Why The Mercedes-Benz EQC Doesn’t Have A Frunk Might Surprise You

SEP 9 2018 BY MARK KANE 105

Lack of the front trunk in the Mercedes-Benz EQC tied to ease of production.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC, which will enter the market next year doesn’t have a frunk (or front trunk), and according to Carscoops, the reason is pretty simple.

Daimler intends to produce the EQC together with the C-Class, GLC and GLC Coupe, on the same production line in Bremen, Germany and would like to do so at minimum investment costs. The powertrain needs to be installed using standard equipment.

“…the German car maker opted to design and engineer its electric SUV in a way that it will allow them to integrate its production to its existing manufacturing standards. The front drive module and the rear axle assembly arrive at the factory already bolted to their subframes before being installed to the chassis, followed by mounting the battery pack to the floor.”

“By integrating electric models into existing production lines, Mercedes gains a major advantage in the industry, making its plants instantly ready to adapt their production lines for all types of models, and that includes anything from combustion engines to hybrid and electric powertrains.”

For sure some will be disappointed that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t take full advantage of EVs, but in the case of the German manufacturer, it was always a pragmatic approach since the beginning when the company outsourced EV development to Tesla (smart ed 2nd gen and B-Class EV) several years ago or converted its ICE models to all-electric or plug-in hybrids.

It means that until higher anticipated sales volume is reached, Daimler will remain satisfied with lower costs and that we’ll need to wait longer for BEVs designed from the ground-up from M-B.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

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)

Source: Carscoops

Categories: Mercedes

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105 Comments on "Why The Mercedes-Benz EQC Doesn’t Have A Frunk Might Surprise You"

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MDEV

Not full EV commitment, then haters say why Tesla is the most desirable car.

iamata

A Compliance Car …..Nothing Less , Nothing More !

Jerry

They lose range, run up costs, lose acceleration which means a larger battery pack, heavier shows MD just
isn’t serious.
Turns out DPost caught them renting their EV van and putting it through a test course . Which is rich as DP has asked them, VW, etc to build one for them and they refused. So the Postal company built their own and now in the EV business taking market share from MD, VW.

Speculawyer

Yes! And those folks are correct! It’s simple:

Buy Tesla if you want an EV designed from ground up to be an EV.

Buy a Mercedes ECQ if you want EV designed as a clunky kludge to fit into the old ICE factory tooling for the convenience of the manufacturer.

SouthWaves

Have you heard of a certain Jaguar i-Pace?

Speculawyer

Yes…and I definitely rank it above this Mercedes. But I think it’s aerodynamics are not very good. I certainly hope it outsells the Mercedes. It might be supply constrained though.

Pushmi-Pullyu

I’ve heard of it. I’ve also seen that it has gotten mixed reviews. Nice effort on Jaguar’s part, but their car is no Tesla.

CDspeed

This is Mercedes-Benz’s real start out into the electric car market, remember how Tesla started out? With a clunky converted Lotus Elise, a tight tiny two seater that has its own plug, that doesn’t match any other connector, and it can’t even use the Supercharger network all for $109,000……..

Eletruk

Yea, but Mercedes has already put out two other clunky EV conversions, the Smart ED and the B class EV. This one should really have been a lot better.

ModernMarvelFan

Are you suggesting LEAF isn’t either due to its lack of Frunk?

Seriously, this attitude that it is Tesla or nothing will not help the EV future.

Speculawyer

The LEAF is a different form factor….it is not a sedan or SUV. Thus it lacks the long nose with space for a frunk. Same for i3 & Bolt.

philip d

The i3 has a frunk… sort of. As long as whatever you put in there is sealed in a waterproof feezer bag

MDEV

Nope Leaf is a real EV, with size and price point expected limitations, however Mercedes was meant to be a Tesla serious competitor.

eject

The EQC is in a segment in which Tesla doesn’t offer a car. The EQS will be closer to the Model X.

Pjwood1

Leaf may do it for engineering reason, and does not share platform (correct?). MB eliminates it for MB’s convenience. Nissan hasn’t got nearly the margin room Mecedes does, to give a higher paying customer “the best”. The space is there. EV customer gets “nothing”, in maybe some CARB state, after 2020.

Brian

Leaf has an electric motor and drive evear in the trunk.

Robert Weekley

Really? The Front Wheel Drive Nissan Leaf, has a Motor in the Back? Maybe you thought of the Mitsubishi iMiEV?

Knut Erik Ballestad

Leaf is based off an existing ICE design, so Nissan is yet to design an EV from the ground up….

