Jay Leno Drives Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric SUV: Video

JAN 7 2019 BY MARK KANE 50

The proper Mercedes-Benz that happens to be electric

One of the pre-production prototypes of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQC was featured in one of the latest episodes of Jay Leno’s Garage.

As usual, after talking with the manufacturer representative – Powertrain Testing Engineer, Bastian Schult – and presentation of the car, Jay Leno went for an exclusive first test drive

Mercedes-Benz says that its sporty electric SUV will be introduced later this year (production will start in mid-2019). Prices arr to be announced this Spring.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC preliminary specs

  • dual motor (asynchronous), all-wheel drive
  • system output of 300 kW (402 hp) and 564 lb-ft (765 Nm)
  • 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds)
  • top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h)
  • 80 kWh battery (384 cells – two modules with 48 cells and four modules with 72 cells)
  • more than 200 miles (320 km) of all-electric range (prelim est.) or over 280 miles (450 km) under NEDC
  • DC fast charging (CCS Combo) in 40 minutes (110kW, 10%-80%)
  • AC on-board charger – 7.4 kW
  • towing capability – 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs)

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50 Comments on "Jay Leno Drives Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric SUV: Video"

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This guy talks like Mercedes takes the tech and perfects it. But in reality, its a tall, heavy, large gas Mercedes with power electronics stuffed into gaps where the gas tank and ICE components go.

It has to have a huge grille to pacify tradition and gee, once Mercedes gets to building electric cars, “LOOK OUT! , they’re gonna do it right!”,

I like Jay Leno. I love Duesenbergs and SSKs and all the classics. Jay is an older guy who like many, cannot see the EV forest but for all the ICE trees. The EQC goes less distance than a Chevy Bolt, pushes more air than a Tesla Semi and is less efficient in passenger and stowage capacity than any Tesla while costing a king’s ransom and looking like a tall station wagon (check out the long hood you could land an A380 on!) from 2010!

Been saying this for years now – The Germans are losin’ it. Maybe Volkswagen will get it right.

Correlation is NOT Causation.

I haven’t watched it yet, but Jay has always seemed to like EVs in the past and his opinion certainly improved with the Model S. Watch his test drive of the Model S or Model 3 (and new roadster) but save the best for last, the 1909 Baker.

As for Mercedes, removing the ICE and grafting all the electrical bits onto an existing platform is sort of like removing a horse and bolting an engine onto a wagon.

Which is what was done in the early days of the first cars. But those designs did not last long on the market.

“I like Jay Leno. I love Duesenbergs and SSKs and all the classics. Jay is an older guy who like many, cannot see the EV forest but for all the ICE trees.”

Uh….you may want to revise this statement, Cut Jay and he bleeds electricity. He collects classic ICE cars, but he drives electric every day, going back to his original 2011 Chevy Volt. On this video, he “play dumb” as an experienced TV host would do to make his guest, the young Daimler EV engineer, feel smart explaining basic EV things to the audience, but if you listen closely to Jay, you realize he knows EVs inside out and has fully embraced them.


One of his more recent treks through the “EV forest” was with a little-known EV designer in an electric golf cart:


Not bad for an “older guy”.

You are right, at certain points of the video it is clear Jay is asking questions at the very limits of this guy’s knowledge of the car. Also Jay’s comment on a person not knowing about what the low gas light in a regular car shows how unknowledgeable some of the people out there are on how any car works.

This is not a converted car. This is a purpose built EV. However, it was designed to be built on a ICE production line. This is the reason why it is all split up into those modules.

Which is very sub-optimal.

It would save a lot of production cost which is good considering battery and EV components aren’t cheap.

Is quite optimal because it can use the experience in fabrication quality, unlike Tesla and its infamous problems.

Well sales of the EQC hasn’t started nor has the E-Tron, so I don’t know how you have any proof that the Germans are losing it. If you go by the standard that Mercedes outsells Jaguar, Mercedes should sell more than the Jaguar I-Pace and in November Jaguar sold 2,000 units and climbing fast. Mercedes can sell a lot of these, probably even more than Tesla.

