25/01/2021

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2020 Mercedes EQC electric SUV first India drive impressions

7 min read

The Mercedes EQC, the brand’s initial standalone all-electric powered passenger car, will before long be launched in India. It’s also the initial luxurious EV to go on sale listed here, and will be an crucial brand name builder for Mercedes which, between other factors, has completed nicely to leapfrog its rivals. Indian marketplace aside, on the other hand, the German luxurious car maker has been late to the luxurious EV social gathering. A substantial distance powering Tesla, which has absent from zero to a million automobiles in a extremely short span of time, Mercedes has a great deal of catching up to do.

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Mercedes’ initial foray in the all-electric powered luxurious SUV segment.

Fortunately, the appetite for luxurious electric powered automobiles only seems to be growing. Born of ample acquiring ability, the promise of eco-friendly ‘space age’ tech and the truth that most luxurious-car prospects can simply put in property chargers, desire for luxurious EVs is on the rise. But what just does Merc’s imported EQC convey to the desk listed here in India? And is it well worth the high quality it is probable to command?   

What is it?

Based on the Mercedes GLC and not a devoted EV platform, the EQC comes with a modern-day flat battery placed involving the wheels, twin asynchronous or induction motors, considerably like you’d discover on a Tesla (one particular for each and every axle), and 4-wheel generate. Electrical energy is saved in the large 85kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It is composed of 384 cells and weighs in at a critically hefty 652kg which is the kerb pounds of a Maruti 800. The put together output from the twin motors stands at 408hp, and even additional crucial is that torque is a large 765Nm. Believe twin-turbo diesel V8.

Interestingly, the entrance electric powered motor is engineered to provide larger efficiency, even though cruising and the one particular at the rear is tuned to produce additional overall performance. This is why, when cruising at a continual pace, the EQC is pushed just about solely by the entrance motor. But, commence to accelerate, even carefully, and the rear motor quickly requires more than. The EQC also receives torque vectoring to improve traction, a option of 5 driver modes (with Activity at one particular end and Max Selection at the other), and as on other EVs, you can change brake regeneration by means of a pair of paddles on the wheel.

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Full put together output from the two motors is 408hp and 765Nm of peak torque.

With signature LED lights up entrance that run all-around the headlights and grille, the EQC will surely stand out in a group. Incorporate in the piano black grille and the 20-inch wheels with their blue detailing, and EQC appears even additional dramatic. The sea-smoothened search is effective nicely all-around the rear, the bumper juts out nicely to build a solid foundation and the Porsche-like joined tail-lights stand out also. But even though the design and style is putting and receives your awareness, it doesn’t shout Mercedes-Benz. In truth, include the badge and you will wrestle to detect it as a Mercedes. Anoraks (like us) will also recognize there is a new font made use of on the badge at the rear, the coefficient of drag of this SUV stands at an outstanding .27cd, and the battery cooling system has a cubic ability of 6-eight litres.

What is it like within?

The EQC’s inside strikes a superior harmony involving conventional Mercedes and new-age electric powered. Acquainted Mercedes bits consist of the flat-panel displays (for infotainment and instrumentation) that are joined at the hip, the black and aluminum a few-spoke steering wheel, and the chromed and knurled switches on the central console. Even the trackpad and the toggle switches are typical Merc fare.

New bits consist of bronzed, flute-formed inserts in the vents, a additional steeply raked dash, a ribbed complete on the upper door pad and the optional, new-age materials for the seats. But even though the cabin clearly does search ‘techy’ and modern-day, Merc’s subtle touch of class has taken a little bit of a again seat listed here.     

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The inside is familiar, but decidedly modern-day.

Area is comparable on the within to the GLC and given that the two automobiles are constructed on the same wheelbase, legroom at the rear listed here is sufficient and comparable also. The seat is a little bit low, thanks to the floor being raised marginally for the battery, but it is also pretty cozy with sufficient thigh help and a nicely reclined backrest. The EQC also receives the most current version of Merc’s MBUX system, which listed here receives a new ‘EQ’ sub menu.

Whilst the total attribute record hasn’t been introduced for the EQC, and the automobiles that go on sale will be distinctive from the ones we are driving, we can validate you will get characteristics like 7 airbags, Attention Guide, related car tech, a sunroof and a voice assistant. Radar-primarily based cruise command, a few dimensional maps and the Heads Up Display screen, on the other hand, will not make it to the attribute record. Consumers will get an eight-calendar year battery ‘cover’ while.

