Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the EQC, the first electric vehicle under its EQ product stable. If the general disposition of the battery-powered SUV resembles that of the GLC, it’s because they share the same base underpinnings (and roughly the same dimensions), but the automaker has given the N293 a number of styling cues to help give it – and its new electric portfolio – a distinct ‘electro-look’ flavour.

At point of introduction, the electric SUV – which is 4,761 mm long, 2,096 mm wide and 1,624 mm tall, with a 2,873 mm-long wheelbase – will be available as an EQC 400 4Matic variant in two trim levels, these being Electric Art and AMG Line.

Externally, the front end of the crossover SUV – which is what the company is defining the EQC as – is dominated by a large black-oriented radiator grille, which is available in two styles, a multi-louvre unit for the Electric Art trim and a double-slat offering in the case of AMG Line trim.

The black theme continues with the car’s Multibeam LED headlights, with the inner housings and tubes getting the darkened treatment. The lights feature line highlights and Multibeam lettering in blue to identify the EQ leanings. A striking visual feature comes in the form of an illuminated horizontal line that runs across the top of the grille, providing a continuous light band across the fascia from the DRL strips on the headlights.

At the back, multi-section rear lights mirror the front’s horizontal light band theme. The lights themselves are smaller as a result of the reflectors being positioned on the bumper, presenting a taut, sportier-looking tail end. To further highlight the design shift with EQ, the model lettering gets new, EQ specific typography.

Wheel choices are available in 19- to 21-inch in a number of designs, on the reveal vehicles consisting of an aerodynamically enhanced, bicolour design unit and a very bold multi-spoke AMG offering.

The cabin contains familiar design elements, notably the centre console and dual rectangular displays, though effort has been made to bump things up – the two integrated 10.25-inch instrument cluster and media display screens are presented in free-standing tablet-style fashion, and the flat AC air vents are dresssed with key-shaped, rosé-gold coloured louvres, the last part of the Electric Art trim specification.

Three different styles are available for the display of information – Modern Classic, Sport and Electric Art. The latter changes the presentation tone from rosé-gold in Drive mode to white, and to electric blue during recuperation, of which there are a number of levels (low, medium, high, coasting). As for drive modes, five programmes are available, namely Comfort, Eco, Sport, Individual and Max Range.

Going the AMG Line route adds on a three-spoke AMG multi-function sport steering wheel with flattened lower section, stainless steel AMG sports pedals, AMG floor mats and black Artico man-made leather/microfibre seats, with leather seats and carbon-fibre look trim available as an option.

Equipment includes the automaker’s new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system, which in this application features numerous EQ-specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. Additionally, EQ optimised navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX.

There’s also pre-entry climate control, which prepares the interior to the desired temperature on departure, and programming can be done via MBUX or the Mercedes me App, where either an individual departure time or a weekly profile can be specified.

Of course, the real meat is what’s underneath all that external skin and interior, the propulsion system. The EQC features an electric drivetrain – integrating the electric motor, a fixed-ratio transmission with a differential, the cooling system and the power electronics in a very compact housing – on each axle.

The front electric motor powers the 2425 kg offering during low loads and whilst cruising, with the rear coming into play when performance and high power is called upon. Together, the asynchronous motors offer 300 kW (or 402 hp) and 765 Nm in output.

Provisional performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 5.1 seconds, an electronically-limited 180 km/h top speed and an operating range of more than 450 km, the last rating based on a NEDC test cycle, so actual real-world range should be lower. Claimed combined power consumption, meanwhile, is 22.2 kWh/100 km, again NEDC rated.

An 80 kWh lithium-ion battery provides the juice for both electric motors. The 650 kg modular unit, built by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive, features 384 cells (two modules with 48 cells each and four with 72 cells each) and has a maximum voltage of 408 volts and a nominal capacity of 210 Ah.

The EQC is equipped with a water-cooled 7.4 kW onboard charger, making it suitable for AC charging at home or via public charging stations. Charging via a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is up to three times faster than through a domestic power socket, and DC charging – accomplished via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA, CHAdeMO in Japan or GB/T in China – ramps up speed further.

According to the automaker, the EQC can be charged at a rate of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station, depending on the SoC (status of charge), with provisional data revealing that the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in around 40 minutes.

By the time the EQC makes its way into the market next year, EQC customers will have three new-generation Wallbox versions to pick from. There’s the basic Wallbox Home, which was introduced in June, as well as the internet-capable Wallbox Advanced and the Wallbox Twin, the latter two expected to become available from the first quarter of 2019.

The Advanced and Twin wallboxes will have additional features such as internet-capability and a built-in electricity meter. They will allow access control by radio-frequency identification (RFID).

Elsewhere, the EQC’s Driving Assistance package includes new functions such as predictive speed adjustment when approaching into slow-moving traffic, as well as low-speed follow and a lane guidance system.

The SUV is however some time away from making its market debut, with series production at the automaker’s Bremen plant only starting next year. Aside from Germany, the EV will also be built in China for the local market.