The next-generation Mercedes-Benz EQC crossover has been spied undergoing cold weather testing in northern Europe.
The current EQC is essentially a GLC with an electric drivetrain and battery pack, as well as a restyled body. While shoehorning an electric powertrain into the MRA architecture – which was originally designed only for petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid drivetrains, allowed the company to quickly bring the EQC to market – it did result in packaging compromises.
It seems likely the new EQC SUV will be based on the new electric-only MB.EA architecture, which should result in better interior space utilisation. If we’re right, the EQC SUV will likely spawn a closely related EQC sedan to act as an accompaniment to the current C-Class range.
Another possibility is the new EQC is based on the second-generation GLC, which was launched in 2022. Given the prototype’s unique body, and different proportions — especially the dash-to-axle ratio — this scenario seems less probable.
Thanks to the camouflage on these prototypes we can’t tell if the new EQC SUV has answered all the criticisms regarding the styling of the larger EQE and EQS models, but it certainly seems a step in the right direction.
To help with aerodynamics, the EQC does, however, have the pop-out door handles, flush-fitting headlights, and fake grille of the larger EQ models. The roof line seems to be more curved than the GLC, but not as dramatically to be classed as a crossover coupe.
Mercedes-Benz has yet to provide any details about the MB.EA platform, except that it will be used for medium to large electric vehicles (EVs). It is one of three EV-specific architectures being worked on by the company, the others being the performance-focussed AMG.EA, and the commercial-oriented VAN.EA.
Launched in 2019, the first-generation EQC is no longer available in Europe, the US and Australia. In those markets it was only available with the EQC400 drivetrain: a dual-motor setup making a total of 300kW. Hooked up to an 80kWh battery, the EQC400 has a WLTP driving range of 417km, and supported DC fast charging up to 110kW.
Those in mainland China are still able to buy the EQC, where it’s available in both EQC 350 and EQC 400 formats.
We expect to see more drivetrain and battery options, including an AMG-branded variant, as well as faster charging support for the second-generation EQC.
MB.EA is scheduled to go into production from 2025, with the new EQC SUV likely the first vehicle on the platform.
It’s not entirely clear where the EQC will be produced. It could go into production in Alabama, where the EQE SUV and EQS SUV are currently made, or it might be made in Germany, possibly alongside the petrol- and diesel-powered GLC.
For Chinese customers, it’s almost certain their EQC SUVs will be built at the company’s joint venture plant with BAIC in Beijing.