2023 Mercedes-Benz EQT is electric MPV with 175 mile range

6 months ago - 5 December 2022, autocar
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQT is electric MPV with 175 mile range
Borne out of Mercedes and Renault partnership, new Volkswagen Caddy rival also gains 'Marco Polo' camper variant

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new EQT ahead of a planned start to UK sales for the electric version of the recently introduced T-class in 2023.

Developed in an engineering partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Renault, the new commercial-vehicle-based, MPV-style offering is closely related to the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, Nissan Townstar EV and Opel/Vauxhall Combo e-life, alongside which it is produced at Renault’s Maubeurg manufacturing plant in France, together with combustion engine T-class, Kangoo, Townstar and Combo models.

The EQT will initially be sold in short-wheelbase five-seat guise with two sliding rear doors and a large tailgate.

Alongside the standard model pictured here in production guise for the first time, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a so-called ‘micro-camper’ variant of its latest EQ badged model previewed by the Concept EQT Marco Polo.

For us, the future is electric – regardless of the size or purpose of a van,” says Klaus Rehkugler, head of sales Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Previewed in concept car guise in 2021, the EQT is visually differentiated from internal combustion engine T-class models by a uniquely styled front end with a new look bumper and so-called black panel grille treatment.

Eschewing the thin line headlamps of the EQT concept, the production model adopts the same shaped assemblies as the T-class, but with darkened graphics. The exterior mirror housings also come in black.

The length, width and height of the EQT is put at 4498mm, 1859mm and 1819mm , making it just 2mm shorter but 4mm wider and 19mm higher than the new fourth-generation Volkswagen Caddy.

Power comes from the same drivetrain used by the Kangoo E-Tech with a front-mounted synchronous electric motor developing 120bhp and 180lb ft of torque as well as a 400-volt lithium-ion battery with a useable energy capacity of 45kWh mounted within the floor ahead of the rear axle.

Drive is channeled to the front wheels through a single-speed gearbox offering two driving modes, Comfort and Eco, and three levels of energy recuperation, D-, D and D+.Mercedes-Benz is yet to make any acceleration claims but confirms the top speed is limited to 83mph.

An official range of 175 miles equates to average power consumption of 18.99kWh/100km on the WLTP test procedure. The battery offers AC charging at up to 22kW and DC charging at up to 80kW – the latter claimed to provide a 10-80 per cent SoC in 38 minutes. An optional trailer coupling enables a braked towing capacity of up to 1500kg, including a drawbar load of 75kg.

Inside, the EQT features the same high-mounted dashboard and interior elements as internal combustion engine T-class models, including a multi-function steering wheel. Altered analogue instruments provide information on energy usage and battery charge, while the infotainment system includes new menus with energy flow and other functions within a 7-inch touch display.

The initial short wheelbase model offers seating for up to five. Mercedes-Benz says the second-row rear seat can accommodate up to three child seats next to each other. Among the standard equipment are seven airbags, including a centre airbag that is designed to reduce the risk of head injury to the front seat passengers in the event of a severe side impact.

The nominal boot capacity underneath the cargo blind at the rear is put at 551 litres, extending to 1979 litres when the rear seat is folded down. The maximum payload is 516kg, including an 80kg roof rack load.

Mercedes-Benz has announced three different equipment lines that will allow prospective buyers to build on the standard EQT: Advanced Plus, Premium and Premium Plus.

The EQT is based on Renault’s CMF-B platform. It is underpinned by a suspension consisting of MacPherson struts at the front and a rigid axle with a Panhard rod at the rear.

2023 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQT Marco Polo

Mercedes-Benz has previewed its plans for a ‘micro-camper’ variant of its latest electric-powered EQ model with the unveiling of the Concept EQT Marco Polo.

Featuring a pop-up roof together with other typical camper features, it is planned to go into production during the second half of 2023, with right-hand drive UK deliveries expected to kick off in 2024.

While the standard EQT receives a 2716mm wheelbase, the Concept EQT Marco Polo sits on an extended version of Renault’s CMF-B platform with a wheelbase Autocar has been told runs to 2898mm.

The added length provides the scope for a number of typical camper features that Mercedes-Benz says are being developed for the production version of the new model.

The pop-up roof houses a bed measuring 1970mm by 870mm, while the rear has also been designed with bench seats on either side in a layout that can accommodate a larger second bed measuring 2000mm by 1150mm.

With the roof extended, Mercedes-Benz claims there sufficient interior height for adults to stand in the rear. A solar panel integrated into the top of the roof provides energy to a battery used to run ancillary functions, while a second battery stored in a drawer can be removed for recharging on 240-volt mains power.

The Concept EQT Marco Polo also receives a fold-out table with electrically adjustable height, a 16-litre refrigerator, a removable gas cooker, a recessed washing facility with a tank that holds up to 12 litres of water and seven USB ports, including one in the pop-up roof area.

Other typical camping features include an awning, which attaches to the side of the new Mercedes-Benz concept. There is also a ‘black out’ function for the rear windows for added privacy.

Along with a production version of the Concept EQT Marco Polo, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a more basic Marco Polo Module, which will be available for short-wheelbase T-class and EQT models.

Full details are yet to be revealed, though it is set to include a mechanism to fold the second-row seat of standard T-class and EQT models down to create a bed and what the German car maker describes as a ‘kitchen unit’.

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