New 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQB revealed

1 year, 3 months ago - 20 April 2021, Autocar
New 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQB revealed
GLB-based electric SUV to arrive first as EQB 350 with 288bhp and 260 mile range

Mercedes-Benz's electric car line-up continues to grow with the unveiling of the EQB at the 2021 Shanghai motor show ahead of a planned start to UK sales in the second half of the year.

Set to rival the Audi Q4 E-tron, the EQB is based on the GLB, alongside which it is produced at Mercedes-Benz's plant in Kecskemet, Hungary for the UK market.

Full details are yet to be revealed, but Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the top-of-the-range four-wheel-drive EQB 350 4Matic will be the first variant to hit the UK. It uses two electric motors – an asynchronous unit mounted up front underneath the bonnet and a synchronous unit housed within the rear axle – with a combined output of 288bhp.

Other models set to be added to the line-up include the front-wheel-drive EQB 250, which runs a front-mounted motor with 188bhp, and the four-wheel-drive EQB 300 4Matic, which uses the same dual motor set-up as the EQB 350 but with "around 241bhp". However, they aren't expected to reach UK showrooms until 2022.

Power for the EQB 350’s electric motors is provided by a 66kWh lithium ion battery, produced by Mercedes-Benz sibling company Deutsche Accumotive, housed underneath the rear seat.

It can be charged at up to 11kW on an AC system and at up to 100kW on a DC set-up

Final performance figures are not yet confirmed, but officials have told Autocar the initial four-wheel-drive EQB model will have a 0-62mph time of around 6.0sec, together with combined consumption of 3.2mpkWh and a range of 260 miles.

As with the smaller EQA, with which it shares key elements of its drivetrain, the EQB receives its own individual exterior styling elements, including a blanked-off grille, to differentiate it from the combustion-engined car. There are also EQC-aping light bands and new bumpers at the front and rear. Wheels range from 18in to 20in.

Customers will be able to order the EQB with an optional AMG Line styling pack that brings uniquely styled bumpers and 20in wheels, among other bespoke details.

Inside, there are unique digital instrument graphics and altered trims, including a new rose gold colour for the aluminium-effect air vents and dashboard panelling, as well as ambient lighting.

The remainder is shared with the GLB, including the choice of a five- or seven-seat interior layout. However, modifications made to its MFA platform to accommodate the electric components have reduced boot capacity in five-seat versions by 75 litres over the GLB, at 495 litres. With the rear seats folded away, capacity increases to 1710 litres.

The EQB was originally scheduled to be produced at the Mercedes-owned Smart city car factory in Hambach, France. However, a sale of the site to British manufacturer Ineos, which plans to assemble its new Grenadier 4x4 there, forced a shift to the Kecskemet facility in Hungary, which currently produces the GLB, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake.

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