The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQT has been officially revealed, ahead of a production model’s European launch in the coming years.
Twin under the skin to the new-generation Renault Kangoo, the eventual production EQT will be an all-electric version of Mercedes-Benz’s new T-Class van-based people mover, itself a passenger version of the next-generation Citan van not sold in Australia.
While the metallic black vehicle’s slim LED headlights and daytime-running lights, illuminated star-patterned front grille and supersized 21-inch alloy wheels all befit its ‘Concept’ branding, it’s likely the EQT show car's basic shape and proportions will carry over into overseas showrooms with few changes.
Up front, an interpretation of Mercedes-Benz EQ’s closed-off fascia should feature on the production model – combining the headlights and faux ‘grille’ into one black panel – while at the rear expect the donor Kangoo’s LED tail-lights to be connected by a full-width LED light bar.
Inside, the Concept EQT’s interior is more befitting of a production-bound vehicle, with the cabin home to a circa-7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen running Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system, analog instrument dials separated by a small digital screen, and a conventional gear selector stick displaying its humble Renault-sourced roots.
The MBUX infotainment screen incorporates the German brand’s “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, along with artificial intelligence-backed features and an EQ app used to provide information on energy consumption and charging stations.
Concept-like white nappa leather wraps around the seats, while a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel sits in front of the driver, a panoramic sunroof brings light in above the occupants, and ambient lighting features on the doors, around centre console and in the footwells.
The Concept EQT measures in at 4945mm long, 1863mm wide and 1826mm high – 92mm longer, 8mm taller and 8mm wider than a European-spec Volkswagen Caddy Maxi.
Practicality-focused features include dual sliding doors, space for three child seats in the second row, and a third row of seats that can be folded down or removed completely.
Unique to the concept is an electric longboard stored in the boot floor, with an aluminium construction and a star pattern similar to the show car’s faux front grille.
Mechanical details have yet to be confirmed, however it’s likely the EQT will share its electric powertrain with the related Renault Kangoo E-Tech Electric.
Power in the Renault comes from a 75kW/245Nm electric motor on the front axle, connected to a 44kWh lithium-ion battery for a 265km range on Europe’s WLTP test cycle.
75kW DC fast charging allows a zero to 80 per cent charge in 42 minutes, while a 22kW AC socket is good for an 80 per cent charge (from an unknown starting capacity) in two hours.
Buyers still keen on combustion power will be able to opt from a range of T-Class people mover variants, expected to be powered by small turbocharged petrol and diesel engines paired to manual and automatic gearboxes..
The production-bound Mercedes-Benz EQT is slated to be unveiled later in 2021, alongside its T-Class donor, and both combustion-powered and all-electric ‘e’ versions of the new Citan commercial van.
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia told CarAdvice last month: "We are currently assessing the suitability of the T-Class range for the local market, including both the conventional drive system and electric version, but it is not yet decided if we will launch in Australia.
"We don’t currently offer anything in the small van category, so a five-seat multi-purpose vehicle presents an exciting opportunity to consider. It has the potential to complement our existing eight-seater Mercedes-Benz V-Class people mover well."