LA Car spots Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming all-electric SUV, the ECQ off the 210 freeway.

L.A. is truly the epicenter of car culture. As such OEMs are known to test their top-secret and not-so-top-secret new cars on the many highways and byways of Southern California.

It makes sense, if you want “real-world” testing it doesn’t get more real than the freeways of L.A. Where else can your new XYZ1000 people-mobile experience oil-bubbling conditions resulting from our soul-crushing traffic and then sprint off to through some of the country’s most beautiful and challenging twisties? Plenty of places you say. Ah, but add the fact that we are home to one of the largest and competitive luxury car markets and an image-driven culture and L.A. takes the crown for test bed choices.

Last year I spotted a pair of Rolls-Royce Cullinans heading east on the 210 and almost broke our necks taking pics. This weekend we caught a glimpse of Mercedes-Benz’s 2020 ECQ – its foray into the burgeoning luxury electric SUV space dominated by the Model X, e-Tron, and I-PACE (to name a few).

The Dodge Durango-eque taillights and matte gun metal paint caught my eye. When we saw the blue accents on the rims I snapped to attention, realizing that I was looking at something I couldn’t just walk into Fletcher Jones and lease. The final tell – Michigan manufacturer plates. The ECQ bowed at April’s New York Auto Show.

Before all you Elon lovers flame me, if I saw the Model X before it went on sale I’d post about it. No doubt Tesla paved the way for the big OEMs to enter the electric space. But heads-up: They are coming in spades and coming correct with compelling products backed by traditional dealer networks.

I wasn’t able to catch the front of the EQC in person, but judging by its performance stats below something tells me that may be a common theme for folks trying to keep (I-) pace (sorry I had to do that).

Performance

  • 80kWh lithium ion battery with standard DC Fast Charging for a 40-minute charge
  • Estimated over 250 mile range
  • 402 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds
  • 4MATIC all-wheel drive

Source: Mercedes-Benz website.