….but hey all, chill…..

It is more important to get lots of EV’s from lots of producers out into the market than dissing some of them for lacking a frunk – that ‘never’ even existed before Tesla designed their car to incorporate one….

G2

The Leaf does not share a platform with any other Nissan, but is built on a harmonized assembly line with LICE cars. So, similar to this (pathetic) MB, it is packaged for assembly to be as much like a LICE car as possible.

ModernMarvelFan

So, it has to have a frunk to be called a ground up EV?

LEAF isn’t?

All the rear engine Porsche had frunks… They aren’t ground up EVs…

Dav8or

Good choice on Mercedes’ part, but it means nothing to the consumer. The retail price will be the same and the competition will have a frunk. Mercedes and others have the distinct disadvantage that their company is required to make a profit and are expected to continuously make a profit. This means cost cutting measures like this one are required, but the consumer sees no benefit from it.

Magnus H

I doubt many people base their decision on which car to buy, if it has a frunk or not.

Will

Don’t care 🤷‍♂️ for a Frunk. I always driven one with out one and don’t see the need since most of my stuff is in the seat next to me

John

The frunk’s ability to isolate take-out food smell(s) from the cabin is it’s single greatest achievement.

TM3x2 Chris

I fully agree with your isolationist views:)

Speculawyer

And smelly athletic equipment.

Will

That’s called a trunk

Unplugged

Unfortunately, the Model 3 has an open grill from the trunk to the passenger compartment. It is a subwoofer port.

Speculawyer

Well, with many cars these days that have fold down back seats (like the Tesla Model 3), the trunk is not fully isolated from the passenger cabin. So that stink may seep through.

Shaun

Wait till you have a wife and kids. You will take every bit of extra space you can get.

Will

No kids we gays don’t want any

Unplugged

Funny. You shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t speak for all LGBTQ. I know plenty of gays who want kids.

Chris Stork

The frunk doubles as a crumple zone. Filling that space with heavy electrical equipment negates that effect.

Eirik

That’s smart. One collision and you’re a Darwin award winner

Pushmi-Pullyu

I completely agree; this article tries to make the lack of a frunk seem like a serious deficiency. It’s not; it’s just a nice extra for cars that have one.

The real problem here is all the compromises that any auto maker has to make by putting an EV powertrain into the body of a car designed as a gasmobile — which is what a “multi-platform” car body really is. All those compromises make it extremely difficult for such a car to be a compelling, competitive EV.

philip d

It’s not really about the drunk and more about the fact that the EV drivetrain is stuffed into the form factor of an ICE which means it will lose the advantages ground up purpose built EVs have like extra storage due to compactness of drivetrain and low center of gravity. Stuffing all the electronics up front above the axle and batteries projecting up into the cabin under the seats screws this up.

Yeah, because a frunk is the dealbreaker here. They’re doing it slowly, within their own right. All things are taken into account, and if this makes their model’s price is acceptable to current MB owners, then kudos to them and their thought process. But, I’m sure that in 4-5 years, we’ll see fully EV platforms that are slowly taking over in Stuttgart, meaning we’ll see every possible advantage taken into account when designing & building these cars. But not right now.

Speculawyer

Oh, it is certainly their right to make their own decisions. However, it is also our right to point out that this seems to have been a terrible decision.

Adrian Russell-Falla
”…is required to make a profit and is expected to continuously make a profit…” that’s a BS rationale! MB’s leadership could easily declare [and almost certainly *should* already have done so] that in light of: a) the industry-redefining impact of the unfolding total transformation away from internal combustion to all-electric powertrains; b) the enormously damaging impact on *all* German manufacturer brands caused by Dieselgate; c) the major market-share realignment impact already caused by Silicon Valley-funded and Silicon Valley-paced new market entrant Tesla; that MB management recognises that a strategy of minimalist incrementalism is a recipe for slow but inevitable failure; and accordingly, the company is now undertaking the necessary radical strategic adjustments required for long-term sustainability and success; that MB has already commenced making deep enough investments in retooling and re-positioning its offerings that the company expects and is fully prepared to make short-term net operating losses; that management is satisfied that MB’s capital reserves & access to additional financing are more than adequate to sustain it through the transition—and that MB’s management considers that any less decisive an adjustment to the tectonic shifts in the global business environment occasioned in particular by global climate change and by advances in… Read more »
Steven Loveday

