Mercedes unleashes four electric vehicles in Munich

The EQE 350 will be the first model in a line-up that also includes the first fully electric Maybach

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Mercedes-Benz is marching towards an electric-only future from 2025 and it’s providing a preview of what’s in store via a four-pronged EV assault at the IAA Mobility show

The event opens to the public on Tuesday in Munich – in lieu of the exhibition’s former host city of Frankfurt.

The first sign of Merc’s concerted electric push was provided by the 2019 launch of the EQC, and soon to arrive in our market is the EQS that we recently reviewed from its international launch in Switzerland.

These are only the foundation blocks as Mercedes has a number of EVs up its sleeve, with four of these set to be revealed – either in production or concept form – at the Mobility Show on Tuesday.

Mercedes-Benz EQE

The EQE will be equipped with an MBUX Hyperscreen – an expansive glass display screen that sweeps across the dashboard

The EQE is underpinned by largely the same basic EV architecture as its EQS flagship sibling. However, its more compact dimensions (similar in scale to the Merc CLS) and shorter front and rear overhangs endow the EQE with a sportier stance and, no doubt, more agile driving characteristics.

The EQE 350 will be the first model on offer, serving up a touring range of up to 660 kilometres on a single charge, with a 15-minute zap at a fast-charging station adding 250km of range.

A single electric motor drives the rear axle in the EQE 350 (dual-motor 4Matic models will follow in due course), and this unit generates 292hp and 530Nm, which should deliver respectable performance, even with the weight penalty imposed by the battery pack.

A 3,120-millimetre wheelbase means there’s ample sprawling space in the rear seats, aided by the fact there’s no transmission/driveshaft tunnel, as would be the case in a combustion-powered rear-wheel-drive car.

As with the EQS, you get the option of Airmatic air suspension, plus the whizz-bang MBUX Hyperscreen – an expansive glass display screen that sweeps across the dashboard.

Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+

The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+  thumps out 658hp and 950Nm, which can go up to 761hp with an AMG Dynamic Plus package

Think AMG and you’re probably imagining a ground-quaking V8 exhaust note that wakes the neighbours from their slumber. Well, this is a new take on the theme as the EQS 53 is the first electrified offering from AMG and is, therefore, all but silent from the outside.

At the heart of the new EQS 53 4Matic+ is a dual-motor power train (one each for front and rear axles), with a fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system optimally transmitting the drive power to the tarmac in all driving conditions.

The base model thumps out 658hp and 950Nm, while an optional AMG Dynamic Plus package ups the ante to a mind-numbing 761hp in Race Start mode with boost function. The maximum motor torque in this instance is then boosted to 1,020Nm.

Mercedes claims the EQS 53 4Matic+ with the Dynamic Plus package accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 3.4 seconds and can hit 250kph with a battery charge level of at least 80 per cent. Even the basic version is no slug as it scoots from 0-100kph in 3.8 seconds and can reach 220kph (as long as there’s 80 per cent battery charge).

Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS

The Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS has a two-tone paint finish in obsidian black metallic and zircon red metallic with a chrome pinstripe

Maybach is Mercedes-Benz’s premium sub-brand, so it obviously cannot be left behind as the whole company moves towards electrification. Sure enough, the first clear preview of Maybach’s first fully electric series production model debuts at Munich, and it’s anything but subtle.

The SUV concept vehicle is based on a version of the modular architecture used by the EQS and EQE, but elevates the technology to an entirely different market segment as the Maybach sub-brand is pitched squarely against Rolls-Royce and Bentley. In line with its lofty market positioning, the interior fit-out is ultra-premium.

The visual differentiation between the Maybach and mainstream Mercedes models begins with the elaborate two-tone paint finish in obsidian black metallic and zircon red metallic, with a fine pinstripe in chrome as a visual dividing line.

There are lashings of chrome on the air intakes and diffuser at the front and rear, as well as the side window frames. The B-pillars are also chrome-plated and have been exclusively finished with a subtle brand emblem pattern. The Maybach “M” can also be found on the D-pillar.

The rear quarters are fittingly sumptuous, thanks to Executive seats and the Chauffeur Package. Also unique to the Maybach are bespoke door panels, the armrests of which are designed like high-quality sideboards. Trim elements inside are finished in white piano lacquer with materials in deep-sea blue, which are meant to recreate the ambience of an elegant yacht.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG

The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG is a 'near-production' version of the Gelandewagen – better known as the G-Class, and will be an 'uncompromising off-roader'

The Concept EQG is touted by Mercedes as a “near-production” version of the venerable Gelandewagen – better known as the G-Class. Although tech details are still sketchy at this stage, Merc claims the EQG will be an “uncompromising off-roader”, as it retains the rugged ladder-frame chassis of the existing combustion-powered G-Class.

It also retains independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear, although the whole lot is being re-engineered for the integration of electric drive.

The company says: “With four electric motors close to the wheels and individually controllable, the vehicle will offer unique driving characteristics both on and off-road.”

As with any bona fide 4x4, the Concept EQG's off-road reduction can be activated via a shiftable two-speed gearbox in order to meet the high “G”-specific off-road requirements with confidence.

In order to earn its stripes before going into production, the electrified G-Class will have to conquer the hallowed test track on the 1,445-metre high Schockl mountain in Graz, Austria, at the end of its development into a series model. Replete with gradients of up to 60 degrees, the 5.6km route is as gnarly as it gets.

Updated: September 06, 2021, 10:43 AM
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