Road Test Mercedes EQC 400 4 Matic: opening salvo

Essai Mercedes EQC

Mercedes enters the electric stage.

To each their own. An electric SUV, to test the market, to position the brand, to retain early adopters, to scout the development and validation process. And to help achieve the Energy Vehicles required on the chinese market, the largest in the world.

Test Mercedes EQC 400

The EQC has however a peculiar genealogy. Circumstances lead the team in charge of developing the GLC SUV to take into account the constraints that would make it ideal for full electrification. In 2015, the Mercedes board of management is presented with the opportunity to develop a first major electric cars –  electric B-class and SLS AMG Electric Drive notwithstanding – in only 4 years, instead of the customary 6 year cycle for a brand new, dedicated platform.

Test Mercedes EQC 400 4Matic AMG Line

The project receives approval, and a a concept is presented at the 2016 Paris Motorshow. After one year of design work, Michael Kelz and his project team embark on a 3 year validation program that will take them from -35 degC in the polar circle to +50 degC in various deserts on the planet.

Test Mercedes EQC 400 4Matic

The EQC is thus intrinsically a GLC SUV married with a an electric powertrain instead of its internal combustion engine. Almost 90% of the body in white are identical. The EQC is an industrial achievement in terms of modularity: it is assembled on the same lines as the GLC, just like an additional engine or trim variant, which affords Mercedes great flexibility in terms of production capacity management.

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