Mercedes/Daimler seems to be ramping up their efforts to compete with Tesla. According to Electrek, the German automaker dismantled and benchmarked a Tesla Model X ahead of the launch of their own electric SUV, the Mercedes EQC. It’s pretty normal for car manufacturers to acquire and test models from their competitors. But in this case, the way that Mercedes went about getting the Model X is raising eyebrows.
Instead of buying a new or used one, Mercedes rented one from a German couple through a rental company called Sixt. The couple planned to go on vacation and loaned their car to the company. Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company rented it from Sixt and took the vehicle apart. They tested it, put it back together and returned it to Sixt. The couple who owns the Tesla Model X had no idea that their electric vehicle was being used in this way.
Daimler didn’t just dismantle the vehicle. They drove it at their test track in Sindelfingen, Germany, and carried out heat and vibration tests on it. Electrek reported that they also drove it to Barcelona, Spain.
Sixt has said that Daimler violated their rental agreement with their actions. They compensated the couple for the damage, but they say that the automaker should pay too because they were the ones who incurred the damage.
Audi did the same thing to a Tesla Model X last year, but they bought one from the U.S, Electrek noted. They also plan to release their own electric SUV next year.
According to Green Car Reports, Mercedes has opened reservations for the EQC in Norway. A reservation for this vehicle costs $2,560. Mercedes claims that the vehicle will have a range of 310 miles. This number is most likely based on the New European Driving Cycle test procedure. The U.S. EPA rating will most likely be closer to 250 miles, Green Car Reports notes.
Mercedes has not revealed too many details about the electric SUV’s battery pack but it will have two electric motors generating 405 horsepower. The car’s power will be able to be transferred to the front or rear wheels to enable all-wheel drive.
The Mercedes EQC is expected to be released in 2019.