If this week’s Munich Motor Show is any indication, Mercedes-Benz plans to quickly cover its product range, from top to bottom, with new battery-electric vehicles.
Along with the top-line EQS Maybach and AMG models, Mercedes will roll into Munich with the new EQB, its second compact crossover. Two all-wheel-drive versions will be available at launch early next year, with the EQB 4Matic promising up to 416 km, or 262 miles of range, as well as a sporty 288 horsepower.
“With the new EQB we have designed an iconic electric SUV which incorporates the box forms of our off-roaders and projects them into the future. Its significant silhouette is combined with futuristic elements such as the black panel front to create the extraordinary look of this vehicle”, said Gorden Wagener, the automaker’s global design chief.
The first of Mercedes’ all-electric models, the compact EQA crossover, went on sale in Europe earlier this year and has shown reasonable momentum, with more than 20,000 advance orders in hand by the time it debuted last February.
Next in line
The EQB takes things up a notch, offering more room, more power and more features — and a choice of either five or seven seats. That said, don’t expect to make friends with folks who’ll be stuck way back. According to a Mercedes statement, “The seats offer people up to a height of 5 feet, 4 inches a comfortable amount of space.”
Overall, the EQB measures 184.4 inches in length, 72.2 in width and 65.6 in height. By utilizing a dedicated electric vehicle platform, however, Mercedes’ product development team moved most drivetrain components under the load floor and reclaimed some of the space normally dedicated to the engine compartment.
With wheels pushed closer to the corners than with the conventionally powered GLB, the wheelbase was stretched to 111.3 inches. The layout also eliminated the need for a center hump for the driveshaft tunnel.
Two versions of the crossover will be offered initially, the EQB 300 4Matic producing 225 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of essentially instantaneous torque. The EQB 350 4Matic punches that up to 288 hp and 384 lb-ft.
Surprisingly, both models have the same range estimates, drawing from a common lithium-ion battery pack of 66.5 kilowatt-hours. Expect the range numbers to drop, however, once rated using the tougher EPA test cycle.
The EQB can draw up to 100 kilowatts from a quick charger and the automaker claims the pack can go from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge in just 30 minutes.
Though not loaded up with nearly all the technology found in the new EQS line, there are still plenty of digital features in the EQB. That includes the new “Navigation with Electric Intelligence” system.
“On the basis of continual range simulations, the system makes allowance for any necessary charging stops as well as for numerous other factors, such as the topography and the weather,” said Mercedes. :It is also able to react dynamically to changes, for instance in the traffic situation or personal driving style.”
The Mercedes EQB is set to become the first all-electric model to roll out of the Mercedes plant in Hungary later this year.
It’s set to reach U.S. showrooms next year.