2021 Mercedes EQA: specs, price and release date

The Mercedes EQA compact electric SUV will be in production by the end of 2020, before going on sale in early 2021

Mercedes EQA

The new Mercedes EQA – a compact electric car previewed in concept form (see below) at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – will go into production by the end of 2020. Back in February, Mercedes released photos of the car undergoing cold-weather testing in northern Sweden, before confirming its production date at a press conference in early October.

Those official photos confirmed impressions from earlier spy shots that the EQA has adopted a crossover bodystyle similar to the Mercedes GLA: previously, it had been expected that the EQA would be an electric version of the A-Class hatchback. It's set to compete directly with models like the Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge P8

The EQA is being built on Mercedes’ MFA2 platform, which is also set to underpin the brand's EQB electric SUV. Both are set to appear initially during 2020, but won't go on sale until some time in 2021. Based on the stats for the EQA concept (below), the production EQA can be expected to have a driving range of around 250 miles, rapid-charging capability, a power output approaching 270bhp and a 0-62mph time of about five seconds.

Photos released so far (above) give little away regarding the EQA’s design, with the camouflage wrap concealing almost all of the exterior. The front has a closed grille with air intakes underneath the numberplate, while the rear sports a traditional boot hatch. The finished car is expected to wear many features familiar from the larger Mercedes EQC, including thin headlamps, a blanked-off radiator grille and aerodynamically efficient bumpers

"When it comes to EQA and EQB, of course, they will share that language and they will share a family resemblance within EQ," Mercedes design chief Gordon Wagner said. "They will carry the EQ form identity with a similar face and integration of the grille and headlights we have shown on many cars already."

The EQA is a five-door, and unlike the recently spotted EQS test mule, it doesn’t appear to feature the black exterior panels that point towards autonomous driving features. Mercedes is aiming to launch multiple pure-electric vehicles over the next three years: the EQC was the first to arrive, with the aforementioned EQB SUV and EQS saloon and SUV in the pipeline. The Mercedes EQV electric people carrier, plus an EQE saloon and EQE SUV, have also been confirmed.

Mercedes Concept EQA

The EQA was first previewed in the shape of the Mercedes Concept EQA (gallery above), revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Shown as an electric hatchback, the Concept promised up to 249 miles of range from a single charge.

A selection of power outputs and battery sizes have been promised: the largest of these is expected to be over 60kWh, which will supply electricity to two motors, making a combined 268bhp. Mercedes says the EQA is "ready for rapid charging", but hasn’t yet confirmed what the hatchback’s maximum charging rate will be. It’s likely to be similar to the 110kW rate achieved by its EQC stablemate on a DC connection.

With a motor on each axle, the EQA will deliver permanent all-wheel drive, with torque of around 500Nm returning a 0-62mph figure in the region of five seconds. Two driving modes will be available: Sport and Sport Plus. Switching between the two will alter the amount of power delivered to the front and rear wheels, changing the car’s behaviour on the move.

In Sport mode, the ‘virtual radiator grille’ on the Concept EQA displayed a horizontal wing, with vertical struts displayed in Sport Plus mode. This isn’t expected to feature on the production model, however. Another notable feature of the concept is the ‘laser fibre’ headlight design, which is inspired by the wound copper wiring typically found in electric motors.