Mercedes-Benz's first all-electric car is a 402-horsepower SUV with 200 miles of range

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The ultimate version of the first all-electric car from Mercedes-Benz has finally been revealed. The Mercedes-Benz EQC, an all-wheel drive electric SUV with up to 200 miles of range, was officially announced on Tuesday, nearly two years after the original concept SUV debuted at the Paris Motor Show. It was unveiled at an event in Sweden where Dieter Zetsche, the head of Mercedes-Benz, called it the “dawn of a new era” for the company.

Fully known as the Mercedes-Benz EQC400 4MATIC, the EQC will go on sale in the US in 2020. Pricing has not been announced. Production will start in 2019 in Germany, and it will eventually spread to China and potentially to the company’s US plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, down the road.

While Mercedes-Benz teased a range of around 300 miles with the concept version, the production EQC will only be capable of traveling around 200 miles on a full charge — which is notably short of other luxury electric SUVs like the Jaguar I-Pace (240 miles) or the base version of the Tesla Model X 75D (237 miles). (Audi’s forthcoming electric E-Tron SUV is supposed to reach close to 250 miles, as is BMW’s electric iX3 SUV.) Mercedes-Benz says it will be possible to charge the 80kWh battery pack from 10 percent to 80 percent in 40 minutes using DC fast chargers.

It might be a little light on range compared to the competition, but the EQC is otherwise packed to the sunroof with features. The SUV uses Mercedes-Benz’s slick new MBUX user interface / infotainment system, which dominates the dashboard, thanks to two 10.25-inch digital displays. Heated seats, 19-inch wheels, rose gold accents, and adaptive headlights are all standard. Optional features include 64-color ambient lighting and Mercedes-Benz’s driver assistance package.

The EQC will be a tick slower than the I-Pace and on par with the Model X 75D, making it from 0–60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Its top speed is also electronically limited to 112 mph. (The Model X has a limited top speed of 155 mph, while the I-Pace tops out at 124 mph.) But it otherwise sounds generally quick, with 402 horsepower coming from the two electric motors (one on each axle).

Mercedes-Benz EQC vs. the competition

Specs Mercedes-Benz EQC Tesla Model X 75D Jaguar I-Pace Audi E-Tron Quattro (concept) BMW iX3
Specs Mercedes-Benz EQC Tesla Model X 75D Jaguar I-Pace Audi E-Tron Quattro (concept) BMW iX3
Range 200 miles (est) 237 miles 240 miles 248 miles (est) 250 miles (est)
0-60mph 4.9 sec 4.9 sec 4.5 sec 4.5 sec TBD
Top speed 112mph 155mph 124mph TBD TBD
Battery 80kWh 75kWh 90kWh 95 kWh 70kWh
Horsepower 402hp 518hp 394hp 429hp 270hp
Price TBD $79,500 $69,500 TBD TBD

Like most other major automakers, Mercedes-Benz (and its parent company Daimler) have committed billions of dollars toward making its cars more electric in the coming decade. The EQC is the first of an entire future lineup of EQ-branded all-electric cars. The company also already makes hybrid (dubbed EQ Boost) and plug-in hybrid (EQ Power) versions of some of its existing sedans and SUVs.

The EQC, then, is Mercedes-Benz’s attempt to introduce customers to what is still a very new type of car. By the time it’s on sale, though, the competition will be fierce. In the luxury space alone, the EQC will be up against the Model X and I-Pace, as well as forthcoming electric SUVs from BMW and Audi. Porsche has an all-electric crossover car on the way, too. That’s not to mention all the other automakers playing below the luxury space who have electric SUVs and crossovers in the works, like Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.

With most of these companies promising more than 200 miles of range — or at least offering more as an option — Daimler is likely betting that the Mercedes-Benz brand and its reputation for luxury, as well as the company’s claimed history as the “inventor of the automobile,” will help to make up the difference.

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