Design: Progressive Luxury: Pioneer of a new electro-look

As the first Mercedes-Benz model launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC (combined power consumption: 22,2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km, provisional data)1 features pioneering design details and hallmark colour accents. As a particularly striking feature, the headlamps and air inlet blend into a black-panel surface. The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. The innovative interior design is inspired by the world of consumer electronics. One example is the louvred edge of the instrument panel, which resembles the cooling ribs of a hi-fi amplifier. Both inside and out, the EQC embodies the design idiom of Progressive Luxury.

The EQ brand gives an insight into the future, and is shaped by an avant-garde, distinct look – Progressive Luxury. This arises from the combination of a previously unknown beauty, the conscious clash of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design.

By virtue of its muscular proportions, the EQC is classed as a crossover SUV. The extended roofline and window layout with a low waistline and the coupé-like roof recess at the rear visually position it between an SUV and an SUV coupé.

A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface enclosing the headlamps and grille. The inner housings and tubes of the standard MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are in high-gloss black. Colour highlights discreetly confirm the model's membership of the new EQ family: blue stripes on a black background, and MULTIBEAM lettering also in blue.

[1] Figures for power consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the German Technical Service corporation. The range figures are also provisional. EC type approval and conformity certification with official figures are not yet available. There may be differences between the stated figures and the official figures.

For the first time, the black panel is bordered at the top by an optical fibre as a visual link between the torch-like daytime running lamps as a typical Mercedes-Benz feature. At night this creates an almost uninterrupted, horizontal light band. In certain markets this unmistakable night design is supplemented with an illuminated central star. This optional extra has been combined with the radar sensor Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC for the first time, and acts as an additional position lamp for the stationary vehicle.

Other design features at the front include the air inlet with two chrome louvres in the lower area of the front apron and the simulated side air inlets in high-gloss black.

The lower section of the bumper is in black. Together with the likewise black facing of the side members and the lower section of the rear bumper, this produces a well-balanced overall effect. Moreover, this colour concept together with the low waistline visually lowers the vehicle height and ensures an off-road- look.

At the rear the sporty, stretched silhouette is finished off by a low roof spoiler. The roof contour and side window layout visually confirm that the EQC is conceived as a crossover SUV. The side windows are framed by high-gloss aluminum trip strips. The charging flap is integrated flush with the rear right side wall.

Roof rails have deliberately been omitted, preserving the clear, monolithic form and further enhancing aerodynamics. As with other Mercedes-Benz car models, robust attachment points integrated into the roof structure allow carrier systems to be mounted.

The EQC is fitted with 19 to 21-inch, aerodynamically enhanced, bicolour light-alloy wheels, which are flush with the wheel arches. Two wheel variants have blue touches on the rim flange or spokes.

The deep roof spoiler adds to the excellent aerodynamics and emphasises the width of the rear window. The transition between the bumper and tailgate is practically seamless. The multi-section rear lights with tail lights in edge-light technology echo the light band at the front. The reflectors are positioned separately in the bumper. This allows a flatter, sporty layout for the rear lights. The multi-section chrome strip in the lower area of the bumper emphasises the visual breadth of the rear end.

As in Mercedes-Benz coupés, the registration plate is in the bumper. This makes the Mercedes star in the tailgate particularly prominent. This is also used to open the tailgate, and accommodates a reversing camera if corresponding optional equipment is specified.

The model lettering EQC is located on the left of the tailgate, and has a new, EQ specific typography. The lettering is in chrome, therefore it harmonises with all paint colours.

Interior design: Progressive design idiom, modern materials

The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. This applies to the form, material mix and user experience. There is a unique contrast between sensuous, soft surfaces, precise edges and geometrical shapes. Anybody seeing the EQ's design once will always recognise it again.

The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit. Both in volume and complexity, its upper section is reduced to what is essential. The typical Mercedes-Benz wing profile is asymmetrical, with a “cut-out” in the driver area. This is where one of the visual highlights of the cockpit is located - a high-tech, high gloss cassette housing flat air vents with key-shaped, rosé-gold coloured louvres. These are a feature of the new EQ design idiom, and are exclusive to this new model.

