Mercedes-Benz's upcoming flagship EV, the Mercedes EQS, has finally been spotted in the wild, just as the company's first EV, the EQC SUV, starts to get delivered to its customers. Two prototypes of the EQS – seen as a Tesla Model S competitor – were seen being driven and tested in Northern Europe.
The current belief is that Mercedes-Benz is aiming to release two versions of the vehicle: an SUV and a full-size sedan. Both will come with two powertrain options: a modest 400 hp model and a powerful 600 hp variant.
EQA shows Mercedes-Benz is fighting on more than one front
While the EQS may be about fighting the Model S, Mercedes is planning to battle Tesla and other competitors on multiple fronts. As such, there has been discussion and leaks around an EQB SUV, EQE sedan, an EQG 4X4 and EQA hatch.
The German manufacturer is looking to release up to 130 electric variants in a programme that is expected to cost more than £9 billion in an attempt to secure a foothold on the marketplace. High expenditure, but the company's got no choice when others like Hyundai have committed large amounts of capital to secure just 1% of the global marketplace.
The EQA has also been spotted on the roads over the last few weeks in Scandinavia. This Model 3 challenger is expected to have around 250 miles on a single charge.
An interior mystery
While these new sighting in the wild have given us hints, speculation continues to mount as to what the interior will contain. Current concept images suggest a sleek, Apple-esque style that will delight many. It is known that it will run the MBUX infotainment system with conversational voice control.
It is also expected to come with the Mercedes ‘me Connect' app that lets you check your car’s status remotely, lock and unlock it, and even geofence it.
A strong end to the year with the Australian launch
While the images being leaked and the cars being spotted out and about may not have been deliberate, the timing is good for Mercedes as it allows them a strong month to end the year with, especially if you consider what the company is doing with EVs in Australia.
The EQC model that'll start at £70,000, has just started arriving in showrooms for January 2020 deliveries. The car – built on a heavily modified C-class platform – is comparatively priced with the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X in the area and has been praised for Mercedes starting to wean customers away from petrol and diesel-based SUVs.
“The EQC is a game-changer for Mercedes-Benz, but also it imposes a more luxurious standard of electric vehicle ownership,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific CEO and managing director Horst von Sanden. “Our aim has never been to be the first to this market, but to offer the most complete solution possible to the question of future mobility. With the all-electric EQC, we are confident we have done just that. Electric now has a Mercedes.”
The EQC sports an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 405 V architecture to give a range of approximately 250 miles when waste-energy regeneration and are other factors are taken into consideration.
In a Tesla-like move, owners will get unlimited free access to a charging network. The EQC’s maximum onboard charging rate is 110 kW, so you can add up to 135 miles of range in 30 minutes.
Success – but at what cost?
The images and EQC launch make it a positive end to the year, which is a strong recovery from November when it looked like Mercedes-Benz was – as WhichEV's Mark Stevens put it – trying to sack its way to success in the EV market.
The response to the EQC and the other models over the coming month may determine or indeed, delay when the axe falls again across the European behemoth.