The Mercedes EQC, the model’s first standalone all-electric passenger automobile, will quickly be launched in India. It’s additionally the primary luxurious EV to go on sale right here, and shall be an essential model builder for Mercedes which, amongst different issues, has performed nicely to leapfrog its rivals. Indian market aside, nonetheless, the German luxurious automobile maker has been late to the luxurious EV get together. A substantial distance behind Tesla, which has gone from zero to 1,000,000 vehicles in a really brief span of time, Mercedes has a number of catching as much as do.
Mercedes’ first foray within the all-electric luxurious SUV section.
Fortunately, the urge for food for luxurious electrical vehicles solely seems to be rising. Born of ample buying energy, the promise of inexperienced ‘area age’ tech and the truth that most luxury-car prospects can simply set up house chargers, demand for luxurious EVs is on the rise. However what precisely does Merc’s imported EQC deliver to the desk right here in India? And is it definitely worth the premium it’s prone to command?
Primarily based on the Mercedes GLC and never a devoted EV platform, the EQC comes with a contemporary flat battery positioned between the wheels, twin asynchronous or induction motors, very like you’d discover on a Tesla (one for every axle), and four-wheel drive. Electrical energy is saved within the enormous 85kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It consists of 384 cells and weighs in at a severely heavy 652kg; that’s the kerb weight of a Maruti 800. The mixed output from the dual motors stands at 408hp, and much more essential is that torque is a large 765Nm. Assume twin-turbo diesel V8.
Curiously, the entrance electrical motor is engineered to supply greater effectivity, whereas cruising and the one on the rear is tuned to ship extra efficiency. This is the reason, when cruising at a gentle velocity, the EQC is pushed nearly completely by the entrance motor. However, start to speed up, even gently, and the rear motor rapidly takes over. The EQC additionally will get torque vectoring to boost traction, a selection of 5 driver modes (with Sport at one finish and Max Vary on the different), and as on different EVs, you’ll be able to modify brake regeneration by way of a pair of paddles on the wheel.
Complete mixed output from the 2 motors is 408hp and 765Nm of peak torque.
With signature LED lights up entrance that run across the headlights and grille, the EQC will definitely stand out in a crowd. Add within the piano black grille and the 20-inch wheels with their blue detailing, and EQC seems to be much more dramatic. The ocean-smoothened look works nicely across the rear, the bumper juts out properly to create a stable base and the Porsche-like linked tail-lights stand out too. However whereas the design is hanging and will get your consideration, it doesn’t shout Mercedes-Benz. In actual fact, cowl the badge and you’ll wrestle to determine it as a Mercedes. Anoraks (like us) can even discover there’s a new font used on the badge on the rear, the coefficient of drag of this SUV stands at a powerful 0.27cd, and the battery cooling system has a cubic capability of 6-8 litres.
What’s it like inside?
The EQC’s inside strikes a greater stability between conventional Mercedes and new-age electrical. Acquainted Mercedes bits embrace the flat-panel shows (for infotainment and instrumentation) which might be joined on the hip, the black and aluminum three-spoke steering wheel, and the chromed and knurled switches on the central console. Even the trackpad and the toggle switches are commonplace Merc fare.
New bits embrace bronzed, flute-shaped inserts within the vents, a extra steeply raked sprint, a ribbed end on the higher door pad and the non-compulsory, new-age supplies for the seats. However whereas the cabin clearly does look ‘techy’ and trendy, Merc’s refined contact of sophistication has taken a little bit of a again seat right here.
The inside is acquainted, however decidedly trendy.
House is analogous on the within to the GLC and because the two vehicles are constructed on the identical wheelbase, legroom on the rear right here is ample and related too. The seat is a bit low, as a result of flooring being raised barely for the battery, however it is usually fairly comfy with ample thigh help and a properly reclined backrest. The EQC additionally will get the newest model of Merc’s MBUX system, which right here will get a brand new ‘EQ’ sub menu.
Legroom on the rear is ample and the seat is comfy although the ground has been barely raised to accommodate the underfloor battery pack.
Whereas the complete characteristic record hasn’t been introduced for the EQC, and the vehicles that go on sale shall be totally different from those we’re driving, we will verify you’ll get options like 7 airbags, Consideration Help, related automobile tech, a sunroof and a voice assistant. Radar-based cruise management, three dimensional maps and the Heads Up Show, nonetheless, is not going to make it to the characteristic record. Consumers will get an 8-year battery ‘cowl’ although.
