► Around the price of a high-end GLC
► Arriving next year
► Will spearhead Merc’s electric EQ range
The electric car is well and truly here, and the EV market is about to be flooded by emissionless cars of all shapes and sizes. Mercedes has launched an entirely new ‘EQ’ range of EVs, and the EQ C is going to be the first of the new electrified line-up to hit the road.
Mercedes first revealed the EQ line-up at the 2016 Paris motor show, and just under two years later we’ve got new spy shots of the EQ C production car.
Earlier prototypes pictured in our gallery were hidden under the bodywork of a current Mercedes-Benz GLC - a crossover very close in size and concept to the EQ. Now we can see that the profile and shape of the production car will be a little longer, with a sloping roof lending a little of the shooting-brake-on-stilts vibe.
Outside, the new car looks more like than the concept than we’d have expected. Although the details are more what you’d expect from a contemporary Mercedes road car, the broad brushstrokes aren’t miles away from what we saw in Paris.
Read our guide to the best electric cars in 2018
A bit more on the styling
At the launch of the Generation EQ concept car, back in 2016, we spoke to marketing chief Jens Thiemer about the look of the new SUV.
Why the distinct face? 'We have to bring something new to market,’ Thiemer told us. ‘We have to electrify the design too. We think the front end is a very strong signal of our intent.’
‘The model you see here is very close to the first electric production car.’
That GLC crossover reference is pertinent; the EQ has similar proportions, but with a slicker, more modernist vibe. Pop on production door handles, wheels, lights and interior, and you can easily imagine this sliding into dealer showrooms. And unlike BMW's posh supermini and racy sports car, Merc is planning to launch its sub-brand with a vogueish crossover.
What about the interior?
Inside, the EQ C is a little more conventional, with the disguised interior we snapped a veritable pick’n’mix of the current Mercedes line-up. That’s no bad thing though; as the EQ C’s infotainment set up and steering wheel appear to be lifted off the innovative new, A-class and C-class.
Size-wise, the new EQ C looks to squeeze somewhere in between its more conventionally-powered GLA and GLC cousins. If that’s a little too big or small for your liking, don’t worry; the EQ C is just the of the EQ line-up, so there’s a larger EQ S saloon and more compact EQ A on the way.
A whole family of premium electric cars will be spun from the Electric Vehicle Architecture (dubbed EVA in Mercedes' TLA speak). Each axle will be powered by a 150kW electric motor, giving all-wheel drive and giant-slaying performance potential, according to those familiar with the project.
Insiders talk of power outputs in excess of 400bhp, and an EV range of 500km (310 miles) is being targeted. The lithium-ion battery cells are packed low along the spine of the EVA platform, making for a low centre of gravity (an important consideration when they allegedly add 500kg of extra weight). Total battery capacity? We hear an 80kWh rating is likely.
And the range?
That's enough for a decent range put at 500km, or 310 miles. Mercedes-Benz's own data shows that 86% of all trips are shorter than 100km (62 miles), yet the public need this reassurance to quell range anxiety, it seems.
Back in 2016, Mercedes’ marketing chief Jens Thiemer told us ‘the price will be comparable to a top-end GLC.’ Therefore, expect the new EQ C to retail for around £80k when it hits UK showrooms.
We'll update this article when we know more