The first test mules for Mercedes-Benz’s electric SUV based on the Generation EQ concept from the 2016 Paris auto show have been spotted.
The test mule is using the body of a GLC Coupe to hide its internals but a number of clues give away the true identity.
One of the shots shows the tester plugged in and charging. We also have a shot where a raised hood reveals a notably bare engine bay, confirming this isn’t simply a plug-in hybrid. In addition, we also see an electric symbol on the windshield and it appears that a flat battery pack is located in the floor.
Mercedes has confirmed that its volume electric cars that will form a new EQ range—the name stands for “Electric Intelligence”—will ride on a modular “skateboard” platform where the battery is stored in the floor and an electric motor is mounted at one or both axles.
Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto showEnlarge Photo
This first model will likely be called an EQC to reflect its size and positioning being in line with the C-Class. It will be built at Mercedes’ plant in Bremen, Germany. The plant is the lead plant for the C-Class and GLC models and will also start production of a GLC F-CELL hydrogen fuel cell car later in 2017.
In the Generation EQ concept, two electric motors deliver a combined output of approximately 400 horsepower. They form a “through-the-road” all-wheel-drive system and promise 0-60 mph acceleration of less than 5.0 seconds. It’s likely the EQC will offer varying levels of power and range to suit multiple price points. All Mercedes is willing to state is that the battery will have more than 70 kilowatt-hours and range of at least 300 miles on a single charge.
The battery will be a lithium-ion unit sourced from fellow Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive. The German firm already has a battery factory up and running and is extending this in preparation for Mercedes’ next-generation electric cars.
Look for a debut of this electric SUV, whatever it’s called, in late 2018 or early the following year. Mercedes will follow it up with at least nine more electric cars by 2025. There will be both sedans and SUVs and possibly even a sports car.