EQ is making its debut in Paris as a single concept car, but as the brand’s first dedicated electric car design it presages an entire family of battery-powered Mercs. As well as the SUV style of the Paris concept car, expect saloons, coupés and cabriolets, all to be marketed under the new sub brand of EQ which will sit alongside AMG and Maybach in the Mercedes stable.
Zetsche said: “We're ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class.”
What then of this first model, with its organic shape and distinctive black bonnet, glass roof and cool blue lighting signatures, what design chief Gorden Wagener sums up as the “electro look”? Aside from normal concept-car toys – cameras instead of rear-view mirrors, for example, which may not get the safety go-ahead in time for the 2019 launch – this is very much the look the EQ family of cars will follow.
The debut EQ is a cross between an SUV of the GLC class and a coupe, thus heading straight for the heart of Europe’s most popular new market slot. Expected to cost about the same as a decent-spec Mercedes GLC (the C-class based SUV) – so maybe £42k – it will be made of a mixture of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre in order to balance lightweight, strength and cost.