Mercedes-Benz has postponed the official unveiling and market launch of its all-new EQA until 2021.
The production version of the new electric crossover, previewed in lightly disguised prototype form during cold-weather testing last March, was originally planned to be revealed during the third quarter of 2020, with sales beginning before the end of the year.
However, a reorganisation of Mercedes' electric car production activities, ongoing battery cell supply difficulties and interruptions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic are said to have forced a launch delay of around six months for the new model.
Based heavily on the second-generation GLA crossover, the EQA will provide competition to the likes of the new Volkswagen ID 3.
Among the key organisation changes that have affected the launch plan is a switch in the production location for the upcoming EQB, according to Mercedes sources.
The third EQ model was originally slated to be assembled at the Smart Fortwo factory in Hambach, France. However, ongoing talks relating to a sale of the facility to Ineos and a subsequent decision to move EQB production to Rastatt, Germany, where the EQA is due to be built, are said to have delayed plans for the entry-level electric Mercedes.
No timeframe for the postponed unveiling and launch of the EQA has been set, although insiders suggest that UK deliveries now won't commence until the second half of 2021.
Two distinct variants of the EQA are planned, with standard single-motor front-wheel drive and optional dual-motor four-wheel drive.
Meanwhile, word out of Mercedes' AMG performance division suggests that a four-wheel-drive sporting variant of the EQA could be on the cards.
Nothing is official, but Autocar understands that AMG is preparing an EQA flagship model featuring an upgraded rear motor to provide it with performance consummate to the recently unveiled GLA 45 S.