Mercedes-Benz's CEO may have told us that tech from the 747-mile Vision EQXX prototype is coming to production EVs in the next two to three years, but it still somehow comes as a surprise to hear that Mercedes is sticking to that schedule. Not for the benefit of flagship models like the EQS SUV, either, but for entry-level options like the newly confirmed C-Class EV.
That was confirmed to Autocar by Robert Lešnik, Mercedes' exterior design chief, who said that range-boosting tech from the EQXX as well as its aerodynamic styling will soon grace Mercedes' "entry luxury" range. This will reportedly start with an EV equivalent to the C-Class sedan, which will come in 2024 and be based on Mercedes' smaller EV platform, MMA. This car (presumably called the EQC sedan) will compete directly against the BMW i4, Polestar 2, and Tesla Model 3, and could start around $50,000. There'll be an AMG version that comes a year later (so, 2025) complete with active aero, notably a moving diffuser and spoiler.
Beyond that, it's not clear which technologies from the EQXX will make their way into production models, as Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius didn't divulge such during our roundtable. It is clear, however, that this EV won't be a mere adaption of the EQXX, which Mercedes has stated is a one-off technical testbed and not a concept car. It's unrealistic to expect the C-Class EV to match the EQXX's 747-mile range, which comes at the expense of traits important to production cars, like interior space, cost, and service life. The longevity of experimental parts like plastic-based springs, or its air-cooled battery are hard to be sure of.
More than anything, it's likely the C-Class EV will benefit from EQXX-derived battery management, as well as aerodynamic improvements as evidenced by the apparent carryover of the EQXX's styling. With how much better the EQXX looks than Mercedes-EQ cars have so far, that'd be a welcome change on its own, regardless of what it does for range.
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