The EQC is the German firm’s first dedicated EV and the first of 10 battery-electric vehicles it will be launched by 2022. Those models will fall under Mercedes’ new EQ sub-brand, along with the firm’s mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid machines.
While some manufacturers are creating dramatically different-looking EVs, Mercedes has decided to tread carefully, not wanting to alienate those who like Mercedes’ existing design.
“The EQC has a close link to [the similar-sized] GLC, but for some of the future EQ models you will see more distinct design,” said Heinermann. “We have deliberately decided to take a step-by-step approach here."
Mercedes interior designer Hartmut Sinkwitz added: “[The EQC] is the starting point for the electric family. We felt this is the right amount of revolution to start with for this car. You will see more with other EQ models. We believe this is a good starting point.”
One design element that will remain across the EQ models is the front grille – despite electric cars not needing them for cooling as with combustion-engined cars.
Exterior designer Robert Lesnik said: “The grille is important, because otherwise the car would be faceless; it doesn’t matter if there needs to be an air intake or not. We believe that every EQ car needs a certain shape in the front.
“There are many other car companies that are experimenting [without a grille], because they don’t have 130 years of history. That’s not what we’re going to do.”
Talking about the broader design of EQ models, he added: “We need time for a few cars, then you will see a familiar line through them.”