Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will unveil a compact hatchback bearing the name of its newly established EQ electric car sub-brand at the Frankfurt motor show.

Called the EQ A, the new hatchback is set to become the German car maker’s second dedicated electric car model after the EQ Cwhen it goes on sale in 2020.

As depicted in a darkened image from Mercedes, the EQ A concept sports a smooth surfaced body, black panel grille and a series of distinctive light graphics in a styling treatment similar to that of the early EQ C.

Conceived to directly rival the BMW i3 and an upcoming production version of the Volkswagen I.D. hatchback, the new EQ A is among 10 new electric models being developed in a €10 billion program at Mercedes and planned to go on sale before 2025.

The initial EQ model, the EQ C was unveiled in concept car guise as part of a public debut for Mercedes’ dedicated electric car EQ sub-brand at last year’s Paris motor show.

Recent trademark applications suggest Mercedes also plans more luxurious EQ E and EQ S models.

Described as a central pillar in Mercedes’ bid to become an electric car leader within the next decade, the EQ A is expected to be the volume seller of the EQ line-up with a price-tag of under €40,000.

The second EQ model is also said to play an important role in the future of Mercedes parent Daimler’s Car-To-Go car sharing division, with high level executives suggesting it will be offered on a short term drive away lease basis similar to today’s Car-To-Go scheme as part of what is described in internal Mercedes-Benz correspondence as a global mobility eco system.

Based around Mercedes’ new MEA (modular electric architecture) platform, the EQ A follows the lead of the EQ C in adopting a conventional silhouette, with a defined bonnet line at the front, traditional glasshouse housing a five-seat cabin and a hatchback style tailgate at the rear.

Secrecy surrounds the driveline layout of the EQ A, though Mercedes hints at a cheaper and simpler solution than set-up used by the EQ C, suggesting it will receive a single front-mounted electric motor with drive sent to the front-wheels via a fixed ratio gearbox.  However, a more performance orientated set-up, with a second electric motor mounted within the rear axle assembly and providing four-wheel drive capability similar to that seen on the EQ C is also possible, according to Mercedes-Benz sources.

Mercedes has already confirmed the EQ C will be produced at its existing plant in Bremen, Germany, with other more upmarket EQ models, including the EQ E and EQ S, set to be assembled at its main manufacturing in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Although it is not giving away too much prior to its official unveiling next week, Mercedes officials suggest the EQ A will be assembled on a special electric car line to be established at the German car maker’s original compact car plant in Rastatt, Germany – the same site responsible for production of existing A- and B-Class models.