2021 Mercedes Benz EQA: Mercedes-Benz have recently unveiled the 250 prototype of the EQA, which joins the EQC, in the range of the six electric vehicles that the firm intends to release all before 2023. The EQA is essentially an adaptation of available hardware to harbour an electric powertrain in a compact SUV. Due to the expense and time required to be invested to develop a new platform to support Mercedes’ smaller electric vehicles, the EQA has been forced to settle for a recasting of the GLA’s MFA platform. Whilst not ideal, as this platform was not envisaged and designed to accommodate a purely electric powertrain, it does ensure that the EQA will be introduced onto the market to satisfy the 2023 deadline and, as a result of their similar chassis, platforms, and designs, can be produced in Mercedes’ major factories with the GLA.
The EQA will be equipped with a 66 kWh lithium ion battery, mounted near the rear, which, due to the use of a modified GLA platform not initially exclusively designed with an electric vehicle in mind, results in a raised section of floor and also under the rear seats. Although this does not have devastating consequences, it does slightly reduce leg room in the rear of the vehicle, whilst preventing the EQA from achieving the boot capacity of 481 litres, boasted by the GLA. Nevertheless, the rear seats are still in a 40:20:40 split-folding configuration that allows potentially longer items to be stored during a journey.
With this 66 kWh lithium ion battery comes an 188 brake horsepower induction motor located at the front of the vehicle, causing the EQA to be front-wheel drive, whilst providing a claimed 249 miles of range. Still, precise details remain scarce and Mercedes have been cautious to reveal any further specifications, although it has been forecast that the EQA will be capable of 62 mph in and around the region of 7 seconds, taking into account the immense weight of the vehicle and the rapid acceleration affiliated with electric vehicles. While these statistics may pale in comparison to the EQA’s primary rivals in the compact electric vehicle market, they are still impressive and the range should suffice a journey for the average commuter in the UK. Moreover, it is entirely possible that Mercedes release an EQA with a range lurking near the 300 mile mark later down the line, in which a performance version has already been confirmed, which will have two electric motors, with one at the front, and one at the rear, bestowing this particular model with 4 wheel drive capabilities.
In order to support the electric battery and electric motor, the chassis has been strengthened considerably, in which both the MacPherson strut and multi-link suspension systems have been stiffened, whilst the adaptive dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars have been invigorated to ensure the integrity of the vehicle and the safety of its driver and its passengers, whilst maximising comfort. Furthermore, the vehicle has also been raised and, to improve fuel-efficiency, strides have been taken to refine the aerodynamics of the vehicle, with much success.
The EQA has been furnished with the most advanced and up-to-date intelligent driving systems, safety features, and on-board software quintessential of cars in the modern world, in which these various attributes can all be controlled through the MBUX infotainment system. The interior has also been filled with the several instruments and their corresponding graphics, as well as the other distinct trademarks that are exclusive and instantly recognisable as belonging to the EQ range.
One of the most significant features however is the EQA’s energy regeneration system. This is controlled by the paddles mounted at the sides of the steering wheel and can be adjusted via the infotainment screen that offers four different modes depending on the environment and your preference. For example, the D-- option, when your foot is removed off of the accelerator, will near instantly and aggressively brake, garnering a substantial amount of energy from the tarmac that is then fed into the battery. On the contrary, the D+ option, will allow energy to be accumulated more discreetly whilst cruising at a near constant speed.
The EQA is set to make its debut in the UK by mid 2021 in the form of the 250 prototype that was revealed, and whilst it may lack the unique platform and perhaps the range and performance capabilities of some of its competitors, it excels in other categories such as comfort, safety, and regenerative braking, with all the augmentations, elegances, and conveniences of modern technology. So, whilst similar to the GLA, the platform, mechanics, and structure of the EQA will inspire the slightly larger EQB that will be based on the GLB, and potentially other, more powerful models in the future.
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