As the whole of Europe’s motor industry persistently marches towards a full electric future, more and more amazing vehicles trickle down to our southern shores… meet the new Mercedes EQC 400.
You should know: I’m unsure if I may call this a Mercedes-Benz, as the German giant has even launched its own EV brand called “Mercedes-EQ”. The vehicle itself is called an EQC 400 4Matic, and this factory demo car was coated in (what we think was) Spectral Blue with a black-on-black leather and suede interior.
What else? Despite that letter “C” on its bootlid, this car has very little to do with a petrol or diesel GLC; except maybe the size. 400 alludes to the 408 horsepower (300kW) produced by its two electric motors: one for the front and one for the rear wheels, thereby making this car an all-wheel drive model. Or “4Matic” in Mercedes speak.
More info: The 80kW battery pack promises a maximum cruising range of almost 450km, while the car provides multiple driving modes to enjoy its excellent performance. 0-100km/h takes just 5.2 seconds (our best attempt was 5.14 seconds) while the top speed is apparently limited to 160km/h. I typed “apparently” because our car ignored that limiter during performance testing…
As with the EQA, EQS and EQB we’ve also had underfoot, the refinement and sophistication of these new-to-us Mercedes products is remarkable. This is most pronounced while cruising around town in serene silence or clawing back energy with 1-pedal driving. The only issue we could detect with this blue factory car was a weird humming noise between 100 and 120km/h.
Why you shouldn’t: Because a domestic 3-prong socket will take almost two days to fully charge this car. Find a fast DC charger though and it can get you to 80% in about 40 minutes. And no, I haven’t forgotten about load-shedding, a very fledgling highway charging network and the car’s initial purchase price…
All of these are major hurdles to most people’s ownership but for those select few who’ve mastered all these challenges, the new Mercedes-EQ EQC400 4Matic starts at R1.7 million without options. Included in the price is a 5-year/100,000km warranty and 8-year battery warranty.
Why you should: Because you’re an avid EV fan and/or early adopter who glosses over the AMG make-up or local charging headaches, instead focussing on this car’s interesting new design language, blue trim highlights and glitzy light clusters, 500L boot, superbly luxurious cabin, excellent ride and entertaining performance.
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||2x asynchronous motors|
|0-100km/h:||5.14 seconds (claimed 5.2)|
|Top Speed:||160km/h (claimed, limited)|
|List Price:||From R1,700,000|