Automotive

Published on January 21st, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Mercedes-Benz Unveils New EQA Electric Crossover

The EQA marks a new entry-level entry point to the all-electric Mercedes-Benz world. 

Mercedes-Benz has finally started to step up its EV game in recent time. Following on from its EQC e-SUV and EQV e-minivan, the German automaker has finally unveiled its third car in its electric offensive recently, and it arrives in the form of the new EQA fully-electric compact crossover. 

Much like the A in the EQA name suggests, this newly launched all-electric Mercedes-Benz is positioned at the entry level end of the market. Just looking at it too, it is not too hard to see that this is in essence an electrified variant of the new piston-engined GLA compact crossover within its model lineup. 

Nevertheless, while this new electrified variant does indeed share the same underpinnings with the most recent iteration of GLA, is has to be said that, on the exterior at least, the EQA certainly is distinct from its fuel-burning counterpart. 

Starting at the front, there is no mistaking this particular EV’s electrified nature as in place of a typical grille is the signature Mercedes EQ ‘Black Panel’ radiator grille with a large centrally placed three-pointed star. Much like the new VWs too, there exists a fibre optic strip running across the front fascia connecting both the standard LED headlights to create a distinct lighting signature on this electric crossover. 

This full-width lighting signature is also replicated round the back with the tail lights of the EQA connected by single-piece light bar that runs across the redesigned tailgate from the GLA. Going back round to the sides, up to 20-inch wheels can be specced on this small crossover, with most options featuring a bi-colour or tri-colour design with rose-gold or blue detailing for that added pop. 

Speaking of rose-gold, flashes of the colour can be seen within the cabin in the form of trim inserts on the vents, seats and key, plus additional trim backlighting. As for the rest of the interior though, it is much the same as the one to be found in its GLA counterpart, with the same dual-screen dashboard layout that runs the same second-generation MBUX infotainment system (save for some EV-exclusive displays). 

Moving under the hood, this starter car in the Mercedes-Benz EV lineup will first go on sale with the EQA 250 variant. In that particular spec at least, the German automaker is claiming 187 hp and 375 Nm of torque from its single front-mounted drive motor, as well as an NEDC rated all-electric range of 486 km from its 66.5 kWh floor-mounted battery pack.

As for charging times, a maximum DC charging rate of 100 kW is quoted, which allows for an 80% charge in around 30 minutes. A slower 11kW AC charge meanwhile will take it from empty to full in just under six hours.

Supplementing this launch model in the future will be a variant capable of more than 500 km on the WLTP test cycle, in addition to dual-motor four wheel drive variant with up to 268 hp. It has also been understood that there is to be an even more powerful AMG performance variant of the EQA too, though no specific information or timeline for its arrival has been divulged by Mercedes-Benz. 

With prices starting at €47,540.50 (RM 235,000) in Germany, the EQA 250 might sound a tad steep for what is an entry-level EV Mercedes. Having said that though, it is well equipped with all the that is to be expected with a premium compact crossover with electrically-operated front seats, a multifunction steering wheel, electronic tailgate etc. 

Active and passive safety tech too are not in short supply in the EQA with Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist coming as standard, as well as a multitude of airbags, including thorax-pelvis side airbags for the front seats and a knee bag for the driver. In addition to all that, the EQA also features a standard heat pump, which draws waste heat from the electric powertrain to heat the passenger compartment for further efficiency gains. 

The first of eight upcoming EQ models that will be launched by Mercedes-Benz by 2022, this new EQA all-electric compact crossover has been slated to be followed up by the EQB seven-seat electric crossover. To be based on the GLB, this next EV in the lineup has also been scheduled for production by the year’s end. 

Adding to that, another one of the six models will be the marque’s much-hyped fully-electric EQS flagship sedan, with its gigantic Hyperscreen. No word yet however on when this top-tier Mercedes Benz will arrive. 

PRESS RELEASE: EQA is the name of the new entry-level model to the all-electric world of Mercedes-EQ vehicles. The dynamic design of its SUV body is an indicator of the driving enjoyment to be found on board. Offering an excellent compromise between performance, costs and time to market, the EQA is the first all-electric member of the compact car vehicle from Mercedes-Benz. A close relation of the GLA, it delivers all the thrilling characteristics of that vehicle, combined in this case with an efficient electric power train. Prices in Germany start at 47,540.50 euros.

Efficient driving pleasure:

The EQA is being launched as the EQA 250 with 140 kW and a range according to NEDC of 486 kilometres. Further variants to meet specific customer requirements will follow. These will include on the one hand a series of even more athletic all-wheel-drive models with an additional electric powertrain (eATS) and an output of 200 kW or more, and on the other hand a version with a range of more than 500 kilometres (WLTP). 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.

Automatic anticipatory driving:

Navigation with Electric Intelligence calculates as a matter of course the route that will get you to your destination fastest, taking into account charging times, thus taking the stress out of route planning for the driver. 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. It is also able to react dynamically to changes, for instance in the traffic situation or personal driving style.

