EQS SUV leads Merc’s EV blitz

Mercedes has con­firmed three more elec­tric EQ mod­els, headed by a big lux­ury SUV

Autocar - - NEWS - GREG KABLE

Mercedes-benz will launch three new elec­tric mod­els – the EQE sa­loon, EQE SUV and flag­ship EQS SUV – as part of its rapidly ex­pand­ing elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme.

The mod­els were con­firmed in an in­vestor pre­sen­ta­tion in which Mercedes also re­vealed plans to elec­trify its three other sub-brands – AMG, May­bach and G – with AMG be­gin­ning the process in 2021 (see p7).

The iconic G-class off-roader, as long ru­moured, will go elec­tric in the fu­ture, while the ul­tra-lux­ury May­bach line-up will dou­ble in size.

And that’s not all. Mercedes is also de­vel­op­ing a pro­to­type EV, dubbed the Vi­sion EQXX, that could of­fer the long­est range of any bat­tery-elec­tric car yet pro­duced.

The newly con­firmed EQ mod­els will all be based on Mercedes’ ded­i­cated Elec­tric Vehicle Ar­chi­tec­ture (EVA). This will be used first in the al­ready con­firmed EQS lux­ury sa­loon, which is set to be in­tro­duced in the UK dur­ing the sec­ond half of next year. Pro­to­types of the EQS sa­loon, EQE sa­loon and EQS SUV were shown in a video dur­ing the con­fer­ence.

Mercedes’ vice-pres­i­dent of EQ ve­hi­cles, Christoph Starzyn­ski, de­scribed the EQE sa­loon as a “busi­ness limou­sine of the fu­ture” that’s “slightly smaller than the EQS”.

As well as be­ing built in Ger­many, it will be pro­duced in China in a joint ven­ture with Beijing Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­try Cor­po­ra­tion.

The EQE sa­loon will ar­rive in 2022 along­side the EQS SUV. This is the first time the high­rid­ing lux­ury model – con­ceived as a Tesla Model X ri­val – has been of­fi­cially ac­knowl­edged. No de­tails have been given about the EQE SUV, but in­sid­ers sug­gest a 2023 launch.

The new EVS bring the tally of con­firmed EQ sub-brand mod­els to eight, with the EQA and EQB crossovers al­ready con­firmed to join the ex­ist­ing EQC SUV and EQV minibus.

Two fur­ther as-yet-un­named EQ mod­els will be added by the end of 2025 as part of a plan to spend up to €10 bil­lion (£9.1bn) to es­tab­lish the sub-brand.

Con­trary to pre­vi­ous re­ports, the en­try-level EQ model, the Gla-based EQA, will make pro­duc­tion be­fore the end of this year. The Glb­based EQB will fol­low in 2021.

Also briefly pre­viewed in

The Vi­sion EQXX pro­to­type will have a range of nearly 750 miles

the in­vestor con­fer­ence was the Vi­sion EQXX. De­tails are scarce, but Mercedes has con­firmed it’s a pro­to­type in­tended to have the long­est range and be the most ef­fi­cient elec­tric car ever built. A pre­view sketch ap­peared to con­firm that the EQXX will take the form of a low-slung two-door.

The sug­ges­tion is that it would be able to travel from Beijing to Shang­hai on one charge, mean­ing a range ap­proach­ing 750 miles. Engi­neers are tout­ing bat­tery ef­fi­ciency and a fo­cus on aero­dy­nam­ics as be­ing a greater fac­tor in the range in­crease than sim­ply adding larger bat­ter­ies.

How­ever, the EQXX isn’t ex­pected to en­ter series pro­duc­tion. Rather it will serve as a tech­ni­cal showcase and de­vel­op­ment base for EVS.

“This is a se­ri­ous pro­ject, chas­ing next-gen­er­a­tion tech­nolo­gies,” said re­search and de­vel­op­ment boss Markus Schäfer. “We in­tend to in­cor­po­rate the learn­ing into the next gen­er­a­tion of series-pro­duc­tion cars.”

EQS SUV will ri­val the Tesla Model X and go on sale in 2022

Vi­sion EQXX will be a showcase and test bed for EV tech

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