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What is it like to generate?

Greater refinement is one particular of the pillars on which the Mercedes-Benz brand name has been constructed. The E-class, the S-class, and even the C-class, for case in point, clearly truly feel additional refined than their rivals. And this is correct of the EQC as nicely. Added insulation has been made use of to encapsulate the cabin, the electric powered motors use rubber mounts for superior sound suppression and the EQC also receives double-glazed home windows that even further enable mute seems from outside, so the EQC feels particularly refined on the move. Tyre roar is beautifully suppressed, both of those at medium and large speeds, there is extremely little wind sound and then, even on ‘textured’ surfaces, highway sound is not also considerably.

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Cabin insulation is superb.

In regular electric powered car manner, the EQC also feels extremely torquey in ‘Sport’ method. That initial strike of thrust is close to prompt and pretty powerful, and if you maintain the strain on the accelerator pedal, even though the amount of acceleration plateaus, the EQC even now pulls forward in one particular seamless surge. Wish there was a little bit additional in the way of drama while the medical overall performance is so chilly, driving it just about feels like a non-function. And which is regardless of the SUV being able of accomplishing -100kph in 5.1 seconds. The EQC is also extremely linear and sleek, so driving it at medium speeds is easy and calming.

Also, even though the EQC has ample grip, the steering is a little bit aloof, and the 2.4-tonne EQC rolls a little bit in tighter corners. Still, Merc’s initial all-electric powered SUV feels neat, protected and predictable. It is not enjoyable to generate, for each se, but you do tend to love the powerful overall performance and carrying pace easily into corners feels superior also.

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The EQC pulls forward from standstill in one particular seamless surge.

With the hefty battery slung involving the wheels, experience at particular speeds and more than fewer-than-perfect surfaces is marginal it doesn’t pretty flatten the highway effectively, there is generally some pitter patter or up-and-down movement, and what is even worse is that it also feels a little bit jittery more than small bumps.

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Underslung battery pack means you are going to have to navigate pace breakers with treatment.

A additional significant dilemma associated with the underslung battery is the very poor floor clearance. Lower sufficient to get the battery to ‘thunk’ onto pace breakers, this is a dilemma you never hope to come across with an SUV. So recognizing all those pace breakers early is crucial, you have to crawl more than gingerly and even some lousy roads will need to be pushed more than with caution.

Selection and charging

The EQC has a claimed range of upwards of 450km. Whilst this is clearly a little bit optimistic, you can hope a authentic-earth range of all-around 350-375km, when the EQC is pushed in a mindful way. Mercedes will provide and put in a wall-box charger at your residence, and even though that capabilities at 7.5Kw and requires ten several hours for a total demand, you can also demand by means of a regular 15A plug at 3.4Kw, getting a leisurely 21 several hours. Of course, you will not generally demand a fully drained battery, so these situations can be halved in reality. And Mercedes is also organizing to set up a several 50Kw speedy chargers on preferred routes outside town, exactly where a coffee quit could get you a fast ‘top-up’ for a extended journey. 

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A authentic-wrold range of about 350-370km can be predicted.  

Ought to I acquire one particular?

At an predicted selling price of all-around Rs 1 crore, the EQC will be high-priced. This is particularly correct if you take into consideration that Mercedes sells its very own total-dimension 7-seat luxurious SUV, the GLS, for all-around the same selling price. Then there’s the floor clearance situation you just can not generate it with abandon like you would generate a regular SUV and, for a car at this selling price, it is not just attribute-prosperous either.

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Purchasing a luxurious EV these days, on the other hand, is additional about producing a assertion, and listed here the EQC hits the ball out of the park. The combo punch of the Mercedes brand name, all-electric powered generate and an SUV profile should really discover a great deal of takers. And it even drives nicely. Clean, silent and  really refined, it feels as hushed on the within as some of Merc’s flagship automobiles. And then, when you set your foot down, there’s a great deal of overall performance also. In truth, buyer response is so superior, Merc insiders say they have currently sold a healthier range of automobiles. The shift to electric powered automobiles seems to have begun.

Also see:

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC India video clip assessment

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class revealed

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