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Mercedes-Benz unveils rugged EQC 4×4 electric off-road SUV

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a rugged new EQC 4×4 electric off-road SUV to show that electric vehicles can also be adventure vehicles.

That’s actually very much Rivian’s mission with the R1T electric pickup truck and R1S SUV, which it describes as “adventure vehicles.”

As for Mercedes-Benz, instead of making a new vehicle, they decided to modify their existing EQC electric SUV.

The EQC 4×4² was developed as a “one-off” vehicle by a cross-departmental team under development engineer Jürgen Eberle.

Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO, commented on the vehicle:

 Our aim is to combine modern luxury and sustainability with emotional appeal. The EQC 4×4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be. This is where electromobility high-tech and an intriguing customer experience are transferred to the mountains, thanks to MBUX and over-the-air updates. To put it succinctly, electric, progressive luxury goes off-road. This drivable study clearly shows that alongside a passion for e-mobility, we at Mercedes-Benz lay a strong claim to leadership in this sector and will heighten the emotional appeal of this even further in the future.

The EQC 4×4² rides more than twice as high as a production EQC, and it is even higher than a G-Class.

Mercedes-Benz has leveraged the off-road drive programs of its GLC models for this electric vehicle:

The reprogrammed Off-Road drive programs take advantage of the high-performance logic of the current GLC models. For example, using targeted brake interventions, this enables an improved torque curve when starting on loose ground. In combination with the tires in size 285/50 R 20, this results in an impressive sure-footedness in terrain. The striking visual appearance is rounded off by the matt metallic gun-metal gray car film and the black wheel arch flares.

Here are the new ground clearance specs compared to the EQC:

EQC 4×4² (study)EQC 400 4MATIC (standard)[2]
Approach angleDegrees31.820.6
Departure angleDegrees33.020.0
Breakover angleDegrees24.211.6
Ground clearancemm293140
Fording depthmm400250

They have also redesigned the acoustic system for the off-road version of the vehicle:

Another highlight of the EQC 4×4² is the sound experience with its own soundscape. The acoustic production comprises sounds that give the driver feedback on system availability and vehicle parking, as well as an interactive, emotionalizing driving sound. It is influenced by various parameters such as the position of the accelerator pedal, speed, or energy recovery rate. The technology uses intelligent sound design algorithms to calculate the sounds coming from the amplifier of the sound system in real time and the interior loudspeakers to reproduce them.

The automaker didn’t elaborate on the impact of these upgrades to the EQCs efficiency, but they are expected to be significant.

Why making it a one-off? Why not offer the 4×4² as a package on the EQC? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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