Mercedes' electric future is taking shape.

At first glance this prototype might just look like a regular Mercedes-Benz GLC, but this run-of-the-mill SUV is actually hiding the automaker's latest electric vehicle architecture.

Known as EVA, Mercedes' new electric vehicle architecture is actually based on its Modular Rear Architecture that debuted with the current-generation C-Class. Over the next few years EVA will underpin no fewer than four distinct Mercedes models.

The EVA architecture was designed to support a battery pack weighing up to 880 pounds. The modular platform uses a 300 kW rear-mounted electric motor, but it'll also support an all-wheel drive setup with either a 90 kW or a 150 kW electric motor at the front axle. All EVA models will support regenerative braking and e-torque vectoring.

The first production vehicle based on the new EVA architecture will launch sometime in 2018. It'll take the form of a luxury sedan positioned between Mercedes' C- and E-Class vehicles. Mercedes will follow-up that sedan with an electric SUV sized between the GLC and GLE, a large electric SUV along the lines of the GLS and a plug-in alternative to the S-Class sedan. A China-specific EV model is also in the works. Mercedes is hoping to sell about 20,000 units of each model per year. The average cost of Mercedes' new line of electric vehicles is expected to hover around $100,000.

Mercedes has already previewed its electric future with the Generation EQ concept. Expect to see at least one more preview on an electric vehicle sometime this year.