these rims offer a perfect combination of lightweight construction and maximum strength. The front axle runs on size 9Jx21 wheels with ContiSportContact tires of size 255/40 R 21. The rear fender wells accommodate forged rims of size 10.5Jx21 with size 285/35 R 21 tires.

Both tailor-made BRABUS wheel/tire combinations greatly benefit the looks of the EQC 400. The BRABUS designers are already working on a range of aerodynamic-enhancement components for the five-door that makes the custom appearance even more striking. Available now is the BRABUS rear spoiler produced from PUR in OEM quality.

Another specialty of BRABUS is the design of exclusive options for the interior. There are countless possibilities here too for trimming this electric car entirely to the personal taste of its owner. The lineup ranges from BRABUS aluminum pedals and door-lock pins to scuff plates with backlit BRABUS logo in changing colors and a complete redesign of the cockpit.

The company upholstery shop also crafts exquisite BRABUS fine leather interiors for the Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC, which captivate with more than just their endless variety of colors and upholstery layouts. Just as unrivalled is the quality of the workmanship throughout.

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