Mercedes launches first EV volley with EQC

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The EQC, with a sporty and stretched silhouette, has design cues that hint at its electric drivetrain.

In place of a conventional grille, the EQC has a large black-panel surface. An LED light strip connects the headlights. A similar design element is echoed in the rear.

Other design features at the front include the air inlet with two chrome louvers in the lower area of the front apron and the simulated side air inlets in high-gloss black.

The EQC is a nod to the modern vehicle’s shift from transportation appliance to computer on wheels.

Central to the in-cabin experience is Mercedes’ new multimedia system. The Mercedes Benz User Experience, or MBUX, includes improved displays and speech-recognition capabilities, along with artificial intelligence and predictive learning abilities.

The interior of the EQC takes design cues from consumer electronics. The louvered trim in the upper dashboard and door panels, for instance, resembles the cooling fins of a hi-fi amplifier.

Production of the EQC will start in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany.

“Our decision to produce electric vehicles on the same line as models with combustion engines enables us to respond flexibly to demand and use plant capacity to best effect,” Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz Cars production and supply chain chief, said in the statement. “In this way we can continue to ensure both high efficiency and top quality with well-proven production processes.”

Performance: 402 hp, 564 lb.-ft.

Acceleration 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds

Top speed: 189 kilometres (112 miles)

Motors: 2 asynchronous motors, all-wheel drive

Battery capacity: 80kWh

Range: up to 320 kilometres (200 miles)

Length: 187.4 in.

Width: 82.5 in.

Height: 63.9 in.

Wheelbase: 113.1 in.

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