With the words ‘Electric now has a Mercedes’, EQC – the first of a family of electric- powered vehicles being launched by the luxury carmaker over the next two years – has been introduced to the Irish market ahead of its Q4 sales launch.
Conveying more than a hint of the research and care that went into the task of establishing its new EQ division and bringing the EQC to market, its arrival heralds the beginning of a drive towards alternative energy vehicles by the Stuttgart manufacturer – one that PA Consultants predicts will make them leader in the electric vehicle segment by 2021.
More than 130 years since Karl Benz introduced the world to motoring, the EQC sees Mercedes-Benz enter the era of electromobility with its first fully electric-powered passenger car.
Flicking the switch on a mid-sized SUV whose design is inspired by the latest Mercedes- Benz GLC model, EQC is said by Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes passenger vehicles in Ireland, to have been “conceived to meet all the requirements for a battery- electric drive system whilst meeting every demand in terms of contemporary, sustainable mobility”.
“Trailblazer for what will be a growing family of all-electric vehicles to come from Mercedes-Benz under its EQ branding, other models in a 10-vehicle pipeline scheduled to launch here between now and 2022 are an EQV
personnel carrier, EQA, EQB, EQS and EQE models based on their current petrol-diesel equivalents, and others yet to be announced,” Mr. Allen said.
Marketed through a small, geographically selected body of dealers recruited from the wider Mercedes-Benz dealer network, sales of EQC will commence in earnest during Q4 ahead of the 2020 registrations period and after the necessary technical staff training and familiarisation processes have been completed.
Heading the model offering will be an EQC 400 4-Matic, 300Kw/408hp model whose price begins at €89,450 – some €3,445 and €10,800 lower than its two main rivals. Though exceedingly well specified, it can be further enhanced with an AMG exterior (bringing the price to €91,897), AMG Electric Art Interior (€92,713) and with full AMG Exterior and Interior fitments (€93,546).
Partnering its introduction will be a fully specified EQC ‘Edition 1886’ version – a model some believe will become a collectors’ item. Listed at €105,882, its purchase price reduces by €10,000 to €95,882 when SEAI grant and VRT tax rebate are deducted.
Delightfully finished in what Mercedes-Benz calls ‘metallic, high-tech silver’ and subtly furnished with 1886 adornments, the Edition 1886 model recalls the year in which Karl Benz brought motoring to the world with his famed Benz Patent Motorwagen invention.
Progressive Design, Extremely Quiet Interior
Progressive in design and branded with the familiar ‘star’ motif, there will be no mistaking EQC as a member of the Daimler family.
Classed as a ‘crossover-SUV’ – thanks to its extended roofline, window layout and low waistline – EQC is visually positioned between a conventional SUV and an SUV Coupé and is fitted with many design details and colour highlights typical of the brand.
First shown as a ‘close-to-production’ concept vehicle at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, EQC is the sum of its attributes in matters of comfort, quality and operating range. With combined power consumption of 22.2 kWh/100km and an eco-pleasing emissions figure of zero, EQC has the additional headline feature of having a range of more than 450kms.
Its powerful electric drive system is driven by two electric motors mounted at each axle, front and rear, whose system output can be increased thanks to scalable battery components.
Standard battery power is 80kWh. Power output is 408hp/765Nm delivering an acceleration figure of 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds. A permanent all-wheel-drive system delivers the guarantee of dynamic high-level performance.
Designers have given it a distinctive and pioneering avant-garde electric look reflected in its silver finish, sweeping grille and dynamic, sporty, stretched silhouette marked by a flowing transition from front to rear. Striking at the front is its large black-panel surface and torch-like, fibre optic daytime running lamps.
Inside, in its extremely quiet interior, innovative design inspired by the world of consumer electronics has created an altogether fresh and excitingly dynamic cabin.
Various innovative solutions combine to create a completely new concept encapsulated by Mercedes-Benz in the word ‘CASE’, an acronym for ‘connected’, ‘autonomous’, ‘shared’ and ‘electric’ and a fusion of the four pillars upon which the EQ concept is built.
Standard fitments include the trailblazing MBUX multimedia system and ‘Hey Mercedes’ driver assist and command features. Amongst its numerous EQC-specific MBUX functions are such items as display of range, charge status and energy flow and other latest-generation driving assistance systems that include new tailback management functions.
Amongst the features awaiting EQC owners are the driving characteristics of an all- wheel drive vehicle and selectable driving modes, each with different characteristics.
Behind the wheel, driver and passengers will be cosseted in classic Mercedes levels of luxury, comfort and technology whilst being impressed by its overall sense of silence and ‘rocket-like’ power and acceleration. Noticeable also is its low centre of gravity thanks to the floor-level positioning of the battery and power drives.
A pre-climatisation feature means no scraping ice in Winter and no perspiration in Summer, and for those who go towing, a trailer coupling is available on request, the maximum towing capacity set at 1800 kg.
Its lithium-ion battery – for which a standard home charging system, a grant-supported overnight charging ‘wallbox’ system, or a fast, rapid-charging system to bring power up from 10 to 80 percent in just 40-minutes are available – comes with an 8-years or 160,000kms factory guarantee.
Stringent additional safety requirements for the battery and all components carrying electrical current have also been introduced. Battery recuperation is also possible using gearshift paddles located behind the steering wheel. Extended service plans are also available.
EQC – First of Many to Come
Manufactured at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, and powered by a battery produced by a Daimler subsidiary near Dresden, EQC is said by Mercedes-Benz to be the symbol of a new era in mobility.
EQ, the initials chosen by Mercedes-Benz to represent its move into the electric- powered vehicle sector, stands for ‘electric intelligence’ – characteristics it says that ‘encompass all key aspects for customer-focused electric mobility extending beyond the vehicle itself’.
In this, the intention is to create a consistent and clear image under the EQ banner for sustainable products and services bearing the Mercedes-Benz star. As such, EQ will exist as a stand-alone, independently-operated division within the Daimler organisation alongside, though separate from, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes AMG and the Maybach division, each one having the mandate to develop its own individual and distinctive ‘brand person'.