If you’re suffering from crossover fatigue, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQT is a change.
Mercedes-Benz is currently in a headlong charge to develop a wide range of new EVs, and that continues today with its Concept EQT premiere. We’ve seen sedans, we’ve seen crossovers, but this is the first passenger van to wear the electric ‘EQ’ name. Now, for those who aren’t quite ready to leap into the full-electric world, Mercedes will launch conventional versions of the T-Class minivan as well, at least in Europe. As for the American market, it’s not clear whether we’ll eventually see this van join the Metris and Sprinter to round out Mercedes’ van lineup.
After the automaker teased its new model late last month, now we have a good look at it both inside and out. Like other EQ models, the Concept EQT has a solid front fascia with backlit three-pointed star symbols in a mesh pattern, complemented by thin LED liaghts. Around the back, you get a largely smooth tailgate with boomerang-style LED lights. Beyond that, there’s chrome brightwork around the grille, sills and windows, as well as the door handles. Overall, it’s a fairly straightforward “it’s a van” look that draws your eye in with some intensely complex details. Against its more commercial-focused siblings, this is definitely the most stylish van of the bunch.
That translates to the interior, as well. You don’t get the absolute tech-fest of other modern Mercedes interiors, but you do get a modestly-sized infotainment system and a similar steering wheel setup (with capacitive buttons) to those cars. Rather than going for a full-digital instrument cluster, the Concept EQT also packs analog gauges. In the center, you get an information center display. The MBUX system is integrated into the package, as you’d expect.
The T-Class launches next year
Since this is just a concept, Mercedes did not go into immense detail on powertrains, range specs and the like. In terms of physical dimensions, its 194.7-inch length rings in roughly a foot smaller than the Chrysler Pacifica or the Honda Odyssey. That said, the van does still seat seven, and the smaller stature will accommodate it better to European roads, as the automaker actually plans to launch the van over there in 2022. The electric EQT will follow, though there’s no exact date on when that will happen.
Again, it’s unclear (and maybe not even likely) that we’ll see this van in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz will launch the T-Class with gasoline and diesel powertrains first, though, and those and the general styling direction could inform the brand’s vans in more of a global light. We’ll have to wait and see what they decide there.