I am an unabashed EV enthusiast, but even I will admit that there is very little on the market today that is dorkier than an electric crossover. Crossovers are boring and bland on their own, but add in the smug holier-than-thou self-righteousness of the typical owner and it’s an automatic automotive turn off. Mercedes-Benz likely knew that when it built the EQC, which is why the 2020 EQC 4x4² design study exists.
Tacking 4x4² on the end of anything Mercedes makes is the automotive equivalent of that movie trope where the dorky character with glasses gets a makeover and wins homecoming royalty or whatever. You know the one I’m talking about. Can’t Buy Me Love? She’s All That? The EQC was a boring pile, but then Mercedes gave it a wash and a wax and fancy new off-roader clothes to go with its high heels and fancy jewelry.
This trick worked great with the Gelandewagen and E-class wagon, which were already somewhat cool, but adding the 4x4² treatment made them infinitely cooler. For those two it was more like lifting a 911 to create the “Safari” style. For the EQC it’s more like the difference between a Yaris and a Yaris GR, taking a boring thing and turning it cool.
Anyway, the jacked-up EQC is not headed to production just yet. Mercedes says it is a design study, just dreamed up by some engineers at the company to get the electric crossover some headline time. It worked, I guess, because here we are.
“Our aim is to combine modern luxury and sustainability with emotional appeal. The EQC 4x4² 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 offroad,” says 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. “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.”
With the Mercedes-favorite portal axle lift, this wild EQC has been lifted by a massive six inches, more than doubling the car’s ground clearance from factory stock. That’s two and a quarter inches more than a standard G-class has! Add in 31.8 degrees of approach and 33 degrees of departure, and this thing has some pretty impressive off-road chops. You’ll hardly have a problem finding a place to deploy the unimpeachable torque from the car’s electric motors.
I don’t really like the EQC. I don’t like crossovers in general. But this is just the kind of shit I can get behind. Very cool. As the kids on the internet might have said in 2018, this fucks
And, in any case, this is definitely more of an off-roader than the Tesla Model Y.