If you lost count, it’s been nearly two years since we first saw Mercedes-Benz’s electric crossover concept. That vehicle looked slick in a no-door-handles way, and Mercedes executives said it would have the power (400 horses) and range (300 miles) to play with the big boys (i.e., Tesla).
On September 4 in Stockholm, the automaker released a pre-production version of that EV. Unlike the B-Class compliance electric car the automaker sold here for several years, this model is built from the ground up to drive exclusively on electric power.
Here’s everything you need to know about about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC following its debut.
1. Impressive power and drivetrain specs
While the numbers may change slightly, the data from Mercedes confirms the automaker means business with this EV. The EQC will have twin synchronous electric motors delivering 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque through an all-wheel-drive system.
Mercedes said the EQC will be able to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds from a stop and have a top speed of 112 miles per hour. As a point of reference, you’ll find that type of acceleration in the Tesla Model X 75D.
Meanwhile, the Jaguar I-Pace runs to 60 a bit quicker (4.5 seconds) and boasts a higher top speed (124 mph) than the Benz EV.
2. Disappointing range
While it’s not all about range anymore with EVs, there are certain standards that have to be met. We’d say the EQC falls a bit short of that mark with a stated 200 miles of range. After all, it’s coming from a 80 kWh battery. (Besides, we heard 300 miles when it was a concept.)
Overall, 200 sounds less than stellar, especially when you consider Mercedes’s model has a shorter wheelbase (by 3-4 inches) than the SUVs by Jaguar and Tesla. (Both the I-Pace and Model X have wider tracks as well.)
Granted, the I-Pace packs a 90 kWh battery (240 miles), but Model X does more with the 75 kWh pack (237 miles). Maybe Mercedes is intentionally keeping expectations low in this department.
While 200 miles doesn’t sound great, an electric car can make up for it with an excellent charging system — but we’re not sure the EQC will have one. It will have a 7.4 kW onboard charger, which is a shade more powerful than the 2018 Nissan Leaf.
However, the 2019 Leaf has been rumored to start at 11 kW. Needless to say, we’re not sure why Mercedes would be chasing the Leaf.
Meanwhile, fast-charging specs (110 kW and 10-80% in 40 minutes) are also less than mind-blowing. Earlier this year, Porsche said it will be able to tack on 250 miles in 15 minutes in its Taycan EV. The EQC would be closer to adding 150 miles in 30 minutes.
4. First of Mercedes’s EQ brand
The EQC will be the first model from Mercedes-Benz’s EQ (“Electric Intelligence”) sub-brand. It will involve a sleek, remarkably stripped-down instrument cluster and center controls as well as the sort of tech you expect from the latest Mercedes.
At least in the pre-production design, Mercedes seems to have gotten everything right here. You might argue for a little more flash in the exterior (i.e., something closer to the concept), but at least it takes a baby step past the brand’s conservative 2018 SUV lineup.
5. Production and release dates
Daimler, the automaker’s parent company, will have its Deutsche Accuomotive subsidiary produce the battery for the EQC, and Mercedes said it will begin production at its Bremen plant in mid-2019. (It will make a run in the 2019-2020 Formula E season.)
As for the U.S. market, we’ll see it stateside as a 2020 model in the same year (2020). As is the custom, there was no hint of pricing at the EQC launch in Stockholm.