The Mercedes EQC is inching closer to production as the automaker has released a new video showing the crossover completing its final round of hot weather testing in the Tabernas desert.
Set to compete with the Audi e-tron, the all-electric Mercedes is heavily camouflaged but previous spy photos have shown the production model will follow in the footsteps of the Generation EQ concept.
While the basic design carries over, the EQC will feature a more traditional front fascia with a prominent grille that is flanked by distinctive headlights. The bodywork has also been toned down, while the flush-mounted door handles and video camera side mirrors have been replaced by more mainstream components.
Given the importance of the model, it’s not surprising to learn that the EQC has been subjected to extensive tests over the past three years. As ECQ chief engineer Michael Kelz explains, the company has been testing 90 prototypes and 30 pre-production models that are “very close” to the road-going crossover. Engineers have racked up millions of kilometers behind the wheel and the company has tested the crossover on four different continents.
The tests in the Tabernas desert were particularly helpful as extreme temperatures push electric vehicles to their limits. Besides ensuring the battery cooling system could cope with the extreme heat, engineers wanted to ensure the EQC feels like a proper Mercedes when be driven on gravel roads.
The tests appear to have been a success as Kelz called the EQC a “game changer” and noted the past three years have been an adventure.
Mercedes has been tight-lipped on specifications, but the Generation EQ concept had two electric motors which allowed for a combined output of 402 hp (300 kW / 408 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. The concept also had a 70+ kWh lithium-ion battery pack which give the crossover a range of up to 310 miles (500 km).
The EQC is slated to be unveiled on September 4th, nearly two weeks ahead of the Audi e-tron.