Convenient charging and payment:

With Mercedes me Charge, customers have access to what is currently the world’s biggest charging network:  this currently comprises more than 450,000 AC and DC charging points across 31 countries. Mercedes me Charge allows customers convenient use of the charging stations of various providers, even when travelling abroad. By registering just once, they can benefit from an integrated payment function with a simple billing process.

Green Charging:

Mercedes me Charge enables customers to charge at more than 175,000 public charging points throughout Europe; Mercedes-Benz ensures a subsequent offset with green power.

More range thanks to less drag:

Low wind resistance means high efficiency – something that is particularly important with electric vehicles. The EQA is the first model from Mercedes-EQ whose aerodynamic development has been undertaken entirely digitally. The ensuing measurements undertaken in the wind tunnel revealed a Cd value of 0.28, thereby confirming the high quality of the numerical simulation. The frontal area A totals 2.47 m2. Among the most important aerodynamic measures are the completely closed cooling air control system in the upper section, the aerodynamically efficient front and rear aprons, a very smooth, almost completely enclosed underbody, specially optimised Aero wheels and specifically adapted front and rear wheel spoilers.

Sophisticated thermal management system with heat pump as standard:

Efficiency was key when designing the thermal architecture too. Thanks to the heat pump that is fitted as standard, the waste heat from the electric powertrain can be used to heat the passenger compartment. This reduces drastically the draw on battery power for the heating system, thus increasing the range. It is also possible to set the pre-entry climate control for the interior of the EQA before starting. This function is controlled directly from the MBUX infotainment system or via the Mercedes me App.

Systematic noise attenuation and extensive insulation:

Remarkable effort has been put into ensuring that the car meets the high level of noise and vibration comfort that is such a hallmark of the brand, including the systematic isolation of the electric powertrain from the chassis and body. Numerous damping measures designed to prevent the transmission of airborne sound serve the same purpose.

Intelligent driving assistance systems with cooperative support from the driver:

Included as standard on board are Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist. In critical situations, the purpose of the latter is to prevent a collision by means of autonomous braking, or to mitigate its severity. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds. The enhanced functions of the Driving Assistance Package include, for example, the turning manoeuvre function, the emergency corridor function, the exit warning function alerting the driver to approaching cyclists or vehicles, and a warning when pedestrians are detected near zebra crossings. ECO Assist supports particularly relaxed driving with the help of DISTRONIC.

Protection concept specific to Mercedes-EQ and extensive crash tests:

Taking the robust structure of the GLA as the basis, the body of the EQA was adapted to meet the particular demands that face an electric car. The battery sits within a specially developed frame made out of extruded sections. This fulfils structural tasks. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to protect the energy storage unit from being pierced by foreign objects, and thus also prevent consequential damages. Naturally the EQA also had to go through the brand’s normal and very thorough crash test programme. Stringent requirements for the battery and all components carrying electrical current also apply.

A true Mercedes in terms of occupant protection, too:

Driver and front passenger airbags, a kneebag for the driver and windowbags are fitted as standard. The windowbags cover the first and second row of seats. Thorax-pelvis side airbags in the front are likewise standard, and available as optional equipment for the second row of seats. In conjunction with the PRE-SAFE® system (optional equipment), the front seats are equipped with electric, reversible belt reel tensioners.

Electro-aesthetics of the design signalise Progressive Luxury:

The EQA comes with the typical Mercedes-EQ front-end design: a “Black Panel” radiator grille with central star. A further distinctive design feature of the all-electric world of Mercedes-EQ vehicles is the continuous light strip at front and rear: a horizontal fibre-optic strip connects the daytime running lights of the full-LED headlamps, ensuring a high level of recognisability both in daylight and at night. The inside of the headlamps is finished to a high level of quality, detail and precision. Also typical of Mercedes-EQ are the blue strips in the headlamps. The LED tail lamps merge seamlessly into the tapered LED light strip, giving the car a special look of its own from the rear, too.

Back-lit trim and rosé gold-coloured highlights in the interior:

There are numerous pointers to the electric character of the EQA in the interior. Depending on the equipment line, these may include a back-lit trim element – a première for Mercedes-Benz. Further exclusive details include rosé gold-coloured decorative elements on the ventilation outlets, seats and the vehicle key. The Edition 1 special model additionally features meticulously perforated leather seats, through which can be seen a fabric in the signature Mercedes-EQ colour pure blue. The instruments, with their electric vehicle-specific displays, pick up on the same colour scheme with rosé gold-coloured and blue highlights. The Mercedes-EQ tile in the media display can be used to call up menus relating to charging options, electrical consumption and energy flow.

A well equipped entry point to the world of Mercedes-EQ:

The standard specification of the EQA includes such features as LED High Performance headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist, the EASY-PACK tailgate with electrically operated opening and closing, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, ambient lighting with 64 colours, a double cup holder, luxury seats with four-way adjustable lumbar support, a reversing camera for added convenience and a better overview when manoeuvring, and a multifunction sports steering wheel in leather. Also included as standard are the intuitively operated infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) and the Navigation with Electric Intelligence system. The new model can be personalised with the two design and equipment lines Electric Art and AMG Line, as well as with the Night Package.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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