2021 Mercedes EQA: specs, price and release date

Mercedes EQA compact electric car spied testing for first time ahead of 2021 debut

The new Mercedes EQA – a compact electric car previewed in concept form at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – has been spotted testing for the first time ahead of its anticipated launch in 2021.

Spied during its winter testing programme in Scandinavia, the EQA appears to have adopted a crossover bodystyle similar to that of the Mercedes GLA: previously, it had been expected that the EQA would evolve into an electric version of the A-Class hatchback.

The EQA will be built on Mercedes’ MFA2 platform, which is also set to underpin the EQB electric SUV. The latter car will make its debut in 2020, with the EQA now likely to follow in 2021.

The spy shots 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 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 10 pure-electric vehicles over the next three years: the Mercedes EQC was the first to arrive, with the aforementioned EQB SUV and EQS saloons in the pipeline. The Mercedes EQV electric people carrier has also been confirmed.

Mercedes Concept EQA

The EQA was first previewed in the shape of the Mercedes Concept EQA (gallery below), 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.

The will be offered with a selection of power outputs and battery sizes when it reaches production: 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.

No details or images of the EQA’s interior have been released so far, although it’s likely to incorporate a modified version of Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system.

Prices and on-sale date

No price details have been given at this stage, with the only clue thus far relating to "scalable battery components". This suggests the EQA will be available at a range of price points, with entry-level cars featuring smaller batteries and less power.

We’re also waiting for a firm on-sale date, although the car looks set to arrive in 2021.