The new Mercedes EQ C will be offered alongside regular vehicles to fleet customers when the pure-electric SUV arrives in British dealers in 2019, it has emerged.
The EQ C is scheduled to be unveiled in production form this autumn, with a likely public debut at the Paris Motor Show, ahead of sales starting in the first half of next year. The mid-sized SUV - an all-electric sister model to the GLC, in effect - is expected to cost around £55,000, although Mercedes has yet to issue any firm guides on pricing or detailed information on whether it plans to sell it using a traditional buying process.
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However, the company’s UK fleet boss Robert East has told Auto Express that Mercedes plans to offer the EQ C alongside the rest of its range to fleet customers - and suggested that this will be part of a wide range of ways into the vehicle.
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“We will roll the EQ C into our overall fleet proposition,” East said. “We’re already seeing a number of buyers saying that it will fit their user profile, and it’s really just a reflection of how the market is evolving. We certainly intend to offer customers a number of flexible ways into that car.
“What we won’t be doing is a special fleet or business variant of EQ C just for fleet,” he added, “because in our view that’s not a tactic that works in the UK.” In this respect the EQ C will follow the rest of Mercedes’ line-up for British customers.
East said that the EQ C has already attracted “strong interest” from fleet buyers in the UK, including enquiries from more than one police force.
The EQ C SUV was spied testing again last month, with our photographs suggesting that a full reveal was on the horizon.
With the car"s disguise paired back to the bare minimum - even the zebra pattern masking now features EQ marketing and branding - a telling sign that the first fully electric car under Merc"s electrified EQ sub-brand was on its way.
The EQ C, which will rival everything from the Tesla Model X to smaller Y, the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and the BMW iX3, will boast a range of around 300 miles.
The first concept car for the German carmaker"s EV and hybrid sub-brand, the EQ Concept, was shown at the Paris Motor Show back in 2016. The SUV is the first of ten pure electric Mercedes models slated to arrive before 2025, with the company registering various EQ-prefixed model names over the last few years.
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As the camouflaged prototype suggests, the production EQ C"s styling has been toned down a little for market release. But it still retains an unusually low stance for an SUV, necessary to keep a smooth aerodynamic profile to boost range. The imposing front-end, intricate headlights and sloping roofline remain intact, too. Overall, it"ll boast a design language subtly different to that of Merc"s latest conventional cars, specific for the EQ brand.
As Merc"s R&D head told Auto Express last year, the range target for the EQ C is around 300 miles from its lithium-ion battery pack. Two electric motors, one mounted on each axle, will produce a total output of 300kW (402bhp), while the 0-62mph time is estimated at around five seconds. It sits on a bespoke electrified platform, sharing very little with similarly-sized SUVs such as the GLE and GLC.
If the concept we drove last year is anything to go by, we can expect an interior that borrows technology and features from the E-Class and S-Class models. A more futuristic design will be used, however, while colour-changing ambient lighting could help illustrate powertrain modes and charge status. We"ve no doubt that the EQ C will also feature Merc"s latest semi-autonomous driving functions and assists when it arrives in showrooms before the decade is out.
What are your first impressions of the Mercedes EQ C as it undergoes testing? Let us know what you think below...Nguồn: www.autoexpress.co.uk