Mercedes Confirms New EQ A EV for Frankfurt

The compact concept points to entry-level, electric-powered model planned for launch early next decade.

Greg Kable

September 2, 2017

2 Min Read
Teaser shot of Mercedes EQ A ahead of Frankfurt unveil
Teaser shot of Mercedes EQ A ahead of Frankfurt unveil.

STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes-Benz confirms it will unveil a uniquely styled compact hatchback bearing the name of its newly established EQ electric-car sub-brand at the Frankfurt auto show, issuing an early teaser image of the new concept.

Called the EQ A, the hatchback is set to become the German automaker’s second dedicated EV after the EQ C when it goes on sale in 2020.

As depicted in a darken image, the EQ A concept sports a smooth body, black-panel grille and a series of distinctive light graphics in a styling treatment similar to that of the early EQ C.

Conceived to directly rival the BMW i3 and an upcoming production version of the Volkswagen I.D. hatchback, the new EQ A is among 10 electric models being developed in a €10 billion ($11.9 billion) program at Mercedes-Benz and planned for sale before 2025.

The EQ C was unveiled in concept-car guise as part of a public debut for Mercedes’ EQ sub-brand at last year’s Paris auto show.

Recent trademark applications suggest the automaker also plans more luxurious EQ E and EQ S models.

Described as a central pillar in Mercedes’ bid to become an electric-car leader within the next decade, the EQ A is expected to be the volume seller of the EQ lineup priced at less than €40,000 ($47,500).

The second EQ model also is said to play an important role in the future of Mercedes-parent Daimler’s Car-To-Go car-sharing division, with high-ranking executives suggesting it will be offered on a short-term lease basis similar to today’s Car-To-Go scheme.

Based on Mercedes’ new MEA (Modular Electric Architecture) platform, the EQ A follows the lead of the EQ C in adopting a conventional silhouette, with a defined hood line, traditional glasshouse, 5-seat cabin and a hatchback-style rear treatment. However, WardsAuto learns it also will receive the same black-panel grille treatment and surfacing treatment as the EQ C and shown on the Smart EQ Fortwo concept also headed for a Frankfurt unveiling.

Secrecy surrounds the driveline layout of the EQ A, though Mercedes hints at a cheaper and simpler solution than the setup used by the EQ C. That suggests a single front-mounted electric motor with drive sent to the front wheels via a fixed-ratio gearbox.

A more performance-oriented powertrain similar to the EQ C, with a second electric motor mounted within the rear-axle assembly and providing all-wheel-drive capability remains a possibility, Mercedes sources say.

Although not giving away too much prior to its official unveiling next week, Mercedes officials suggest the EQ A will be assembled on a special electric-car line at the automaker’s original compact-car plant in Rastatt, where existing A- and B-class models are built.

The EQ C will be assembled in Bremen. Other more upmarket EQ models, including the EQ E and EQ S, will be built in Sindelfingen.

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