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Mercedes-Benz continues EV onslaught with EQB debut

China proves a focal point for Mercedes-Benz with new EQB electric SUV

19 Apr 2021

MERCEDES-BENZ is continuing its electric vehicle (EV) onslaught, having just revealed the EQB SUV less than a week after its flagship EQS limousine.


Measuring 4684mm long, 1834mm wide and 1667mm tall, the EQB is based on an optimised version of the existing compact platform – the wheelbase is identical to the GLB’s at 2829mm – and flaunts all of the familiar styling cues that mark it out as a relative of the GLB range while still donning a few unique EV speciality bits.


The solid gloss black grille, aerodynamic alloy wheels, full-width tail-light signature, rose-gold trim highlights and inherent lack of exhaust tips all contribute to singling out the EQB as the electric cousin of the regular GLB.


The interior too is largely all GLB with the only real giveaway of the EQB’s electric nature being the EV-specific displays and readouts shown on the familiar dual-screen digital instrument cluster and infotainment system.


Not due to touch down locally until next year, multiple versions will be offered including entry-level, long range and performance-oriented grades with China (a key EQB market) set to receive a 215kW AMG Line varaint from launch.


Europe meanwhile will be offered two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, all powered by 66.5kWh batteries before the long-range and high-performance versions emerge.


While the exact model line-up is yet to be locked in, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed a 419km WLTP range for the EQB350 4Matic however a power output is yet to be disclosed.


In terms of charging, all versions can be charged at up to 100kW when hooked up to a DC fast charger, just 30 minutes of which can reportedly charge the battery from 10-80 per cent.


Despite its new-generation and emissions-free powertrains, the EQB is still first and foremost a mid-sized SUV meaning prospective customers will still care about interior space, which like on the EQA, is down on its petrol counterpart.


Unlike the GLB which ships exclusively in seven-seat form, the EQB will be sold as a five-seater from the factory with the third row set to be available as an optional extra in all markets apart from China (seven-seat only).


In standard from, Mercedes says the EQB will offer 495 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place, a figure that expands up to 1710L when the second row is folded flat.


Opting for the third row meanwhile shrinks boot and total cargo space to 465L (third row stowed) and 1620L respectively – 95L and 180L less than the equivalent GLB on account of the underfloor battery packaging and axle-mounted electric motor.


To help liberate more legroom for the third-row passengers when that option box is ticked however, the second row can be slid fore and aft by 140mm, however Mercedes itself even says the third row is primarily for those under 165cm tall (read children).


Global standard equipment highlights meanwhile will consist of ‘Electric Intelligence’ satellite navigation which will factor in range and available charge times into its route selection and guidance as well as an 11kW AC on-board charger.


According to Daimler Group chief design officer Gorden Wagener, the EQB takes the heritage of Mercedes’ “boxy off-road vehicles and transforms” it into the future.


While the EQB is set to launch in China and Europe later this year, Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific is yet to confirm an exact arrival time of the EQB Down Under with only a “2022” launch mentioned at this stage.


Initially thought of as a niche offering among the established premium mid-sized SUVs, the traditionally-powered GLB has found favour with Australian buyers in 2021 with 1166 new units being sold, enough to give it a leading 15.1 per cent share of the $60,000-plus medium SUV segment.

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