Mercedes-Benz’s first electric compact crossover to get nearly 500km of range and hot hatchback levels of performance
The second member of what is to set to become an expansive lineup of EQ electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz is here. Well, not exactly here, as in landed on Singapore shores, though there is confirmation that it, along with its bigger brother, the EQC full-sized electric SUV will arrive at the end of this year.
At some point in the future, likely the latter half of 2022, the flagship of the EQ range, the EQS (think of its as an electric S-Class) will also arrive. And we’ve already gotten a preview of that from the EQS concept car, and how Mercedes-Benz just teased its all-screen dashboard, something the carmaker dubs the Hyperscreen.
More to the point, the EQA. Based largely on the GLA crossover, the EQA is, as we said earlier, a fully electric car. The EQA bears more than a passing resemblance to the GLA, though the more keen-eyed Mercedes-spotters in the crowd will no doubt be able to spot the electric crossover’s blanked-out grille, light strip connecting the headlights and a light bar across the rear of the car. Plus, of course, the aerodynamically optimised wheels.
On the inside, even more similarities abound, though with some key differences in the MBUX infotainment system, which now displays electric-specific information such as remaining range and energy flow by clicking on the EQ icon in the menu.
Just the one variant will be available at launch, the EQA 250, with a 486km claimed range (hugely creditable given the EQA’s size and how it runs on a repurposed combustion car platform), and a 190hp/375Nm electric motor driving the front wheels. The EQA 250 is capable of completing the zero to 100km/hr sprint in 8.9 seconds, which if other electric cars are anything to go by, it should feel far more brisk than its numbers suggest.
Mercedes-Benz also did promise performance variants of the GLA in the future, with an additional electric motor on the rear axle and with an output in excess of 270hp, likely bearing the Mercedes-AMG EQA 35 moniker.
In addition to that, an EQA with a range of over 500km is also in the offing, though the key to that greater range probably won’t come in the form of a larger battery pack. Said the carmaker: “Mercedes-EQ sees the key to a bigger range not in ever-larger batteries, but in systematic improvement in the efficiency of all vehicle components.”
That line leads us to speculate that an EQA with more range will come about either through incremental improvements in its power delivery or via a downrating of the EQA 250’s electric motor.
Not that Mercedes-Benz would have space to store the extra battery cells, anyway. Like we said earlier the EQA is based on the GLA, a combustion car that was never meant to house this many batteries, typically the heaviest and most space-intensive part of an electric car. As it stands, the EQA already suffers from a taller rear floor and smaller boot than the GLA, though exactly how much we’ll know once the car gets here.
On the other hand, the upside to this is that the EQA can be pushed to market a lot sooner, and priced more competitively. Remember, it was only as recent as September 2017 that the EQA concept was unveiled. Local prices haven’t yet been unveiled, but going by how the EQA 250 is positioned between the GLA 200 and GLA 35 in Germany, you could be looking at a price tag of around S$215,000 when it lands here toward the end of the year.