…and Audi, Jaguar and the world. This is Merc’s plug-in future. Like it?
Up until now, Mercedes’ forays into the world of electric cars have constituted a very rare SLS AMG and a very niche B-class. No longer. This is the Mercedes EQ C, the launch star of the company’s all-electric EQ sub-brand. Looks reasonably close to the EQ concept, don’t you think?
Under its svelte, slightly Range Rover Velar SUV proportions, the EQ C uses a familiar tactic in electric car construction. The 80kWh lithium-ion battery, weighing some 650kg (a quarter of the car’s entire 2.4-tonne mass) lives beneath the floor, keeping the centre of gravity low and improving crash safety. The EQ C’s front electric motor aims to offer the most efficiency, while the rear motor – this is a four-wheel-drive vehicle, like the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X – is optimised for more punch.
Maximum combined power output is 400 horsepower, while torque is a predictably titanic 765 Newton meters.
In old money – which seems somehow inappropriate for such a modern car – that’s 564lb ft. More than a C63’s V8 offers up, delivered silently. As a result, Mercedes is claiming 0-62mph in a hot-hatch-spec 5.1 seconds, and a modest top speed of 111mph. While v-max is unimportant, range obviously is.
So, in addition to Comfort, Eco and Sport driving modes, you’ll find a Max Range setting in the EQ C. Deploy that and Mercedes claims you’ll travel 280 miles. However, that’s calculated on the old NEDC test cycle, not the new WLTP regulations, so expect a real-world figure somewhere around the 250-mile mark. Next up in the EV checklist: charging. Mercedes has fitted a 7.4kW on-board, water-cooled charger.
Read more: Top Gear