The first Mercedes-Benz product from Daimler's new EQ sub-brand for electrified cars was revealed last fall in the form of the 2020 EQC. The small electric SUV isn't due in showrooms until mid-2020, but Jay Leno was recently able to sample a pre-production example and has given us the lowdown.
Also on hand to detail the vehicle is Mercedes engineer Bastian Schult. He provides interesting insights on the design of the car, the ideal care of the battery, and issues of compliancing across various markets. However, when it's time for a drive, Leno seems to be most interested in the car's regenerative ability.
Mercedes has only confirmed one EQC model for next year's launch. It's an EQC 400 with a dual-motor powertrain generating 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds. Its battery is an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion unit sourced from fellow Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive. The EPA is yet to test the vehicle but Mercedes estimates a range of more than 200 miles on a single charge. Versions with more power and range should be offered eventually.
While the EQC is still some time away from showrooms, a handful of rivals are already here. For example, the Jaguar I-Pace is already on sale and Audi is about to start sales of its e-tron. And due on sale about the same time as the EQC will be a BMW iX3 and potentially a Tesla Model Y.