Mercedes-Benz EQT Previewed Ahead Of 2022 Launch

This all-electric EQT may wear a three-pointed star, but its actually a Renault Kangoo underneath. 

To those who are looking for a more practical all-electric offering from Mercedes-Benz, there is some good news on that front as the German automaker has recently previewed its upcoming EQT. A replacement to the Citan and the 9th model to join its ever-expanding EQ sub-brand, this new van-based people mover will set to debut alongside its fuel-drinking T-Class counterparts come 2022. 

Kicking things off with its exterior aesthetics first, the new baby Benz people mover still looks to retain much of the EQ design details as seen in other all-electric Mercedes models before it. Such is evidenced by the EQS-esque glitzy grille up front, featuring ‘different-sized stars with a 3D effect’ which is then topped off by slim LED headlights on either side and an LED light strip encasing it all. 

Moving further down the side meanwhile, the Concept EQT wears hilariously huge 21-inch alloy wheels that look lifted straight out of an E-Class. Other design highlights worth mentioning further round the back include flush-fitting pop-out door handles with a metallic finish, and a pair of striking LED taillights that are joined by an illuminated strip below the massive rear window.

Now continuing on inside this near Alphard-sized Benz van, its leather-lined 7-seat cabin is adequately equipped with various luxury accoutrements that is to be expected in a Mercedes. These include features such as MBUX central infotainment touchscreen, multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control, a semi-digital instrument cluster and a full length panoramic sunroof.

Adding to that extensive list too is apparently an electric longboard stashed beneath a plexiglass lid under the load floor. A feature which has a very high chance of not being there when this concept car eventually becomes a reality.

Now as for what lies under the skin of this Mercedes-Benz van, it is worth pointing out now that the EQT is in essence a third-gen Renault Kangoo with a three-pointed star up front. Further technical details regarding this all-electric people mover have yet to be revealed by the German automaker thus far, but going by the Kangoo E-Tech Electric, a 101 hp electric motor hooked up to a 45 kWh battery pack that is good for a WLTP-rated 265 km is to be at least one of the powertrain options available.

To be built alongside its Renault counterpart in the French automaker’s MCA factory in Maubeuge, the likelihood of the EQT ever officially arriving in Malaysia is slim to none. Having said that, it will be rather interesting to see if any grey-importers might bring some in as an all-electric German alternative to the ever-popular Toyota Alphard when it eventually debuts sometime next year. 

PRESS RELEASE: With the Concept EQT Mercedes-Benz Vans is giving a tangible impression of the first premium vehicle in the small van segment for families and private customers keen on leisure activities: the T-Class and its fully-electric variant. The near-series-production concept vehicle combines ample and versatile space for up to seven occupants and a generous luggage compartment with a Mercedes-typical design and approach to high-class appeal, comfort, functionality, connectivity and safety. Mercedes-Benz Vans is thus translating the V-Class’s recipe for success into a compact format, bringing a new premium quality into the small van segment. The Concept EQT underscores the unique combination of premium comfort and uncompromising functionality with electric driving pleasure with an electric longboard which is perfectly integrated into the load compartment.

“We are expanding our portfolio in the small van segment with the forthcoming T-Class. It will appeal to families and all those private customers, whatever their age, who enjoy leisure activities and need a lot of space and maximum variability without forgoing comfort and style. The T-Class provides them with an attractive introduction into the world of Mercedes-Benz. And as the Concept EQT shows: We are consistently implementing our claim to leadership in electromobility and will also be offering a fully electric model in this segment in the future,” says Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Brand-typical design with a high degree of value appeal

The Concept EQT is immediately recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-EQ family. Its design is distinguished by balanced proportions and a sensual surface design. Muscular shoulders and striking wheel wells underline the vehicle’s power and emotive appeal. The characteristic black panel front with LED front headlights flows seamlessly from the bonnet and gleams with a star pattern. The different-sized stars with a 3D effect are featured throughout the vehicle from the front and the 21-inch light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish to the panoramic roof and the electric longboard in the rear. There is also a light strip which connects the LED headlamps with the LED rear lamps. This in combination with the vehicle’s paintwork in high-gloss black creates a fascinating contrast, resulting in aesthetics of a particularly high quality.

“The Concept EQT is a new, holistic van with the Design DNA of “Sensual Purity”, says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group. “Sensuous shapes, elegant trims and sustainable materials show that this van clearly belongs to our Mercedes-EQ family.”

The interior of the Concept EQT is as much an emotional and stylish statement as its exterior – characterised by an elegant contrast of black and white. The seats are upholstered in white nappa leather; the plaited leather applications on the seat centre panel comprise recycled leather. The instrument panel in a sensual design is particularly eye-catching. The upper section is shaped like a wing profile with the appearance of a seashore pebble and fuses dynamically with the instrument cluster. A practical semi-closed stowage compartment is located above the instrument cluster for easy access to important utensils or documents. In addition, round air vents in high-gloss black, galvanised trim elements and the multifunction steering wheel with Touch Control buttons underline the high quality, modern appearance. The ambient lighting on the centre console, doors and in the foot well creates a stylish atmosphere.

Intuitive, self-teaching MBUX infotainment system

With the MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), Mercedes-Benz is bringing the innovative operating and display concept to the small van segment. The system can be conveniently operated using the free-standing central display with touch function, the touch control buttons on the steering wheel and, optionally, the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant. Its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence is unique. For example MBUX can anticipate what the driver would like to do next with the help of predictive functions. For instance, if someone regularly calls a certain person on Fridays on the way home, the system will suggest their telephone number on the display on this day of the week. Other highlights from MBUX in conjunction with Mercedes me connect include live traffic information and over-the-air updates.

In the high-resolution infotainment system media display, the EQ tile in the main menu serves as a central point of access to the specific displays and settings. These include the charging current, departure time, energy flow and consumption histogram. The media display can also be used to operate the navigation as well as the driving modes. In conjunction with Mercedes me connect, EV-specific navigation services and functions are also offered, such as the display of charging stations, the electric range and optimized route planning taking into account the charge level, weather or the traffic situation.

Maximum variability and functionality with style

The Concept EQT (length/width/height: 4,945/1,863/1,826 millimetres) features sliding doors on both sides with a particularly large opening so that both full-sized individual seats in the third row can be reached without difficulty. Three child seats can be fitted next to each other in the second row of seats. A panoramic roof with a starscape lasered into it floods the interior with light. The vehicle’s elegant bottle design which tapers from the front to the rear makes the vehicle appear longer. The steeply sloping rear with a comfortable, vertical tailgate and window provides for a particularly spacious load compartment. If more space is required, the third-row seats can be folded or removed completely, leaving sufficient space for a pram, a transport box for dogs and other leisure equipment.

The concept vehicle illustrates this spaciousness and high level of variability for families and outdoor fans with a lot of luggage or sports equipment with a rather surprising feature – an electric longboard integrated into the load compartment. It is stored in a double-floor compartment beneath a plexiglass lid fitted in an aluminium frame and flush with the load compartment floor. The electric longboard is also made of aluminium and features a star pattern, giving it a particularly stylish look.

“The Concept EQT gives an outlook on how space and maximum variability can also be combined with stylish comfort in the small van segment. Our future T-Class is a true multi-talent and with it we will attract new customer groups and grow sustainably,” says Marcus Breitschwerdt.

Market launch in 2022

The new T-Class, which will be launched onto the market in 2022, complements the portfolio in the small van segment together with the commercially-positioned Citan which will celebrate its premiere in 2021 including a fully electric variant. The fully electric version for private customers will follow later.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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