Confirmed to Autocar by the brand’s head of exterior design, Robert Lesnik, the currently unnamed car will be the first released under the marque’s "entry luxury" branding and be around 4.7m long.
It is essentially an electric equivalent of the ICE-powered Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon and could take the EQC nameplate into production - with the current model of that name evolving into the EQC SUV, as with other electric saloon-SUV siblings in the Mercedes EV portfolio.
It will provide Mercedes with a long-awaited executive EV to rival the likes of the Polestar 2, BMW i4 and indomitable Tesla Model 3 - a positioning backed up by the first images of a camouflaged prototype spotted testing on public roads.
The production version of the EQXX will be larger and more conventionally styled than the show-stopping concept, but looks to make a departure from the monolithic, minimalist silhouettes that have defined Mercedes's EVs so far. In size and stature, it is an obvious CLA equivalent, but even at this early stage, it is clear that Stuttgart's designers are taking a different approach for this new family of electric cars.
Aside from the near-unrecognisable front- and rear-end designs, what is evident from this prototype is just how heavy an influence aerodynamic efficiency will play on future Mercedes design. The leading edge of the front end is lower and sharper than on any current production model, with what looks to be a clamshell bonnet leading back to a heavily raked glasshouse designed to optimise airflow at speed.
The prototype loses the Kammback-style bluff rear end of the EQXX but highly prominent shoulder lines, which extend several inches from the cabin, ape the swollen rear haunches of the ultra-slippery concept.