Electrical vehicles aren’t only for saving the world. A minimum of that is the message delivered by the makers of the most recent luxurious EVs – the Jaguar I-Tempo is billed (rightly) as a efficiency mannequin, whereas the Audi E-Tron was launched in Abu Dhabi with its 100-mph velocity restrict. Tesla’s Ludicrous mode speaks for itself. Now the 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 follows go well with.
Final week, we had been invited to a trip alongside in a pre-production EQC, means up in Arvidsjaur, Sweden. That is the place carmakers go testing, and the place fortunate prospects can take part in ice challenges and drift coaching on frozen lakes. We obtained one of the best of each worlds, becoming a member of executives Michael Kelz and Peter Kolb for testing (and just a little enjoyable) throughout the EQC 400’s closing calibration.
They had been there for a worthy trigger: placing in extra work to excellent the EQC’s drifting capabilities. And true sufficient, the EQC’s asynchronous motors, which prove a full 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, present such immediate response that getting into a drift is as straightforward because it will get — supplied you flip off the steadiness management system fully. Protecting it in that drift is not onerous both, because the EQC’s delicate throttle response makes positive of that. Its Sport mode permits for appreciable drift angles, whereas the Consolation and Eco modes stoically maintain you on monitor even in the event you mash the accelerator within the clumsiest attainable means.
Being such a well-sorted software on the skidpad signifies normal goodness, and the EQC undoubtedly appears to carry the highway effectively, even when it isn’t freed from physique roll. Mercedes-Benz particularly says it is no SUV, and its car-like floor clearance of simply over 5 inches will surely affirm that (to maintain weight and price beneath management, the air suspension obtainable on numerous Mercedes SUV fashions will not be obtainable). Nonetheless, the lightning-quick electrical all-wheel-drive system works completely effectively on slippery surfaces, so those that principally worth an SUV’s all-weather traction and normal look ought to discover precisely what they’re anticipating.
As in different electrical vehicles, the EQC’s all-wheel-drive system is the results of motors positioned at every axle. The entrance motor is accountable for environment friendly low- to mid-range efficiency, whereas the rear motor delivers high-end efficiency. They’re fed by an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery with quick charging functionality. Official EPA vary estimates have but to be introduced, however needs to be larger than 200 miles.
Straight-line efficiency is spectacular, with a dash from zero to 62 mph taking simply 5.1 seconds. High velocity is disappointing at a mere 112 mph because the motors are practically maxed out at that velocity. Mercedes might have gone larger, just like the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-Tempo handle, however it might have come on the expense of lower-end acceleration. Vary additionally drops quickly at excessive speeds. The upcoming EQC 300 base mannequin will attain the identical 112 mph as effectively.
Mercedes has toned down the cool however barely eerie synthetic sound that earlier EQC prototypes emitted and that lent it a cool, spaceship-like aura. Now passengers journey in utter silence, the results of engineers going to nice lengths to isolate any noise from the motors, in addition to the wind, highway and tires.
The EQC is predicated on the GLC, and the doorways and windshield are shared, as are the seats. However the dashboard is a technology forward, sharing the MBUX tech interface, giant twin screens and normal design language with the brand new Mercedes A-Class and GLE-Class.
There are components particular to the EQC, nonetheless. Metallic strips are milled with unimaginable precision, the air vents characteristic a rose gold metallic impact, and the higher dashboard is clad with a shiny, metallic material. Altogether, the EQC’s shade and trim decisions ship a transparent message: The electrical age comes with its personal aesthetics. One potential suggestion, although: The digital devices would look even higher with futuristic bar graphics reasonably than the three variations of standard dial-type gauges shared with different gas-powered Mercedes.
Outdoors, the Mercedes-Benz EQC seems to be distinct sufficient to not be confused with the GLC. It’s barely longer, with the additional size invested in trunk area, whereas elongated aspect home windows characteristic an upwards kink. The decrease rear fascia tries onerous to masks the EQC’s tallness, and it really seems to be higher with the elective AMG package deal. Remaining aerodynamic figures have not been introduced.
The horizontal mild bar on the rear is a component that by now, sadly, others have considered effectively: It is on any new Porsche and all uplevel Audi fashions, for instance. However Mercedes has provide you with a novel deal with for design aficionados: There’s a horizontal mild bar up entrance, too. That hasn’t been seen on a manufacturing automobile because the early 1990s, and it is cool.
And so is getting a trip within the EQC in Arctic Sweden … actually. Nevertheless, we nonetheless want to truly get behind the wheel — ideally not on ice — and there is nonetheless lots to search out out concerning the 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 earlier than it arrives in sellers subsequent yr. Keep tuned.