Latest image shows shape of Mercedes EQA compact electric car for Frankfurt show

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Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

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German luxury maker Mercedes-Benz has released another teaser photo of the electric-car concept it will reveal next week at the Frankfurt auto show.

That vehicle will be the Mercedes EQA Concept, a compact electric hatchback that's one of several concepts that preview future products as the company intensifies its efforts to launch more electric cars faster than first planned.

The company has issued a handful of teasers for the compact electric concept, including a shadowy frontal shot and a video over the weekend. Now we have a front three-quarter view too.

DON'T MISS: Mercedes-Benz electric cars to arrive sooner as urgency increases

The EQA will be built on a smaller variation of the Modular Electric Architecture that will underpin the bulk of the 10 electric vehicles it expects to launch over the next seven years.

It's been known for a while that Germany's oldest automaker would offer an electric car smaller than the EQ electric crossover utility vehicle it showed at last year's Paris auto show.

That vehicle, apparently to be named EQC in production, will compete with upcoming all-electric compact crossovers, including the Audi e-tron, BMW X3e, Jaguar i-Pace, and Tesla Model Y.

Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

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Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept

Enlarge Photo
2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e

2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e

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The compact five-door hatchback segment remains the world's largest, though, which led Mercedes-Benz to launch a range of various small cars in Europe 20 years ago.

The first small Mercedes to go on sale in the U.S., however, was the CLA four-door sedan, and it didn't appear until 2015.

Its B-Class compact hatchback has been sold in Canada, but in the U.S. it appeared only in very small numbers, as a lease-only B250e battery-electric version.

That vehicle has now been withdrawn from the U.S. market and will be replaced, in due course, by the EQ A.

READ THIS: Mercedes to launch 10 electric cars by 2025 under EQ sub-brand (Oct 2016)

Electrified hatchbacks in the so-called C-segment today include the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid, BMW i3 (with or without its range-extending engine), and the Volkswagen e-Golf.

Volkswagen showed its own compact five-door hatchback, known as ID, at the Paris auto show last fall as well.

It is expected to replace the e-Golf and become VW Group's single highest-volume electric car by the early 2020s.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

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Details on the Mercedes EQA concept haven't been released yet, but it's expected to offer a range of 200 miles or more.

The battery pack will be long, wide, and only inches thick, so it can be mounted under the floor.

With the initial EQ Concept crossover having all-wheel drive, with one motor on each axle, it remains to be seen whether the EQA will power its front or rear wheels with a single motor.

CHECK OUT: Mercedes previews new electric car lineup with Generation EQ concept

The BMW i3 has its drive motor powering the rear wheels, as did the Volkswagen ID Concept.

German makers often move in lockstep, so while the Chevrolet Bolt EV and second-generation Nissan Leaf power the front wheels, it's possible the littlest Mercedes electric car could also be rear-wheel-drive.

Media days at the Frankfurt Motor Show will open on Tuesday, September 12. You can follow all the latest news and debuts on our Frankfurt auto show page.

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