2020 Mercedes EQC SUV Review: Better Than Tesla?
After Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X also Mercedes-Benz attempts to attack the electric market with an SUV just presented to the world press: 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC. The big players are starting to conquer the market (and soon Audi will arrive too). What is the beginning of the breakthrough? Maybe yes, but no.
There is no day when you do not hear about electric and the car market is increasingly changing shape. If the 80s were dedicated to small cars with many horses, the 90s to the style, with cars that have made the history of design, in these years we hear more and more talk about technology and electrification.
Mercedes-Benz had presented its 2020 Mercedes EQC concept car during the Paris international car show: a compact SUV that looks like the GLC, which, according to the forecasts, would revolutionize the market by introducing a new proposal that can be reproduced on a large scale …
2020 Mercedes EQC Overview
Objectively nice, there is little to say. The lines are very accurate and somehow evolve compared to the styles currently applied by Mercedes-Benz for the other cars of the house. The appearance of the exterior is futuristic, modern, with graceful lines and the important grille – a stylistic element abandoned by many other car manufacturers but which the Germans repropose with pride and boldness. The similarity with the “cousin” GLC is undeniable but there is a clear independent evolution. The front part is dominated by the headlights perfectly aligned with the body and the optical signature create a new look never seen before. The two LED front daytime running lights are connected by a strip placed above the grille and under the bonnet. The visual effect is catchy even if I do not think it can be used in all countries. For the first time, the Stella is also illuminated. The MULTIBEAM lighting system (standard) ensures adequate lighting in every context.
The side view hits because immediately you notice that the height is lower than what is expected from an SUV. Imagine a C-Class coupé, put a GLC on the side, ideally draw an average height and here is the EQC. High the right, without compromise. The wheels are 19 or 21 inches in a two-color version. The rims are flush with the body and optimized for better aerodynamic performance. The roof spoiler, just mentioned, leads to the sober rear whose image is dominated by the position light that ideally connects the two rear lights. The solution, already seen in other cars of other houses, well suited to the style of the car and ideally follows the idea carried forward in the front.
2020 Mercedes EQC Interiors
The interiors have been revised compared to the past and in this new Mercedes-Benz EQC, we see the style of the next Star cars: precise angles and modern forms distinguish the environment created with prestigious materials such as aluminum and open pore wood. The scene is obviously dominated by the important 10.25-inch displays that capture the attention as soon as you get on board. The left display contains the instrumentation while the right one is dedicated to infotainment and navigation.
There is no separation between the two so that you can visually perceive a single suspended screen. The MBUX man-machine interface that distinguishes the Stella cars incorporates here some specific functions concerning the energy management system and the voice command system allows to give specific commands related to this specific EQ model. For example, you can ask to find a charging column or ask the control electronics to prepare a total recharge of the vehicle within a certain time. Obviously, to satisfy this condition the car must be in charge.
The voice recognition system then recognizes the origin of the command and if, for example, the passenger wishes to heat his seat, he only has to give the instruction and the onboard computer will issue the instruction only on the side from which the command arrived. There is no lack of all the connectivity of the case with the mobile world both inside and outside the car.
The machine is all-wheel drive even if there is no physical connection between the front and rear – where the two electric motors are housed respectively. These work independently and are controlled by a control unit that fully simulates all-wheel drive.
The driving torque can thus be distributed between the front and rear depending on the driver’s driving style and road conditions. To ensure greater energy efficiency the two engines work differently and in particular, the front mainly deals with the vehicle’s motion and intervenes at medium-low speeds while the second engine, placed in the rear mainly aims to give greater dynamism to the guide. At the maximum peak, they are able to discharge a power of 300 kW to the ground, while the maximum torque is 765 Nm. The maximum rotation of the engines is set at 13,000 rpm and the main challenge concerns sound insulation. In this sense, an important work of acoustic insulation has been done to guarantee a safe and silent journey.
The driver can then choose between five different driving modes: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT, and a customizable program. The accelerator pedal, in economical driving conditions, reacts to the driver’s driving style, helping him to drive efficiently and sparingly. The cartographic data and the road signs are actively used to better manage the energy.
2020 Mercedes EQC Battery & Power Management
The 80 kWh batteries are sufficient for a distance of 400 km in the NEDC cycle. Today, this distance represents a sort of standard for the automotive industry, or in any case a goal to which most of the car manufacturers that make electric cars comply. The batteries, produced in Germany by a subsidiary Mercedes-Benz, are placed on the platform, which is common to this type of vehicle. This is done mainly to keep the center of gravity low but also because the location of the accumulators in that position saves space on board. The entire storage system consists of 6 distinct module which are enclosed in an aluminum frame that has the task of preserving the accumulators from possible collisions caused by accidents or from any objects that could damage the batteries during the motion. Imagine, for example, stones or a stroke at the level of the floor.
The frame collects the batteries above which is the control electronics that is responsible for acting as a link between the driver’s requests and the batteries that must always be kept under strict control to avoid overheating or excessive cooling that could compromise the safety of passengers. The entire system is then heated or cooled by an air conditioning system that guarantees the optimal temperature in all conditions.
The energy recovery takes place by means of braking and thanks to the paddle can be set different levels of recovery: from the automatic mode that manages the system independently to an extreme that virtually eliminates the need to use the brake pedal passing through the sailing mode which inhibits energy recovery. The autonomy is currently about 450 km in the NEDC cycle (provisional figure).
2020 Mercedes EQC Safety
Many of you have certainly witnessed during the months leading up to the news stories that have seen some electric cars catch fire “suddenly”. Also in the past, there was also the case of a smartphone that caught fire during recharging. So is the Mercedes-Benz EQC battery-powered car safe?
We would like to point out that spontaneous combustion of batteries is an almost impossible event and that in ordinary conditions an electric car is as safe as a petrol or diesel car – if not more (given a large number of electronics that controls the entire feeding cycle). However, the batteries contain a large amount of energy that is released due to a fairly violent chemical reaction and many preventive measures are put into practice to prevent thermal runaway (the famous battery explosion).
First, the liquid conditioning guarantees to keep the system at a suitable temperature. The second step is to cut the absorption: if the temperature is too high, the control unit can intervene in the power supplied to cool the system. The third step is the energy block that typically occurs as a result of minor collisions. The fourth step is instead the definitive block of energy that can only be reset at a Mercedes-Benz center.
The car comes with a 7.4 kW charger that can be used in the domestic socket but obviously charging with a Mercedes-Benz WallBox guarantees better performance. The charging standards are CCS and CHAdeMO and the maximum power is set at 110 kW. In this case, it takes 40 minutes to go from 10% to 80% and then gain a lot of autonomy. In the other cases, it is enough to reckon: given the 80 kWh of the battery, check the power of the energy input and obtain the time needed to recharge.