2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 Prototype Review: Driving Mercedes’ EV SUV



Circle back to 6 years ago when 11 MotorTrend judges unanimously recognized the then-brand-new Tesla Model S our 2013 Car of the Year. Were you really nervous? Yeah, sure, obviously. Tesla what? Elon who? I recall asking the group if anybody had publicly or forever said that the Model S was vaporware. Ten hands shot up, with another judge saying that his mother instructed him to say nothing had nothing pleasant to say.

Tesla has had lots of ups and downs since then, with CEO-Mascot Elon Musk’s Trumpian Tweets piling on the harm that “manufacturing hell” has wrought. Still, paraphrasing what I mentioned back in September 2012, I’ll never bet against a billionaire who docked his enemy ship together with the International Space Station the week until his electrical luxury Condo won Car of the Year. Consider that Tesla has accounted for 4.6% of all vehicles sold in California during Q3 of 2018–also California has more taxpayers than Canada.

The rest of the industry is finally waking up to Tesla’s success and stirring up fast. Chevrolet did an unbelievable job with the Bolt EV (our 2017 Car of the Year), but earnings are down this year–GM blames that to a change to overseas production, but inexpensive gas also has most people purchasing Tahoes rather than Bolts.

I also think that people (currently) interested in electrical automobiles aren’t interested in Chevy badges. Premium vehicles that come around as top –such as most of three Teslas but unlike the slow-selling BMW i3–will be what these customers need. To humor, Jaguar simply launched the handsome I-Pace while Audi is gearing up to provide 2 EVs–the E-Tron SUV along with E-Tron GT. Porsche’s most magnificent though sadly named Taycan is right around the corner. As might be the first of 10 offerings from Mercedes-Benz’s new subbrand E–the EQC 400. Europe is going to be able to get the electrical Benz come June. Americans will need to wait till January 2020.

To break down the nomenclature somewhat, for the time being, all fully electrical Mercedes is going to be known as EQs. I call this tradition won’t last long, since it gets into the way of this new ’s different names. As an example, the EQC 400 is obviously an SUV. In fact, it’s assembled on precisely exactly the same manufacturing line since the GLC. Presently, GL is currently Mercedes-speak to get SUV (GL having an abbreviation of all Gelandewagen, or “cross-country automobile ”-RRB-, along with the GLC is the SUV that’s roughly analogous in shape and cost to the C-Class. That’s the C GLC comes from. What exactly happens when Mercedes starts an electrical C-Class? EQC is already taken. Anyhow, for the time being, the very first all-electric SUV from Mercedes is going to be known as the EQC 400. The 400 stands to get a 400-kilometer battery array (back to that in a moment ).

The 400 can (almost) endure for horsepower, as together front and rear electric motors generate 408 of them. The front engine is slightly smaller, has five windings, and can be slightly less successful than the trunk, which comprises seven windings. That’s just how Mercedes EQ is doing rear-wheel bias. Torque is really healthy, too, at 564 lb-ft.

EQ engineer Bastian Schult informs me that 0–60 mph will take place in 4.9 minutes. You might think with all that power the EQC 400 could be a bit faster. Thing is, this compact SUV weighs only around 5,400 lbs. That’s heavy. The final Mercedes GLC 300 we weighed came in at 4,006 lbs. Why so hefty? The 80-kW-hr battery pack together with its corresponding crash structure clocks in at 1,430 lbs. Sure, there’s no more internal combustion engine, but you will find the 2 motors, together with all the connected liquid cooling for both the motors and the battery. For the sake of comparison, the last Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Performance we analyzed weighed 4,078 lbs and hit 60 mph in 3.3 minutes. In terms of SUVs, the Tesla Model X sits at 5,516 lbs, although it’s a larger vehicle than the EQC 400.

The 400-kilometer array relies on the WLTP European standard. Should you do a direct metric conversion, then the range comes outside to 249 miles. However, it is possible to ’t only do a direct conversion. Schult estimates that the EQC 400 will soon be EPA certified at 220 miles of range. For proof, he points out the afternoon before I revealed, hersquo;d carefully driven the thing for 207 miles and had 7% remaining on the battery. That will add up to some 222-mile range. That’s not class-leading, though anything around 200 miles works in the actual world. Charge times are what we’ve grown used to, together using the battery charging into 80 percent in 40 minutes onto a 110-kW charger.

External, Mercedes has created a new front end for the EQ family. In my eyes there’s something vaguely Japanese about the underbite headlight surround. It might be the sharp corners coming from each “eye,” almost like a JDM minivan you’d see prowling the streets of Tokyo. It’s an adequate layout but none I’d go having to launch a new –subbrand or not. Unlike many electric automobiles, the grille is still in residence and totally operational, as it’s used to trendy everything ’s under the hood.

When compared with the GLC, the EQC is 4 inches longer, and all the excess span goes rearward to provide the electrical crossover a much more coupelike overall look. The tricky side is definitely the best angle. The rear is solid and well executed if not a little derivative. Everyone seems to be doing the solid taillight bar nowadays, especially Porsche. Inside, Mercedes did a wonderful job of keeping familiar Benz controllers but mixing them with some EQ-specific flourishes. The bronze vents and the silver heating fins on either side of the passenger compartment stand out the very best.

What’s the EQC 400 want to push? That’s the multibillion-dollar question, isn’Can it be? This ’s the funny part–and I will write a comedy sketch routine based on the frequency with which this occurs to me: The American PR people swear I will drive it; the Germans feel different. After much international drama (conducted on a bridge, naturally ), I basically stole the item when the Germans let down their guard.

The EQC feels very strong, even in Normal mode. You will find three driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco, plus something named Max, which you change into when range anxiety hits and you just will need to reach that charger. The EQC is also nearly silent–quieter than other vehicles. Ever since the Tesla Roadster, a feature of electrical propulsion was a whirring, Star Wars&timid;–such as sound. Mercedes has mounted motors through subframes into the automobile by way of huge rubber mounts that effectively remove that sound. All you hear is wind and drill patter. A manufacturing EQC 400 ought to be even quieter than this model. To begin with, it’s getting thicker glass.

The ride quality is still very good–something I experienced from the passenger seat– even though from underneath the wheel you are acutely aware of just how heavy the EQC is. There’s plodding sense to the automobile, such as it’s simply crushing what lies under. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s quite surprising in such a little package. All that battery weight is down low, and because of this that Mercedes hugs the street. During my illegal drive it was raining, yet the EQC 400 felt sure-footed. Planted, even. I barely had an opportunity to play the four brake-regeneration manners before I received an especially nasty phone call, ordering me back into base camp. Notice that the EQC 400 defaults to Auto regen mode, which uses map data, radar data, and also the stereo to “intelligently” set the quantity of regeneration. You pull on the left paddle for longer regen, the most suitable one for significantly much less.

Even the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 includes the selection, size, luxury, performance, and, possibly most important, the badge that early adopters of all all-electric transportation seem to crave. Authentic, it’s not a ground-up electric vehicle and consequently has some shortcomings–such as a engine at which you might expect a frunk–but none who are deadly. Furthermore, when this Mercedes hits the marketplace, its only direct competitor is going to likely soon be Audi and Jaguar. The upcoming Tesla Model Y crossover hasn’t been formally announced (discuss a badly kept secret), despite rumors of a mid-2020 introduction, like all new Tesla models, I’ll believe it when I push it. The electrification of the car remains inescapable, along with the EQC shows that Mercedes-Benz will be part of this revolution.

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 Prototype Review: Driving Mercedes’ EV SUV appeared on MotorTrend.

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