Nearer to an SUV than a crossover, Mercedes-Benz’s EQC Edition 1886 is a very clever way of indicating the circumspect—but still luxury-oriented—route the company will take in the near future.
The packaging, of course, is the historical timeline of Mercedes-Benz: the company was founded in 1886. Marketing the shift with a profound sense of returning to the beginning is both a potent way of delivering the vehicle into the collective buyer consciousness as an organic change, and a way of suggesting a new ecological beginning during this critical moment in history.
The all-electric vehicle is an envoy of sorts, then. It’s powerful, and it’s luxurious, and it’s very attractive too, so it’s a diplomat that will usher in the company’s new direction while suggesting that the spirit remains intact, even more acutely realized. Last year at Monterey Mercedes unveiled the Silver Arrow—and the name of that concept car again hinted at the golden age of motoring—as a point of entry and a point of reference, too, using it as a statesman to introduce the EQC 400, the first full-on consumer-oriented production EV.
The EQC 1886 might be interpreted as the second phase of the strategy rolled out with the Silver Arrow. A range of almost 300 miles, spa-like interiors, and over 400 horsepower ensure than this new Mercedes is entirely no-excuses, no disclaimers when it comes to performance, creature comforts, and design appeal.
The marketing groundwork Mercedes-Benz is laying down is substantial, and brilliant. But it’s only in direct proportion to the economic groundwork they’ve put down in this decade, investing billions in consumer, business, and civic EV and integration design and manufacturing.
Look for the EQC in showrooms in 2020.