2026 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class EV spied for first time

Mercedes-Benz has been spotted testing a prototype for an electric compact crossover that will end up replacing the EQC.

The EQC is the compact crossover whose 2020 debut marked the arrival of Mercedes’ EQ sub-brand for electric vehicles. However, its basis on a platform originally developed for gas-powered vehicles meant its EV credentials were lacking compared to the competition, in particular the Tesla Model Y, and Mercedes ultimately flipped on its decision to offer it in the U.S.

That won’t be the case for the EQC’s successor which may be called a GLC-Class EV or something to that effect to reflect its positioning alongside the GLC-Class range. Underpinning it is thought to be Mercedes’ MMA platform designed primarily for EVs but with support for hybrids.

The platform will be used for vehicles in the compact segment. Above this, Mercedes will have the MB.EA platform for mid- and full-size models, the AMG.EA for high-performance models from AMG, and the Van.EA for light commercial vehicles.

2026 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class EV spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2026 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class EV spy shots – Photo credit: Baldauf

The arrival of the MMA platform will also see the introduction of Mercedes’ own operating system, dubbed MB.OS. The system will have its own infotainment and navigation systems, but will support popular alternatives like Google Maps or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring systems.

A CLA-Class EV based on the MMA platform is also out testing and will be previewed with a concept in September at the 2023 Munich auto show.

2025 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class EV spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2025 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class EV spy shots – Photo credit: Baldauf

Both the CLA-Class EV and the GLC-Class EV are due around 2025, including in the U.S., meaning we should see them arrive as 2025 or 2026 models.

The GLC-Class EV prototype can be seen together with the latest GLC-Class in some of the shots, revealing the similar size of the vehicles but also the contrasting design. The EV’s roofline slopes more toward the rear and its front end is unique, featuring a sleeker, more rounded look overall compared to the regular GLC-Class. Look for styling cues to be borrowed from last year’s Vision EQXX concept car.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

It isn’t clear what performance targets the vehicle has but a range of at least 300 miles is likely.

Other compact EVs that Mercedes is thought to be planning include electric versions of the next-generation CLA-Class Shooting Brake wagon and GLA-Class and GLB-Class crossovers.

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