Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its incoming new all-electric saloons - the EQS (electric S-Class, effectively) and the EQE (go on, guess...) will get SUV spinoffs.
Testing under heavy disguise
The confirmation comes along with photos of heavily-disguised versions of EQS, EQE, and one of the SUV models out testing on public roads.
The EQS could seriously upset the electric car apple-cart, at least at the top-end of the pricing spectrum, with a Mercedes talking of a one-charge range of up to 700km, and that's on the tougher WLPT test cycle.
While Mercedes has confirmed that these new all-electric models will borrow parts from other, existing Merc models (such as the clever MBUX all-digital dashboard) they will get a dedicated all-battery platform, designed to be flexible enough to build electric equivalents of the E-Class, S-Class, and GLS, all from the same set of parts.
The cars will quite closely follow the design of the EQS concept shown last year, with its distinctive cab-forward styling, and 'one-bow' roofline that sweeps back almost to the edge of the bootlid. These new models will join Merc's existing electric car lineup of EQC SUV and EQV van-based MPV, plus compact models built on the A-Class' platform - the EQA and EQB.
EQS the first to launch
Right now, the EQS, which will be the first model to launch, is in the throes of final prototype testing, being put through its paces with winter testing in Scandinavia, chassis and drivetrain tests on proving grounds, public roads and on the high-speed test track in Nardo as well as the integrated testing of the overall vehicle in the heat of Southern Europe and South Africa. Test drives are currently also being conducted in China and the USA.
"The EQS has already piled up far more than two million test kilometres from the heat of South Africa to the cold of Northern Sweden", says Christoph Starzynski, Vice-President Electric Vehicle Architecture at Mercedes-Benz and responsible for the EQ vehicles. "The EQS will be the S-Class of electric vehicles. That is why it is undergoing the same demanding development program as any other vehicle that has the privilege of proudly bearing the three-pointed star. In addition, there were quite a few tests specifically for electric cars that cover important development priorities such as range, charging and efficiency."
Carbon-neutral by 2039
The EQS will be the first sign on the showroom floor of a major sea-change at Mercedes. Not only will the car be built in the new "Factory 56" in Sindelfingen, just outside Stuttgart, where Mercedes says the production line is flexible enough to accommodate any car of any size with any powertrain, it's also the cornerstone of Merc's "Ambition 2039" initiative. That is a plan for the entire Mercedes vehicle lineup to be carbon-neutral by 2039, and for half of all Mercedes' sales to consists of fully-electric or plug-in hybrid cars by 2030.