It just has to be a success: When Mercedes launches the EQA in spring, the Swabians will combine two big trends and build their first small SUV with an electric drive. But the car is not that new.
Mercedes is electrified. After the Swabians have so far more dutifully than enthusiastically relied on the battery, they are now pushing with all their might to the charging station - they want to bring four new electric cars to the start this year and are apparently so energized that they can with the first Test drives don't even want to wait until the world premiere. Even before the digital unveiling of the EQA opens the big round, the electric beginner is now ready for its maiden voyage next to the factory gate in Stuttgart.
That he still wears a light camouflage is actually pretty superfluous. After all, the EQA is nothing more than a converted GLA. Much more than the blackened plastic grill with the continuous LED strip, the aero rims and the retouched rear with the continuous band for the taillights and the license plate that has slipped down will hardly distinguish the Stromer from the combustion engine. And inside, too, apart from a few - well - rather silly applications in rose gold, a fully backlit console in front of the front passenger and a few new EQ graphics in the infotainment system, there is nothing that distinguishes the two.
In addition to the ambience, this also applies to the dimensions: with a length of around 4,50 meters, the space available for children and skittles is unchanged. Compared to conventional off-road vehicles from the compact class, the backbenchers sit quite neatly: But they will look enviously at passengers in dedicated electric cars like the VW ID3, which offer significantly more interior space with less length. After all, the trunk has not suffered from the electrical engineering. And if you need more space, you will finally get an electrified GLB in a few months, which will then become the EQB.
It all starts with the EQA 250, which is driven by a 140 kW / 190 PS engine via the front axle. Fed from a battery with an estimated 70 kWh, Mercedes promises a WLTP range of more than 420 kilometers for it. At least one performance model with over 200 kW and a second motor in the rear as well as an endurance runner with enough battery for more than 500 kilometers will follow later. It is charged with up to 100 kW, so that 30 minutes on the direct current column should be enough for a lift from 10 to 80 percent.
Similar to its big brother EQC, Mercedes made a virtue out of the need for the shared platform and used the installation space in the front, if not for a frunk, then at least for a subframe and an elaborate decoupling of the engine, body and chassis. The result is a sovereign silence that makes other electric cars seem loud and almost rickety.
The driving experience itself, on the other hand, is similar to that of all battery-powered cars: the EQA also has a powerful acceleration and is almost reminiscent of an AMG model. The batteries in the floor increase the weight and thus create a certain inertia, but they lower the center of gravity and thus increase the fun in curves. And on the autobahn the air gets very thin at some point. That there is a shot at 160 km / h should therefore not seriously bother anyone. Especially since out of consideration for the range, hardly any e-driver ever exhausts the top speed of their electric vehicle.
With the EQA, Mercedes wants to lure in particular those switching and is making the electric premiere correspondingly easy for them, for example with particularly clever navigation and an app for easy access to almost half a million charging stations in Europe. But the compact Stromer also satisfies the needs of experienced electricians. Because unlike an iX3 or an ID3, for example, it enables fairly consistent one-pedal driving. If you choose the strongest of the five recuperation levels, you will almost bang your chin on your chest if you just take your foot off the gas and can safely save yourself the mechanical brake. In the weakest position, on the other hand, the compact SUV sails for miles and only comes to a standstill with a courageous step on the second pedal.
Of course, Mercedes defends the strategy of a common platform for all drives, but it shortens the development time and receives the necessary flexibility in the factory to react to the difficult to plan demand for electric cars. But in Stuttgart they also know that they are revealing a few advantages and therefore prefer to drive on two tracks: When the next star in the electric sky rises in autumn with the EQS, the first dedicated electric architecture will start with it.