No, “the retail price” will NOT be the same. The EQC will start at around $65,000 in the U.S. (70,000 Euros in Germany including 19% VAT), which is $18,000 less than a base Model X (albeit, without the third row of seating), and $25,500 less in January 2020 when Tesla has no tax credit. Unless you NEED the extra bulk of the Model X (or 12 miles of range, assuming 225 EPA for the EQC and 237 for the Tesla), no one will pay an extra $25,500 for a frunk.

p-run

Yes, Tesla X is more expensive but is bigger and has more range. So it depends on what one needs. Though Audi, or Jaguar have similar price, and better specs. Don’t know why someone should buy Mercedes instead…

Will

Just been in a model x. It has the same interior space of Arcadia and Sorento but not an Ecplorer

FarmerDave

Recently rented an Explorer while my Model X was in the body shop. The Explorer felt bigger but was not.

And just try getting into the back seat. Practice folding and unfolding first.

I don’t think MB has announced pricing for the EQC, but being their first long-range EV competing with Model X, the price should be closer to $80k. It is odd that they call it the EQC when it has the same wheelbase as the E-Class as mentioned by MB.

This will be MB range-topping SUV priced between the $70k GLS and the $123k G-Class. Model X also starts at $80k. There is no way MB could undercut Tesla with EV pricing, without the EV battery and vehicle volume Tesla already has. Just think about it, Tesla outsells MB in NA overall with only EVs.

Will

Yeah MB can undercut it since the can relay on thier other vehicles profit margin to eat up the loses

iamata

Agreed….No-one will pay $25,000.00 for a Frunk …, But Most will cheerfully pay the $25,000.00 More a Tesla !

Mint

True for now, but the EQC will compete against the Y, not the X, for most of its life.

I suspect Tesla will aim for a Model 3 plus $5k for the Y’s price.

Cypress

Higher. Small SUVs/CUVs are all the rage and they can charge a premium for it. Expect $45k-$50k base price.

jelloslug

The EQC is not in the same class as the X.

Speculawyer

What is your source for that price? The only place I’ve seen that price is on a Seeking Alpha article (where people lie all the time). That article admits that Mercedes has given no price but then pulls a Trump-esque “many observers have suggested” introduction to that price number. That sound like a something that someone pulled out of their butt.

William

Really + $25K is a Tesla deal breaker?

“No one” will want to pay extra for a Tesla Model X, that also just so happens to have a frunk?

I think you might want to rationally rethink your January 2020 Model X / EQC prediction, at least just a little bit!

Speculawyer

I think that it *seemed* like a good idea at the time but it ultimately turns out that it is a TERRIBLE idea. They now have a product that they are essentially admitting is a suboptimal design because they don’t fully respect EVs. That is going to hurt sales. And with Tesla outselling Mercedes passenger cars in August, that does not bode well for Mercedes.

Will

No, it’s economy of scale and reduction of cost. It take a lot of money to produce cars and SUVs

peter904

IMO, it will take years for MB, Audi, Porsche, BMW to ramp up to sufficient production quantities to enjoy any economy of scale. In the meantime they will subvent the price, to buy market share and favorable press, while covering their “loss” with ICE profits. I agree it takes “cubic dollars” to produce cars and Tesla was always underfunded and not having a cash cow in pricey ICE vehicles .

David H

I think that’s why MB chose that approach: They don’t have to ramp up most of the line. Basically everything works just like it does with the ICE powertrains. The EQC is even produced on the same line. The only difference is an additional battery mounting station. So theres a GLC coming in and the next car can be a EQC and then a GLC again. And if they want to switch to more electric cars because they see demand, they just let more cars be the EQC. Otherwise they make more GLC. From the perspective that the near future (especially regarding “ramp up” in demand) is unsure, this is a reasonable way to do it, in my opinion.

Henry

That may make sense from the company’s perspective. From a consumer’s perspective, I see a compromised EV. Consumers will have a final say what works or what doesn’t – for them. With the proliferation of Tesla vehicles, consumers will be more savvy and will demand more: range, charging network for long distance travel, vehicle dynamics/handling, technology,… If legacy automakers continue to make compromised EV, they will continue to fall behind the leader.

earl colby pottinger

It is not just the leader (Tesla), Nissan is improving the Leaf, the I-Pace is coming, the Taycan is coming …. what this means is customers have comparisons to make.

