Tesla has proven an electric vehicle can be fun, handsome, and upscale. So it’s no surprise that the success of the Model S and Model X has led more mainstream automakers to take up the EV mantle, offering a cast of new fully-electric sports cars, sedans, and crossovers.
One such newcomer is the Mercedes-Benz EQC. It not only represents a new direction for Mercedes, but it’s also a whole new model line.
Here’s what you need to know about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC.
What is it?
The EQC is Mercedes-Benz’s first dedicated electric vehicle, and it’s not a roadster or sedan, but a crossover SUV. This is a crucial way to appeal to potential shoppers, as crossovers and SUVs are some of the most popular vehicles on the road today.
Slated for the 2020 model year, the EQC 400 has a wheelbase of 113.1 inches and an overall length of 187.4 inches. This puts it roughly in between the size of the current GLC-class compact SUV and GLE-class midsize SUV. It will be larger than other electric crossovers and hatchbacks that have entered the market in recent years, such as the BMW i3 and Jaguar I-Pace, but smaller than the Tesla Model X.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 will be driven by a pair of electric motors—one at each set of wheels, thus creating an all-wheel-drive setup. Combined, the motors put out a net 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. This is on par with many turbocharged/supercharged six-cylinder engines, and even some V8 gas engines.
Mercedes-Benz claims this setup will allow the EQC to quietly catapult from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds. That’s in the same neighborhood as our recently tested Range Rover Sport SVR and its supercharged V8 powertrain. Top speed is electronically limited to 112 miles per hour.
Charging and range:
Power for the dual motors is stored in an 80 kWh battery pack. With a full charge, the EQC has a preliminarily estimated range of 279 miles. Range estimates may change closer to the vehicle’s launch next year (for the 2020 model year).
Like other current electric vehicles, there are three levels of charging. Level 1 is a wall-style outlet and Level 2 is a “wallbox” that could be installed in your home, tied to the 220-volt circuit that your drier uses. It also features Level3 DC fast charging, which can bring it from 10 percent to 80 percent charge in around 40 minutes. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t give a Level 1 or Level 2 estimate, only to say that Level 2 will charge in “three times” that of Level 1.
Like its conventionally powered siblings, the EQC provides drivers with a Dynamic Select controller. This dial has different drive modes, including Comfort, Eco, Max Range, Sport, and Individual. These modes can alter the steering feel, suspension stiffness, and throttle response of the vehicle. In the EQC, it will also impact how aggressive the motors respond to the driver depressing the accelerator. Engaging Max Range will alter various vehicle settings to ensure every last electron is being used to get you home.
The EQC 400 features a refined, high tech cabin. Even though it looks futuristic, many of the elements are grounded in current Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The massive digital screen that spans from the instrument panel to the infotainment screen is a similar setup to the one found in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.
However, this navigation system is designed to easily find charging stations. This feature is part of the new MBUX infotainment system and can be accessed simply by saying “Hey Mercedes…” followed by a command. It is designed to follow complex sentences, letting the driver provide instructions in a normal speaking voice. Think of it like Amazon Alexa for your car.
The EQC is available with some of the latest driver assistance features, such as a new form of adaptive cruise control that can use real-time traffic updates to anticipate the start of a traffic jam. It can then gradually reduce vehicle speed as you approach the start of that traffic. It joins a suite of driver assistance features that can not only stop-and-go with traffic, but also automatically brake, sense pedestrians and cyclists, and even provide partial self-driving functions.