Over the past few months, Mercedes-Benz has been leaking some information about its all-electric EQC SUV development program.

After a glimpse at its production prototype during winter testing, we now get a look at the latest developments in Mercedes-Benz’s test program for the newest EQC prototypes.

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The German automaker has produced all-electric vehicles in the past, but they were compliance cars based on existing gas-powered models.

Also, they were outsourcing the electric powertrain to other manufacturers, like Tesla at some point for the Mercedes B-class Electric.

Now Mercedes-Benz has a more serious EV effort that will start next year with the first vehicle, the all-electric ‘EQC’ SUV, under their new all-electric ‘EQ’ sub-brand.

The winter tests were completed in March and now the company says that they are working on “more suspension/powertrain tests as well as integrated complete-vehicle high-temperature testing in southern Europe.”

They listed a bunch of details about their test program in a press release today:

  • Totally digital: Digital testing covers all key areas of vehicle development: from simulation and validation of construction feasibility to crash performance, aerodynamics, ride & handling, NVH (noise/vibration/harshness), weight through to consumption and range.
  • From computer screen to test bench and onto the road: Despite all the advantages of digital testing in terms of speed, data availability and efficiency – no vehicle goes into series production without extensive real-world testing. The focus here is on the durability of components such as drivetrains on the test bench and the functional testing of the entire vehicle under various climatic conditions on the road. In the case of the EQC, of course, special attention is paid to the electric powertrain and the battery. They too are tested and approved in accordance with Mercedes-Benz’s extremely strict standards.
  • Everything a question of proportion: A special role is also played by the acoustics of an electric vehicle, as, unlike in a combustion-engined vehicle, there is hardly a sound from the powertrain. This makes sounds such as the rolling of the tyres or wind noise more prominent. To meet these special requirements, we rely on our many years of experience in the area of NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness).
  • One third/two thirds: With a ratio of 35% to 65% between digital testing and real-world testing, we combine the best of both worlds  in the interests of the customary high quality standards of Mercedes-Benz.
  • Almost 200: That’s how many prototypes and preproduction vehicles are built and tested for this purpose in our workshops.
  • Several hundred: Before being released for production, the vehicle must be tested and validated by numerous individuals from many different development departments. A total of several hundred experts are involved in testing. From the specialist departments, which approve their components and modules, through to testing/endurance testing of the complete vehicle.
  • Around four years: All in all, the EQC will have been in development for around four years.
  • Three winters and three summers: The EQC will be subjected over three winters and three summers to extreme conditions from minus 35° to over plus 50° Celsius.
  • A true cosmopolitan: Before coming to market in many countries around the world, the EQC will have undergone extensive testing in Germany, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Dubai, South Africa, the USA and China.

The company also released a few images of the EQC testing near the Black Forest in southwest Germany:

Mercedes-Benz previously said that the EQC is equipped with a 70 kWh battery pack for a range of ‘up to 500 kilometers’ (310 miles). Of course, that’s based on the NEDC standard and the real-world range or EPA-rated range would be expected to be significantly less – around 250 miles. In terms of range, it should be competitive with the several other all-electric luxury SUVs coming to market in the next few years.

As for power, Mercedes says that the EQC is equipped with two electric motors on the front and rear axles for a total power output of up to 300 kW. The automaker claims that it will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in under five seconds.

The vehicle is expected to enter production next year.

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