Staring at you square in the face is the first ever fully electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, the EQC, and the new crossover is here to ruffle Tesla’s feathers.

We all know of the latter’s performance prowess but the debut model from the EQ sub-brand aims to derail the American automaker’s dominance in the luxury electric car market with plenty of tech, kit, class and eye-widening figures of its own. The all-wheel drive EQC is based on a highly modified GLC architecture and has a total output of 408 horses, a staggering 765Nm of torque and thanks to the lithium-ion battery — which despite weighing 650kg — has an energy content of 80 kWh to give it a 450km range. Slow charging will take for hours but with the bespoke Mercedes Wallbox system, you’ll have as much as 80 per cent of power in only 40 minutes.

To be clear, the ‘400’ in the name doesn’t designate its power output, instead, it marks the model’s position within the EQ range which is interesting in itself as this could mean more variants will be in the offing in the future. We know that in total 10 models from EQ are planned and by 2022, 25 per cent of all Merc’s will be electrically powered.

The EQC, which will go up against the likes of the Tesla Model X 75D, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-tron Quattro, and the upcoming BMW iX3 is powered by two electric motors (one at the front and the other at the rear axles) can hit 100kph in just 4.9 seconds which is hot-hatch levels of acceleration. And with live torque distribution, instant torque availability and a total of five drive modes (we always recommend Sport) it should provide plenty of thrills behind the wheel.

Some of the tech highlights include the most advanced MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system installed in a Merc; it dominates the dashboard, thanks to two 10.25in digital displays and has numerous EQ specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. EQ optimised navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX. The EQC is equipped with the latest generation of Merc driving assistance systems (such as predictive speed adjustment and active distance assist — all part of the Driving Assistance package) and it’s packed to the sunroof with other features including heated seats, 19in wheels, rose gold accents, and adaptive headlights. It helps matters further that it looks pretty good; from the sporty and stretched silhouette, a large black-panel surface in place of a conventional grille, an LED light strip connecting the headlights and a similar design element is echoed in the rear, it should stand out in the EV crowd.

The EQC400 is set to go on sale in 2020.