The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB all-electric compact seven-seater SUV has officially been unwrapped.
Sharing the same MFA2 platform and body as its petrol- and diesel-fueled GLB sibling, the new EQB will be constructed at Mercedes’s Hungarian plant in Kecskemét, where the European-spec CLA and CLA Shooting Brake plug-in hybrid are both currently made.
The MFA2 architecture has been modified accordingly to accommodate the EQB’s floor-mounted battery pack, acting as a structurally integral component of the platform and negating the need for the usual underfloor cross members.
To protect the energy storage unit from being damaged or pierced by foreign objects while driving, the EQB benefits from a a battery guard in the front area of the battery pack.
The EQB will also be built in China by Beijing Benz Automotive Co., as part of a joint venture between Mercedes’s parent company Daimler and Chinese automaker BAIC Group.
Mercedes has invested heavily in the success of the EQB and all of its fully-electric EQ models in the world’s most populous country, where the demand for EVs is growing exponentially every day.
It is for this reason the EQB has made its global debut in China at Auto Shanghai.
“China is not only the most important passenger car sales region for us, it is also the world’s leading market for electric cars," said Hubertus Troska, Daimler AG board member responsible for Greater China.
“With its seven seats, the new EQB meets the needs of very family-oriented customers.
“In addition to the right products, our local production footprint is one of the decisive factors for sustainable growth in China. That’s why we are looking forward to producing the all-electric EQB in Beijing.”
Several variants in both front-wheel and 4MATIC all-wheel drive will be available across different markets from launch, with power rated as high as 200kW.
Powering the EQB will be a bank of lithium-ion battery packs with capacities starting from 66.5kWh. Mercedes says that a “particularly long-range version is also planned”.
The batteries will be made in-house by Daimler at its manufacturing facilities in Kamenz, Germany, and Jawor, Poland.
In China, the compact electric SUV will come as a fully-specced, range-topping variant with an AMG Line package and a power output rated at 215kW.
Thanks to the GLB/EQB’s long wheelbase (measuring 2829 millimetres), the China-only model will also come with a third row of seats as standard, making it capable of carrying seven passengers in total.
In other markets across the globe, a two-row/five-seater set-up will be the norm, with a third row available to purchase as an optional extra.
In Australia, it is likely the local market will receive a front-wheel drive EQB 250 model and a top-of-the-range EQB 350 4MATIC model.
European-spec EQB 350 4MATICs will have an effective driving range rated at 478km (WLTP) from a single charge, so expect about the same for the Aussie-delivered model.
There will be several different charging options for the EQB, including an onboard charger that allows up to 11kW with an alternating current (AC).
Mercedes also says that using one of its wall-box chargers will significantly increase the rate of charging compared to a household socket.
At direct current (DC) charging stations, the time needed to top up the EQB is even less, with the Stuttgart firm claiming that in the right conditions, the SUV’s state of charge can grow from 10-80 per cent in just over 30 minutes.
The exterior of the EQB is, rather obviously, very similar to the GLB, with the main visual difference between the two vehicles being the completely closed over front grille, which helps the EV to achieve its extra slippery drag coefficient of 0.28.
Other exterior features include; a newly designed front spoiler and rear diffuser – which both promote better aerodynamic efficiency, as does the almost completely enclosed underbody – bespoke front and rear wheel arch spoilers and special aero-optimised alloy wheels.
The EQB also has redesigned headlight and taillight configurations that bring it into line with the rest of the EQ product range.
As is the case with the GLB, the EQB’s interior will come equipped with dual 10.3-inch digital displays, with the central one being a touchscreen, enabling users to interact with Mercedes’s MBUX infotainment system. ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation will also come as standard.
Other features of the interior include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, and USB-C charging stations.
It’s not known yet what else will come as standard on the electric SUV for Australian-delivered vehicles, but for anyone familiar with purchasing a Mercedes locally, expect to pay extra for bundled features like an AMG Line pack, Vision pack and Driving Assistance pack.
Safety features as standard include active lane-keeping assist, active brake assist, blind-spot assist and parking assist.
Mercedes has had a strong roll-out of all-electric vehicles in 2021 so far, and there’s still more EQ models to come – with EQE, an executive sedan, due to be unveiled later this year.
It may sound like a lot of EVs in a short amount of time, but as Mercedes has previously stated, by 2030, it expects more than 50 per cent of its products to be plug-in hybrid electric or fully electric vehicles.
There’s no word yet about local availability or pricing for the EQB, however, a representative for Mercedes-Benz Australia has told WhichCar the electric compact SUV won’t be landing Down Under until 2022.
Be sure to watch this space as WhichCar brings you all the latest updates on Mercedes’s newest SUV.
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