What’s it prefer to drive?
Higher refinement is among the pillars on which the Mercedes-Benz model has been constructed. The E-class, the S-class, and even the C-class, for instance, clearly really feel extra refined than their rivals. And that is true of the EQC as nicely. Further insulation has been used to encapsulate the cabin, the electrical motors use rubber mounts for higher noise suppression and the EQC additionally will get double-glazed home windows that additional assist mute sounds from outdoors, so the EQC feels significantly refined on the transfer. Tyre roar is beautifully suppressed, each at medium and excessive speeds, there’s little or no wind noise after which, even on ‘textured’ surfaces, street noise isn’t an excessive amount of.
Cabin insulation is excellent.
In typical electrical automobile vogue, the EQC additionally feels very torquey in ‘Sport’ mode. That first hit of thrust is close to immediate and fairly sturdy, and when you keep the strain on the accelerator pedal, whereas the speed of acceleration plateaus, the EQC nonetheless pulls ahead in a single seamless surge. Want there was a bit extra in the best way of drama although; the scientific efficiency is so chilly, driving it nearly looks like a non-event. And that’s regardless of the SUV being able to doing 0-100kph in 5.1 seconds. The EQC can also be very linear and easy, so driving it at medium speeds is straightforward and stress-free.
Additionally, whereas the EQC has ample grip, the steering is a bit aloof, and the two.4-tonne EQC rolls a bit in tighter corners. Nonetheless, Merc’s first all-electric SUV feels neat, safe and predictable. It isn’t enjoyable to drive, per se, however you do are inclined to benefit from the sturdy efficiency and carrying velocity effortlessly into corners feels good too.
The EQC pulls ahead from standstill in a single seamless surge.
With the heavy battery slung between the wheels, experience at sure speeds and over less-than-perfect surfaces is marginal; it doesn’t fairly flatten the street efficiently, there’s all the time some pitter patter or up-and-down motion, and what’s worse is that it additionally feels a bit jittery over small bumps.
Underslung battery pack means you may must navigate velocity breakers with care.
A extra significant issue related to the underslung battery is the poor floor clearance. Low sufficient to get the battery to ‘thunk’ onto velocity breakers, this can be a drawback you don’t count on to come across with an SUV. So recognizing these velocity breakers early is essential, it’s a must to crawl over gingerly and even some dangerous roads should be pushed over with warning.
Vary and charging
The EQC has a claimed vary of upwards of 450km. Whereas that is clearly a bit optimistic, you’ll be able to count on a real-world vary of round 350-375km, when the EQC is pushed in a cautious method. Mercedes will present and set up a wall-box charger at your residence, and whereas that features at 7.5Kw and takes 10 hours for a full cost, you may as well cost by way of an everyday 15A plug at 3.4Kw, taking a leisurely 21 hours. After all, you’ll not all the time cost a completely drained battery, so these occasions may be halved in actuality. And Mercedes can also be planning to arrange a couple of 50Kw quick chargers on fashionable routes outdoors city, the place a espresso cease may get you a fast ‘top-up’ for a protracted journey.
An actual-wrold vary of about 350-370km may be anticipated.
Ought to I purchase one?
Priced at Rs 99.30 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the EQC is dear. That is very true when you contemplate that Mercedes sells its personal full-size 7-seat luxurious SUV, the GLS, for across the similar worth. Then there’s the bottom clearance problem; you simply can’t drive it with abandon such as you would drive an everyday SUV and, for a automobile at this worth, it isn’t precisely feature-rich both.
Shopping for a luxurious EV in the present day, nonetheless, is extra about making a press release, and right here the EQC hits the ball out of the park. The combo punch of the Mercedes model, all-electric drive and an SUV profile ought to discover loads of takers. And it even drives nicely. Easy, silent and extraordinarily refined, it feels as hushed on the within as a few of Merc’s flagship vehicles. After which, once you put your foot down, there’s loads of efficiency too. In actual fact, buyer response is so good, Merc insiders say they’ve already offered a wholesome variety of vehicles. The shift to electrical vehicles appears to have begun.
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