Around town at lower speeds, it is programmed to run mainly in front-wheel drive mode, then automatically switches to four-wheel drive for added handling security at higher speeds.
Performance: EQ C will achieve 0-62mph in sub-5sec
Although the weight of the large lithium ion battery is likely to make the EQ C tip the scales at over 2000kg, straight-line performance won’t be a problem. Engineers we spoke to in Berlin last week promised a 0-62mph time of less than 5.0sec, indicating the EQ C will be as quick as the GLC 43 out of the blocks. The claimed range is said to be over 310 miles on a single charge.
Climbing into the passenger seat, we get a first-hand look at the striking interior design that is set to grace Mercedes’ new range of electric vehicles. Drawing on the same aesthetic used for the exterior, it has a low-set dashboard with a prominent instrument and infotainment display that's similar in shape and size to that of the latest E-Class.
But unlike the E-Class's two separate 12.0in screens, the EQ concept has one single 24in screen. There is no touch function for the expansive display itself; instead commands for the sat-nav, air conditioning, vehicle set-up and communication options are taken care of by either a touch-sensitive pad mounted on the centre console between the front seats or smaller touchpads within the horizontal spokes of the steering wheel.
Befitting the futuristic theme evident in other elements of the design, Mercedes has dispensed with its traditional graphics for the instrument and infotainment display in favour of detailed new 3D visuals that instantly grab your attention with their vivid colours and ultra-high definition.
The concept car boasts seats for four people, but Mercedes officials indicate that the production version of the model will offer space for five adults.
On the road: experiencing the Mercedes EQ C
The EQ concept proves every bit as convincing on the move as it does standing still. The airy cabin gives a sense of spaciousness from the passenger seat, even if the header rail for the heavily raked windscreen sits uncomfortably close to your head.
With the front seats perched up high, you get a commanding view of the road and a good sensation of speed once underway. But with a flat floor and no real footwell of any kind you’re forced to sit quite upright with your knees set high, as it so often is in concept cars.
The seating position reminds me a lot of the original A-Class, which also boasted a completely flat floor. Interestingly, Mercedes hints the production version of the new zero-emissions SUV will receive more defined footwells and lower set front seats at a height similar to those of the GLC in a move aimed at providing the upcoming EQ C with greater comfort.