The new Mercedes-Benz EQC, the brand's first high volume electric car, has just completed its cold weather testing regime in northern Sweden, and will soon begin hot weather testing in southern Spain.
As development of the EQC is expected to take four years, the car will be exposed to three winters and three summers before its launch. During the development process it will be exposed to temperatures as low as -35 degrees Celsius, and in excess of 50 degrees.
EQC prototypes will also hit the pavement in China, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and the USA. Given the testing routes used by automakers are well known by spy photographers, we may be seeing more of the EQC in the near future.
Like other automakers today, Mercedes-Benz does a significant amount of digital testing of new vehicles prior to performing bench tests, and finally real-world testing. Daimler says it typically uses a split of 35 per cent digital testing, and 65 per cent real-world testing.
Advanced computer simulations allow car companies to quickly and painlessly perform initial crash, aerodynamics, ride, handling, and noise vibration and harshness (NVH) testing. It also allows them to accurately estimate weight, fuel consumption and driving range.
Bench tests are usually performed on drivetrain components, such as engines, transmissions, and, in this case, battery design.
All up, Mercedes-Benz expects to build around 200 prototypes and pre-production versions of the EQC, and "several hundred" employees from various departments will be involved, before the new electric crossover is ready to roll down the factory line and into showrooms.
While most of these details don't differ too much from what we've heard about the development of other Mercedes-Benz models, the company says it is paying particular attention to acoustics during the EQC's development. As the car's electric drivetrain is nearly silent, nullifying wind and tyre noises are even more important than normal.
The EQC is expected to be launched in 2019.