Because if the Germans were really up on the game, the cars would have been selling already.

Imagine Munro finding out eTron is 5,500 pounds, with what he says about the ~3,800 lb Model 3.

You have no idea what you are talking about but you like to pretend that you do.

Bastian Schult, the Mercedes electric powertrain expert keeps comparing the EQ to, “the series production cars”, describing such details as how the modular E drive just plugs right into the engine bay so it can go down the assembly line with them, etc..

If that isn’t enough to convince you just how niche and compliance these German efforts are, nothing will.

It is designed to go down production lines that are already existing in Europe, the US and China. So they can build them import tax free in all relevant markets without building new production lines. Of course this makes the car somewhat compromised but the same is true for their ICE cars which also get designed to be produced on existing equipment.

Depends on how you interpret what he says. Given the capacity of the factory is very high, and they have made the complete motor unit mounted to a sub frame – that they can swap in one single step on the assembly line. . mean they can adjust the EV production volume to demand. For them, it may be a smart choise. Time will tell. It will for sure cut cost, since they will get a lot of the advantages from volume, since they share a lot of the cost intensive parts. Due to EU regulations, they have to make a certain volume of EVs too. Volume production is also important for EVs, to cut cost on batteries, motors and power electronics – and volume of scale is something all manufacturers understand. Slowly they’re getting there. The main focus is they’re getting there. Competition will determine how many they will sell. That is a good thing. They HAVE to sell a certain number of EVs, and they can make it more attractive with price, standard equipment and so on. Just like any car, they have to make sure it is a package people want. I think they will sell pretty… Read more »

Meh… I see nothing innovative about this EV at all. Maybe a little credit for 110kw charging and the spring flaps on the CCS charging port caps.

Innovation is not the point. We desperately need as many different EVs from as many manufacturers as possible. This vehicle will sell to people with [1] lots of money who [2] think Tesla is some weird startup and not a [deep voice] Real Car Company Like Mercedes Benz.

You or anyone else can criticize people all you want for taking such a narrow view of the vehicle market (and I would agree with you wholeheartedly), but the bottom line is those people exist, and the EQC being on the market will mean more people driving on electrons. That’s a win for everyone.

We’re all going to have to adjust to the EV market changing from being enthusiast-driven to being mass market-driven. As I’ve said here before I saw this same exact thing happen with PCs decades ago. I was among the early geeks and nerds then, and I hated it. This time around it’s quite familiar and I can’t wait to see it happen.

You are right, who cares if we maybe don;t like how Mercedes puts it’s BEV together, if there are customers willing to buy it then more power to them. It’s one less ICE on the road. we could complain that China will be making a lot of BEVs that would not be worthy to drive in the NA or Europe but I hope they keep producing as many as they can so people can afford a BEV and once again will remove more ICE’s from the road.

About the only the reason I can think why you would want an ev that looks like a ice is that boneheads would not trash your car because it was electric, since they would not have the sense to know otherwise.
I can’t agree with Jay that once Mercedes gets into the game it means things are about to leap forward, as this prototype example seems dated.

200 mile, haha
80% =160 miles, after a few miles you are down to less than 100 miles to go.haha

I’m concerned that you think 60 miles is. A few miles.

I used to walk that all the time when I was younger before I learnt to drive at 30.

I trust Jay Leno, he always shoot straight because he knows cars, the vehicle itself looks big and very heavy with nothing remarkable, maybe they should make the electrics stand out more on the visual side especially they need to get rid of the grille.

They actually talked about why the grill is there in the video.

Great progressive design for 2016.

That awkward pause (around 17:00) when Jay Leno mentions Musk and the Roadster in an anecdote…

Some years ago Robert Llewellyn of fullycharged made a Video with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a Nissan Leaf and praised the VW E-UP , that was strange.

At first I didn’t like this car. But after watching the video it’s grown on me. A good first effort by Mercedes. With ~220 miles on 80KWh the efficiency seems better than the I-Pace and e-tron. Almost on pace with Tesla.

Ah no….less than 3kwh per miles sucks

Not too bad for a SUV/Crossover with AWD that is super safe and heavy.

