Mercedes-Benz EQA receives four-wheel-drive upgrade

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Two dual-motor electric drivetrains now offered on the Mercedes-Benz EQA crossover.

Mercedes has launched two new four-wheel drive electric powertrains for the EQA, called 300 4MATIC and 350 4MATIC. They join the crossover’s existing front-wheel drive EQA 250 variant.

Underneath, the two new EQA models are both powered by a 66.5kWh battery pack and both feature an electric motor on each axle. The only major difference between the two variants is the level of performance they offer.

The EQA 300 4MATIC develops 168kW and 390Nm of torque, which Mercedes says is enough for a 0–100kmh time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 160kmh.

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The EQA 350 4MATIC develops 215kW and 520Nm of torque, which slashes the SUV’s 0–100kmh time to six seconds flat. Top speed is unchanged, at 160kmh.

Despite the extra performance, Mercedes also claims that the extra electric motor has slightly improved the EQA’s maximum driving range. Both new variants can cover between 410km and 430km between charges, depending on the specification. For comparison, the EQA 250 will cover between 400km and 420km.

As the 66.5kWh battery pack is the same unit found in the entry-level EQA, charge times for these new, more powerful variants are also unchanged. Both will recover an 80 percent recharge in 30 minutes when connected to a 100kW DC rapid charger.

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The front-wheel drive EQA 250’s electric motor develops 140kW and 375Nm of torque. Mercedes says the powertrain will acclerate the crossover from 0–100kmh in 8.9 seconds, before it runs into the electronic buffers at 160kmh.

Mercedes will also introduce a slightly more efficient model, with a maximum range of 500km. Unlike other manufacturers, though, the improved driving range is achieved through efficiency tweaks rather than fitting a bigger battery.

As such, charge times are unlikely to differ from the standard car, taking 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent capacity using a 100kW rapid charging station.

Due to its size, the EQA is based on a modified version of the A-Class and GLA vehicle architecture. Despite its roots as a platform for combustion-engined cars, Mercedes has adapted the chassis to make space for an electric motor and a battery pack under the vehicle’s floor.

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The GLA’s platform has been extensively strengthened to support the additional weight of the battery pack. The firm’s engineers added new cross members and a protective guard for the front of the battery pack to prevent it from being punctured in the event of an accident.

In an effort to squeeze the maximum possible range out of the car’s battery pack, Mercedes’s engineers have paid particular attention to the EQA’s shape. The sharper lines of the GLA and A-Class have been softened, and the crossover’s frontal area has been made as smooth as possible in an effort to make the EQA cut through the air cleanly. The underside of the car is also completely enclosed by an undertray, resulting in a drag coefficient of just 0.28Cd.

This design theme has also been transferred onto Mercedes’s more recent EQ models, such as the seven-seat EQB SUV and the EQS saloon. Mercedes’s design chief, Gordon Wagner, commented: “The EQ brand obviously needs a purpose-made language. We showed that with the EQS concept car.

“That shows our language and, when it comes to EQA and EQB, of course, they will share that language and they will share a family resemblance within EQ. They will carry the EQ form identity with a similar face and integration of the grille and headlights we have shown on many cars already.”

The EQA isn’t all style and no substance, though – it was still designed to be practical. The crossover’s boot can swallow 435 litres with the rear bench in place, which is 13 litres more than you get in the comparably sized Nissan Juke. This figure climbs to an impressive 1,320 litres with the bench stowed and the boot rammed to the gunnels.

Luke Wilkinson

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