Karl Benz basically invented the automobile, with it Patentwagen, back in 1886 and Mercedes-Benz is not shy about reminding everyone. Its latest reminder actually comes in the form of a homage to that original car, with its new Mercedes-Benz EQC ‘1886 Edition’, which just made its debut in New York.
Slightly overshadowed by the literal unboxing of the GLS-Class, the Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 is actually the brand’s most important new car. Well, at least the standard EQC is, regardless of edition. That’s because the EQC is the brand’s new all-electric SUV and it boasts some pretty impressive specs. It’s also the car that has already beaten the BMW iX3 to the punch.
While its exterior isn’t anything too exciting, that’s likely by design. It looks like a Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and that’s probably intentional. Much like Audi’s e-tron, the Mercedes-Benz EQC is designed to attract traditional Mercedes buyers to buy electric. So it needs to look relatively normal and it does. It’s not bad looking, though. It’s a handsome enough Mercedes crossover; nothing more, nothing less.
The same can be said for the interior. It’s very nice, with excellent seats (especially with the Alcantara inserts and ‘1886’ badging) and excellent material quality. But it isn’t much different from every other new Mercedes interior. Again, that’s intentional, as it’s not supposed to frighten off normal car buyers with crazy tech and a funky design. If you don’t think that stuff’s important, just look at the BMW i3. It has a great interior that journalists and enthusiasts love but is just too funky for the average customer to enjoy.
Under the skin, the Mercedes-Benz EQC packs two electric motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear. Those motors, combined with an 80 kWh battery pack, develop a very healthy 402 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque. According to Mercedes, 0-60 mph happens in under five seconds, which is quicker than most EVs in its price range. Range is said to be 293 miles but we’ll see what the EPA rates it at. Still, even if it drops to 250 miles of range, that still bests both the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
While it’s not the flashiest or most exciting EV on the market, the Mercedes-Benz EQC will be an important one. It brings full electro-mobility to an extremely popular luxury brand and it does so with the same luxury and creature comforts that customers of the brand have come to expect.