GLB-based electric SUV to arrive first in 4WD guise with up to 288bhp and a 260-mile range
Mercedes-Benz’s electric car line-up continues to grow with the debut of the EQB at the 2021 Munich motor show ahead of a planned start to UK sales before the end 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. Production will get underway later this month.
The first variants to go on sale in Europe will be the four-wheel-drive EQB 300 4Matic, with 225bhp and 288lb ft, and the range-topping EQB 350, which bumps outputs up to 288bhp and 384lb ft for a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds – 1.8 seconds quicker than the entry car. Top speed for each is pegged at 99mph.
Each uses a 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, and provides the compact SUV with a WLTP-certified range of 260 miles. As it showed the EQB in Europe for the first time, Mercedes confirmed a “particularly long range version” is on the horizon, though gave no details as to the size of its battery.
Also set to be added to the lin-up is the front-wheel-drive EQB 250. It’s not expected to reach UK showrooms until 2022, but should represent a substantial cost saving over the two launch-spec cars.
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 4×4 there, forced a shift to the Kecskemet facility in Hungary, which currently produces the GLB, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake.
Prices for the EQB have not yet been revealed, but going by the disparity between the GLA and EQA, the EQB 300 should hit the market at around £50,000.
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