The instrument panel has a metal surround reminiscent of the cooling ribs found on high-quality music amplifiers. This design feature is a wrap-around extending into the doors. The simulated, metallic-look ribbed rim continues into the door panels as a design highlight, and has integral mid-range speakers. This creates a harmonious contrast between high-tech aesthetics and classic door trim. The perforated plate feature is another repeated design motif. It is found e.g. at the top of the instrument panel support and in the mirror triangles. Round depressions of different diameters create a dramatic three-dimensional pattern. If a Burmester® sound system is specified, the mirror triangle accommodates the tweeter and has the familiar metallic look with a pattern of perforations and a key signature.

The instrument cluster and media display (2 x 10.25-inch as standard) are housed behind a shared, continuous glass surface to form a large, free-standing screen. There is a touchpad in the centre console as a further means of controlling many vehicle functions. The ambience lighting impressively illuminates the instrument panel, with optical fibres coursing through the entire cockpit and across the deck with the air vents.

The EQ character of the interior is accentuated by a brand-specific colour scheme that is unique in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. High-grade materials such as leather, plus modern trim elements in an aluminium look or with open-pore wood, convey the familiar, high Mercedes-Benz quality. This is further enhanced by innovative, newly developed surfaces. These include, for example, the finely woven “Sunnyvale” upholstery in indigo blue or beige, the slightly iridescent shade producing an elegant, high-tech sheen. In line with the environmentally friendly drive concept of the EQC, it is manufactured from high-quality recycled material. The Sunnyvale fabric lines the centre sections of the backrest and seat surface. The side bolsters are of man-made leather and have rosé-gold coloured topstitching.

A new, ultra-fine surface structure is pleasant to the touch and extends across the beltline. Also new is a futuristic, textile-like structure in metallic silver-grey. This is particularly effective in combination with the air vent deck in dark chrome. This new Progressive Luxury is further enhanced by elegant highlights in rosé-gold, e.g. on the vanes of the front air vents and in the instrument panel itself. These are produced by bending millimetre-thick real leather in rosé-gold and sewing it into the edging.

The design and equipment lines: Electric Art and AMG Line

The equipment line Electric Art has the design features described above with rosé-gold highlights. The Mercedes-Benz EQC is also available in the sporty equipment line AMG Line, with the options of AMG Line Interior and AMG Line Exterior.

The EQC with AMG Line Exterior features e.g. an AMG-specific radiator grille and mirror housings in the vehicle colour. It also looks considerably more sporty thanks to a distinctive front apron. A wide rear apron in an AMG design further reinforces this impression. Several new AMG wheel designs in sizes between 20 and 21 inches are available for the EQC.

The interior also becomes more sporty with the AMG Line Interior. In addition to a three-spoke AMG multifunction sport steering wheel with flattened lower section, the package includes an AMG sports pedal cluster of brushed stainless steel. The seats are in black ARTICO man-made leather/microfibre, with leather seats and carbon-fibre look trim available as an option. AMG floor mats round off the AMG Line Interior.

MBUX: Intuitive control structure and different display styles

The information of the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. Showcasing elements in an emotively appealing manner underlines the comprehensibility of the control structure and impresses with brilliant pixel-perfect graphics.

Depending on mood or to suit the chosen interior, the user has a choice of three different styles:

  • Modern Classic is a further development of the classic display style in an elegant and light material mix.
  • Sport has a high-tech turbine look with decidedly sporty black/yellow contrasts.
  • Electric Art presents its digital look in reduced form, and emotively displays the current state of the e-drive system. The visible colour changes explain and thrill in equal measure. The glass dials change from rosé-gold in Drive mode to white, and to “Electric Blue” during recuperation. The media display clearly presents functional aspects of the energy situation, e.g. the energy flow or the power consumption history.