Cars like LEAF, Niro, Kona are just tall hatches with FWD.

Same here – I’ll give MB a pass for a first try but they really need a ground up EV design and production that Tesla and now VW (starting to) have to overcome those efficiency and packaging drawbacks.

The guy said EQC has coefficient of drag of 0.28 and he thinks it’s one of the best in the class.

Model S: 0.24
Model X: 0.24
Model 3: 0.23
Hyundai IONIQ: 0.24
Hyundai Kona: 0.29
Audi e-Tron: 0.28
iPace: 0.29

Only two of the cars you mentioned are in the same class, the e-tron and the i-Pace and if your numbers are correct than the EQC is the best in its class (together with the e-tron).

The iPace, e-Tron and X are in it’s class, not the others. Only the X bests it but the X is ugly (my opinion of course) but his statement is valid.

The X is a Minivan.

With less reliable doors.

“Tesla makes a van???”

First thing my son said when we drove past a Model X (in our minivan) the other day.

Just a few days ago I saw a Model X wrapped in business advertising. With that utilitarian style the minibus/minivan character is even more evident.

Ah yes but what a minivan!!! I always thought the model X looks similar to the BMW X6.
Not my favorite look but if money was not an option I would buy the Model X due to higher seating and easier entry for my 6.2″ frame and bad back

Will, most of those vehicles u cite are not in the small luxury suv class….as this new eqc is

Its class is Compact Luxury Crossover BEV. In that class, it beats the IPace and E-Tron.

The best part is about how the guy said that his 5 month old daughter won’t know what gas car is by the time she gets her driver license.

That is the BEST LINE of the entire show!!!!

So… it’s an SSUV?

This was nothing but a commercial for the car. Jay collected a large check for not saying anything that would be difficult for them.

For example “how come you don’t have a trunk in the front like other AWD BEV SUVs?”

21:45 Jay says “I don’t get the hydrogen thing. It costs more and …”. Yup, right to the point.

I am glad that Jay made this video, although I am torn over my findings. On one hand, it’s good to see more legacy manufacturers bringing EVs to market like this EQC. It’s what Tesla hoped would happen. On the other hand, I am hugely disappointed with this effort. Range is clearly suspect. Beware of any reference to the NEDC rating. His estimate of 220 miles may be exaggerated, but even if accurate, it is not good enough. When their future vehicles under perform the current Teslas, how will they compete with what Tesla will be doing in a couple years? In the EV world, range is the greatest luxury. Full disclosure, I’m a Tesla owner, MS, MX and an M3, but if this is the best that the mighty Daimler can do, they have problems on the horizon. Motor seems overly complicated leaving no frunk. He said the EQC had the same interior space as the ICE version. How is that even possible? The Tesla’s frunk and the extra deep trunk are big selling points. Why does the EQC not have this? Is it poor engineering or a byproduct of building it on the same line as ICE? I… Read more »

Depends on how you look at it. They combine it now so they build these ars on existing assembly lines which is not that dumb. The majority of the people will not drive 100km a day. Most EV’s will do that easily. For vacation, with a small amount of planning you will do just fine with this car. You have to stop multiple times with children already. And Porsche/Audi are still testing their 300+ kWh chargers and that will be a game changer in EV cars.

Every EQC sold is one less ICE on the road which is good for all of us. Tesla is a software and hardware company that makes cars. They attracted a lot of good people from other company’s.
We do not know what Tesla is doing in a couple of years just as we don’t know what Mercedes will be doing. Maybe this is just a first car and after this they will do a car that tackles Tesla on range etc.
Or maybe Volvo does or Renault?

The more EV’s we get the better.

Well I bet it needs 30kwh for 100km at 120km/h speed. No fun at the German Autbahn.

The EQC doesn’t stand a chance against the E-tron.

Prety sure real world range on both those vehicles is sub 200 miles.

450 NEDC means only 350 EPA that means 300 at 120 km/h 75 mph what a shit

It looks like they do it on purpose, proposing EVs with subpar specs that look already outdated and they are not even on the road yet!