Jay Leno goes for a drive in the Mercedes-Benz all-electric SUV

We have another entry into the all-electric vehicle races

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.

Jay Leno was one of the first to inspect the new all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, the EQC, which won't be released in the U.S. until next year. | Screenshot

Jay Leno was one of the first to inspect the new all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, the EQC, which won’t be released in the U.S. until next year. | Screenshot

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.

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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.

Beyond the EQC, Mercedes will add several more EQ-branded electric cars. Some we know are coming include an EQA compact hatch, EQB compact crossover and EQS flagship sedan.

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  • Mike Williams
    January 13, 2019, 2:59 AM

    While I appreciate MB’s engineering and forward-thinking, this just doesn’t look like a Mercedes to me. The rear closely resembles the 2018 Lincoln MKZ, and the front is so bland it looks like a 20-yr old Japanese SUV design. Ugh. Jay Leno: the kind of guy who changes lanes without ever signaling.

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