2020 Mercedes-Benz ECQ starts at $68,895

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC will launch at $68,895 (including a $995 destination fee) early next year, the company announced Wednesday. 

The EQC is the first dedicated EV from the flagship Mercedes brand, and the first of its EQ range of models to be introduced for wide consumption. While the sub-brand technically debuted on the Smart EQ ForTwo a year ago, that was merely a Smart ForTwo Electric Drive with a fresh set of badges.

As Mercedes-Benz launches new vehicles, it has been incorporating its new A.I.-based MBUX multimedia infotainment system, and the EQC doesn’t miss out on it. This new system has been developed to maximize interactivity. It accepts voice-, touch- and gesture-based commands, and in this application has been customized to integrate the EQC’s EV features. 

MBUX has a separate category for EV functions that was designed to interface with the EQC’s navigation and mobile connectivity systems. This enables several critical functions designed to reduce range anxiety, including route planning and communication with charging station networks to make sure chargers are working and available along the way.

The EQC will launch with three trims: Progressive, Premium and Advanced, all with limited initial customization. The Progressive and Premium trims will get just two paint colors and two upholstery options; the Advanced model will boast three of each. More individualization is expected in future model years. 

The 2020 EQC 400 packs a dual-motor electric powertrain with 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. Under normal driving conditions, the front motor handles the bulk of the work. When the accelerator is put to the floor or road conditions call for all-wheel drive traction, the rear motor kicks in.

Electricity is stored in an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack which should enable 200 miles of range on a single charge. The EQC’s rivals include the 240-mile Jaguar I-Pace and the 204-mile Audi E-Tron. New competition (in the form of the BMW iX3 and Tesla Model Y) is due in 2020.

Look for the 2020 EQC to hit showrooms early next year.