When a previously unseen Mercedes electric crossover prototype was caught on camera testing last week, we assumed the three-pointed star was testing the next-generation EQA. However, our spies have it on good authority that it was actually the new EQC, which they've now also caught undergoing testing. It has a different license plate but looks nearly the same, and was seen in downtown Stuttgart together with the current GLC.
Massive changes are planned for the next EQC since it will switch to a different platform. Rather than continuing to adapt the architecture underpinning the conventionally powered GLC, Mercedes will transition the electric crossover to the MB.EA hardware, dedicated to midsize and larger EVs. An equivalent EQC Sedan is also planned to rival a future Neue Klasse-based BMW i3 Sedan.
Next-generation Mercedes EQC SUV spy photos
The Mercedes crossover spotted on the streets of Germany appeared to have a new body with electrically operated pop-out door handles. However, it lacked the final headlights and taillights as those are most certainly placeholders. Compared to the EQC on sale today, its successor will have the side mirrors mounted lower on the doors, along with a narrower hood and a higher-mounted tailgate.
Although it rides on a dedicated EV platform, the overhangs don't necessarily look shorter compared to the current model. Nevertheless, we're still expecting to see a longer wheelbase for improved room inside the cabin. The rear license plate sits considerably higher on the new model, and there's either a subtle spoiler lip or a light bar on the tailgate since we're noticing a wide protrusion.
Mercedes has already announced it will assemble MB.EA-based electric vehicles at its factories in Bremen, Germany and Kecskemét, Hungary. Rumor has it the three-pointed star has decided to start a gradual discontinuation of the "EQ" branding as early as 2024. It's unclear how this new wave of zero-emission models will be named, but surely there is going to be a clear differentiator between the gasoline/diesel/plug-in hybrid GLC and the purely electric model.
The first model from the family of next-generation EVs won't be the EQC SUV or its sedan sibling but rather the CLA/EQA on the MMA architecture for compact cars. This different platform won't be electric-only since it'll still accommodate combustion engines, with compromises to be made on the ICE side.