At CES 2019 in Las Vegas the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle from the EQ brand is celebrating its US premiere. The EQC (combined power consumption: 22.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km, provisional details) symbolises the beginning of a new mobility era at Daimler, according to a statement by the automaker.
“With its seamless, clear design and colour highlights typical of the brand, it is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes. These elements are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 300 kW. Thanks to an ingenious operation strategy, the EQC has a preliminary range of 450 kilometres (279 miles) according to the European cycle NEDC. EQ also offers comprehensive services with Mercedes me, and makes electromobility convenient and suitable for day-to-day motoring.”
The statement said as the first Mercedes-Benz model under the new product and technology brand EQ, the Mercedes-Benz EQC has many trailblazing design details and colour highlights typical of the brand. Both inside and out, the EQC embodies the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. This arises from the combination of a previously unknown beauty, the conscious clash of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design.
By virtue of its muscular proportions, the EQC is classed as a crossover SUV. The extended roofline and window layout with a low waistline and the coupé-like roof recess at the rear visually position it between an SUV and an SUV coupé.
Star Car: putting on a big show with the Night Design
A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface enclosing the headlamps and grille. Exclusively for the American market the large Mercedes star on the panel is illuminated at night as standard and for the first time it can also be combined with the radar-controlled DISTRONIC. This ensures a particularly impressive look in darkness. The Night Design is also unique thanks to the inclusion of the fibre-optic cable for the first time. As the finishing touch to the top of the Black Panel it provides a visual link to the characteristic Mercedes‑Benz daytime running lights. This creates an almost uninterrupted, horizontal light band. The inner housings and tubes of the standard MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are in high-gloss black. Contrasting colour highlights discreetly confirm the model’s membership of the new EQ family: blue stripes on a white background, and MULTIBEAM lettering also in blue.
The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. One example is the louvred edge of the instrument panel, which resembles the cooling ribs of a hi-fi amplifier. The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit. The typical Mercedes-Benz wing profile is asymmetrical, with a “cut-out” in the driver area. This is where one of the visual highlights of the cockpit is located – a high-tech, high gloss cassette housing flat air vents with key-shaped, rosé-gold coloured louvres.
Powertrain: Dynamic performance meets efficiency
As the first Mercedes-Benz model to be launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC features an all-new drive system development with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. These give the EQC the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive.
To reduce power consumption and increase dynamism, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimised for best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear one determines dynamism. Together, they generate an output of approx. 300 kW and a combined maximum torque of 765 Nm.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet.
The lithium-ion battery, which has an energy content of 80 kWh (NEDC), supplies the vehicle with power. The power consumption and range of electric vehicles greatly depend on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and an individually adaptable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using so-called paddles behind the steering wheel.
The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support when driving predictively: by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to come off the accelerator, e.g. because the vehicle is approaching a speed limit, and by functions such as coasting and specific control of recuperation. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed.
Charging: Flexible and fast
As standard the EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for AC charging at home or at public charging stations.
Within the EU the charging process at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is up to three times faster than at a household socket; in the USA the time advantage when charging at a Wallbox is even up to eight times as much, because here the voltage at a household socket is usually 120 V. It is faster still with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC, with a suitable market-specific plug – for example via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA, CHAdeMO in Japan or GB/T in China. 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. It then takes around 40 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 percent SoC (provisional figures).