As a Tesla fan I realize there are only a limited number of the non-Leaf cars available but the data to compare them (all the models) to the Mercedes will still exist. And that is the problem, Mercedes is not just fighting Tesla design/sales, it is fighting against all the models from the car companies that are taking this seriously and that seem to be designing/building their cars from the ground up

Will

Yelp. If there’s more demand just reduce production from your other vehicles on the line

Will

True but it’s seems economical to just use parts and suppliers that you know best to control cost

Bunny

Must be a corporate thing, Daimler doesn’t have a frunk on the Ecascadia either lol

I always thought Sonja’s Super Quick Tesla Fan Video was funny with her showing her “junk” fits in her frunk lol

CDAVIS

From article: “…until higher anticipated sales volume is reached, Daimler will remain satisfied with lower costs and that we’ll need to wait longer for BEVs designed from the ground-up from M-B…”
————-

So does that means MB has determined they are not anytime soon capable of competing with Tesla?…

“Tesla Model 3 Outsold All Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars Combined” source:
https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-outsold-all-mercedes-benz-cars-combined/

Stimpacker

That is shocking!
Mainstream media is calling this a Tesla killer.

Westchester EV

We have a Model S already. Spouse had a B-Class electric and was a Model 3 reservation holder eligible to order. Lease ended beginning of May. No all wheel Model 3 (yet). Looked at Model 3 in DC and Manhattan. (only locations available). Test drove Model X. She didn’t want to spend that amount of money. Felt Model 3 was small and low compared to the B-Class. Decided to get a GLCe hybrid (18 miles on electric – being generous) to buy time to EQC. She likes the size and B-Class had no frunk. The timing will be perfect again to back to all electric.

Honestly, this is our second Model S. We used the trunk exactly once. Bringing our son to college. I am sure that is the case for many, many people. They just don’t use the frunk. Is that worth 25k — to most people, no.

arne-nl

“She didn’t want to spend that amount of money.”

And what’s she thinking she’ll need to spend on the EQC?

eject

The EQC is going to be a good 20k cheaper than the Model X. Achieving a low price point is why it is designed to be made on a shared production line.

Speculawyer

There is no solid evidence to support that it will be $20K cheaper. I seriously doubt that. Mercedes lacks access to cheap battery sources.

Chris Stork

I use the frunk all the time, but that’s only because I can reach in my pocket and pop it with a simple double-tap on the key fob. When I get my Model 3 (trading in the Model S on Sept 20) I’ll probably use it a lot less if I have to get out my phone every time I want to pop it from outside the car. I, like many, am hoping they’ll come out with an optional key fob, and I’ll gladly pay for it.
As long as we’re talking frunks, I really wish it had a soft-close option. It takes both hands to close, which is hard if you just took out your bags and don’t want to set them on the wet or dirty ground. I think it might be against regulations, but other cars, such as certain Aston Martins do have soft-closing hoods.

David Gould

Hmm, sounds like an Apple Watch application would work even better than a keyfob.

theflew

This article doesn’t give a good reason why there is no frunk. The most logical reason it’s they didn’t feel the need to add one. A frunk wouldn’t be anymore difficult to add than the engine covers they put on their ICE vehicles.

yo

All of the EV stuff that makes an EV an EV is in the “Frunk” so their is no room for a “Frunk”…
This is so they dont have to retool their factories at a huge cost…

Pete

Yes, I agree that this space is probably filled up with electronics and switching equipment. Mercedes has not yet learned how to put all this gear in a compact package. Tesla is way ahead in packaging the electrical drive equipment.

drpawansharma

Looool

jelloslug

That’s the same way that the Model 3 is assembled yet Tesla managed to have a frunk.

Peet365

Frunk is certainly not a dealbreaker, but 180km/h max speed for 60.000 EUR Mercedes certainly is. With these specs they will not sell much in their main market Germany.

Speculawyer

Wow! Mercedes essentially admitted to HUGE blunders! Mercedes essentially admitted:
1) That the design of the EQC is suboptimal & was designed not to be the best EV but more to fit into their old manufacturing ways.
2) That the design of the EQC WAS A HUGE MISTAKE since higher sales volume HAS ALREADY been reached in EVs as demonstrated by Tesla outselling all Mercedes passenger cars in the USA.

That “S curve” of Model 3 sales has knocked the German sports sedan biz onto its butt.

eject

The EQC is optimised to be cheap to build which means using existing production lines .

Speculawyer

Do you think Tesla is hand-building their cars? This saved Mercedes some money but it doesn’t save them anything over Tesla that has all their assembly lines tuned to make EVs. I think the Mercedes will cost just as much as a Model X because Mercedes doesn’t have their own battery factory and they need a larger battery because of the poor aerodynamics of that big traditional SUV shape.

eject

Tesla needs to offset the cost of their production lines fully. Mercedes just uses the lines that have produced cars for the last model years and the coming model years.
Buying batteries isn’t as expensive as you think. Tesla buys them from Panasonic. The only difference is that they safe on logistic costs of getting the batteries to the production site. Which isn’t even true for the Model S and X for which the cells need to be brought in from Japan.

