British magazine gets ride in all-electric Mercedes EQ Concept


Mercedes-Benz EQ electric car concept  [photo: Axel Harries]

Mercedes-Benz EQ electric car concept [photo: Axel Harries]

Enlarge Photo

Mercedes-Benz has big plans for electric vehicles in the future, but its main nod to what those plans will bring thus far is the EQ Concept.

Shown at the Paris Motor Show last year, the vehicle represents a conceptual version of the first of many electric vehicles to come from the Germany luxury marque.

In fact, parent company Daimler has already divulged plans to bring what it says will be 10 different battery-electric electric vehicles to market combined by 2022.

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On deck is the EQ Concept, which previews the production EQ C; now the British magazine Autocar has had a chance to ride as a passenger in the all-electric Mercedes crossover concept.

While it's difficult to provide much relevant takeaway from the passenger seat, some notable pieces of information followed the ride.

First, the two electric motors on board provide roughly 405 horsepower, although Mercedes-Benz would not reveal additional driveline details.

Mercedes-Benz EQ electric car concept [photo: Axel Harries]

Mercedes-Benz EQ electric car concept [photo: Axel Harries]

Enlarge Photo

Depending on the drive mode, all 405 hp can be sent to either the front or rear wheels, thanks to an electronic system to provide all-wheel-drive capability.

The EQ Concept is programmed to mostly run in front-wheel drive, but automatically switches to all-wheel drive at higher speeds.

A single charge is said to provide 310 miles, though that's likely to be quoted using the European test cycle, while a comparable U.S. EPA rating might be closer to 250 miles.

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The concept vehicle's road behavior represented an unfinished product, hardly providing impressions to remember: the 22-inch wheels and an untuned suspension made for a rough and compromised ride.

However, where the concept excels is in the design.

Inside, the interior is Mercedes-Benz posh. The production EQ C will likely take many elements from the concept's design, but dial down some of the more extreme futurism.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo

There will also be seating for five passengers, rather than the four seats the concept boasts.

The EQ line of Mercedes-Benz vehicles will follow a similar hierarchy to the brand's gasoline-powered cars and SUVs.

The luxury automaker plans for a production version of the EQ Concept—the EQ C—followed by an EQ A, an EQ E, and then a flagship EQ S.

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If Mercedes-Benz succeeds in launching 10 electrified vehicles by 2022, the EQ line represents only a small portion of what's to come.

In a world where Tesla has had a lock on the luxury electric-vehicle segment for five years running, German automakers want to get back in the game in a big way.

First impressions from one British journalist suggest that the EQ Concept might finally strike at Tesla's core competencies when it reaches production—in 2019.

[hat tip: Raymond Cooper]

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