New 2019 Mercedes EQ C SUV to be revealed next week

A fresh teaser image has landed ahead of the new all-electric Mercedes EQ C being revealed on 4 September

Mercedes has confirmed that the EQ C – an all-electric SUV set to rival the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and BMW iX3 – will make its debut ahead of the Paris Motor Show at a reveal event in Stockholm next week. 

Before the wraps come off the EQ C on 4 September, a fresh teaser image of the car’s rear end has been revealed. The murky shot of the taillgate confirms that the EQ C will use a different design language to the brand’s internal combustion models. In place of the new teardrop shaped taillights fitted on some of the marque’s other new cars like the latest A-Class and CLS, a full-width LED taillight bar is equipped.

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The mid-sized SUV – an all-electric sister model to the GLC, in effect – is expected to cost around £55,000 when it goes on sale in the first half of 2019, although Mercedes has yet to issue any firm guides on pricing or detailed information on whether it plans to sell it using a traditional buying process.

The EQ C SUV was last spied in June. With the car’s disguise paired back to the bare minimum – even the zebra pattern masking featured EQ marketing and branding – a telling sign that the first fully electric car under Merc’s electrified EQ sub-brand was on its way. It’s likely to boast a range of around 300 miles.

The first concept car for the German carmaker’s EV and hybrid sub-brand, the EQ Concept, was shown at the Paris Motor Show back in 2016. The SUV is the first of ten pure electric Mercedes models slated to arrive before 2025, with the company registering various EQ-prefixed model names over the last few years.

As the camouflaged prototype suggests, the production EQ C’s styling has been toned down a little for market release. But it still retains an unusually low stance for an SUV, necessary to keep a smooth aerodynamic profile to boost range. The imposing front-end, intricate headlights and sloping roofline remain intact, too.

Merc’s R&D head told Auto Express last year that the range target for the EQ C is around 300 miles from its lithium-ion battery pack. Two electric motors, one mounted on each axle, will produce a total output of 300kW (402bhp), while the 0-62mph time is estimated at around five seconds. It sits on a bespoke electrified platform, sharing very little with similarly-sized SUVs such as the GLE and GLC. 

If the concept we drove last year is anything to go by, we can expect an interior that borrows technology and features from the E-Class and S-Class models. A more futuristic design will be used, however, while colour-changing ambient lighting could help illustrate powertrain modes and charge status. We’ve no doubt that the EQ C will also feature Merc’s latest semi-autonomous driving functions and assists when it arrives in showrooms before the decade is out.

The company’s UK fleet boss Robert East has told Auto Express that Mercedes plans to offer the EQ C alongside the rest of its range to fleet customers – and suggested that this will be part of a wide range of ways into the vehicle.

“We will roll the EQ C into our overall fleet proposition,” East said. “We’re already seeing a number of buyers saying that it will fit their user profile, and it’s really just a reflection of how the market is evolving. We certainly intend to offer customers a number of flexible ways into that car.

“What we won’t be doing is a special fleet or business variant of EQ C just for fleet,” he added, “because in our view that’s not a tactic that works in the UK.” In this respect the EQ C will follow the rest of Mercedes’ line-up for British customers.

East said that the EQ C has already attracted “strong interest” from fleet buyers in the UK, including enquiries from more than one police force.

What are your first impressions of the Mercedes EQ C as it undergoes testing? Let us know what you think below…

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