Cypress

Sounds more like they are taking advantage of economy of scale to be able to make the EQC at a similar profit to their ICE. Smart move.

Speculawyer

Similar profit? LOL! No way. Not unless they charge a huge amount for it.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yeah. There is absolutely no way that MB will make as big a profit off the EV version of this car as they will the gasmobile version. They won’t sell all that many of the EV version, either.

CDspeed

So they can’t put in a carpet lined bin with a rubber seal around the edge, which is what a frunk basically is, in place of a fake engine cover? How much are they really saving, the parts they made to finish off the space under the bonnet had to have costed something.

Speculawyer

No, they can’t because the used the space for car parts.

Bimberle

Cool down everyone! They’re already building an ev-only manufacturing line in stuttgart. Future evs from mb will have a frunk. Phew!

Speculawyer

So Mercedes will join the EV world for real in 2024 or so? Uh…ok.

William

I know that the Stuttgart factory is “coming soon”, it’s just kind of hard to see through all the thick 4:20 smoke, currently billowing off my Blunt!😵

Chris Stork

So what is in that space? Is it just a hollow? if that’s the case, then someone will come out with an aftermarket frunk kit.

Speculawyer

Charger, motor, motor controller, HVAC, etc. Tesla probably had to work at figuring out how to include all that & still have frunk space.

Pete

Just look at the Bolt, Leaf, I-Pace etc. Tesla is so far ahead of the competition in how they package the equipment that it is almost a joke. They all have the inverter technology available to them and can make the drive perform, but Tesla is the only one to really put it in a compact package.

eject

Radiator, aircon, crash structure. All the same for all the cars made on this production line. The upside is that this car will be cheaper.

earl colby pottinger

You keep saying that, but until they publish the price no-one knows.

Robert Weekley

Well, the Leaf is “Cheaper” than any Model 3 today, but to about 17,800 USA Buyers, it did not get their attention in August! Even at Half the Price!

DAVID

The real issue isn’t the lack of a frunk. It’s the requirement to use existing assembly lines and a shared platform with ICE that’s lead to sub optimal aerodynamics that negatively effects the EQCs range.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Not just sub optimal aerodynamics, but sub optimal engineering all throughout the car. Compelling EVs are designed and built as EVs from the ground up; they aren’t made by shoe-horning an EV powertrain into a “multi-platform” vehicle, which really means a gasmobile platform with a few compromises to make it easier to shoehorn the EV powertrain in.

wavelet

I completely don’t understand the “explanation”. It sounds idiotic.
Presumably Mercedes builds variants of the same model which have differing components on the same assembly line: Diesel engine which needs not just a fuel tank but also an AdBlue reservoir; air suspension vs. springs; manual vs. automatic transmission etc. Installing a plastic tub that aside from being screwed on doesn’t need to be attached to electrical connections, fluid hoses etc. and weighs little should be pretty simple…
Supposedly this is a from-scratch vehicle. Part of the design is the assembly line design, and Daimler have had years to update their robots and/or assembly protocols if needed for more flexibility.

Speculawyer

It sounds plausible to me. They have a section where they “drop in” the engine on the assembly line. For the EV on that line, they drop in a combo pack of the motor, motor controller, charger, HVAC, etc.

I just think this results in a suboptimal EV design that has been compromised to blend into the ICE car assembly plant.

Matthew Kennel

It appears as if the requirements were: “here is a box of size X that the ICE engine fits into and our equipment can mount. Put what you can fit in that box.”

Robert Weekley

So, its an expensive EV Conversion?

eject

No a cheap one. That is the point of that exercise.

Pushmi-Pullyu

You got it, Robert!

Jeffrey Songster

This is not an innovation. Nissan did it with Leaf ages ago… how is this news.

groingo

My Leaf doesn’t have a frunk either, no big deal.
Pop the hood on a Leaf and you will see there simply is no space.

rey

The EQC is no Tesla “KILLER” , It’s not even an ICE killer, Daimler does not want to kill its ICE business. LOL

Jürg Hölzle

The frunk is overrated. It makes sense for cables and tools, but not for cargo. I want to keep my stuff in one place and don’t want to open several different trunks.

BoltUp

towing capability – 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs)
Thats the bit I like to see!