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Paris show: Concept hints at Merc’s EV future

Mercedes-Benz releases EV SUV teaser ahead of Paris show reveal

28 Sep 2016

MERCEDES-BENZ has flicked the switch to a teaser campaign that will culminate in the reveal of a pure electric SUV concept at the Paris motor show this week.

The arty video confirms little detail of the zero-emissions car but, more critically, compounds the German car-maker’s intent to offer a fully electric vehicle by 2019.

With that deadline looming in just three years, the concept that rolls out in the French capital is likely to give a first insight into what a production model might look like.

For the show car Mercedes has put its name in lights with the short video showing off a heavy use of fine light piping and LED illumination to almost all surfaces of the vehicle, including its cosmetic grille, pin-pricked interior surfaces, steering wheel and exterior paneling.

Minute door mirrors are likely to be the same camera alternative idea that has already appeared on countless concepts before it, but is yet to replace the traditional glass solution.

No explanation is offered in the clip but the strap-line ‘Ready to change?’ and the internationally recognised symbol for a power switch at the conclusion appears to suggest the concept marks a significant electric advance for the company.

Mercedes’ accompanying social media post added “Are you ready? The time has come to flip the switch and shape the mobility of tomorrow. The future begins in Paris”.

Chunky wheels wrapped in low-profile tyres are a crossover trait while the interior appears to be an epitome of simple clean design restraint with many functions confined to digital displays apart from the seat adjustment switches, which are more akin to the traditional Mercedes approach.

Mercedes is remaining tight-lipped on a possible name for the vehicle which is likely to herald other EVs, but in August, British publication Autocar reported that the company had filed for a number of UK trademark applications that could offer a number of possibilities.

According to the publication, Merc is seeking to acquire the rights to EQA, EQC, EQE, EQG and EQS, which would imply a number of additional electric vehicles are due to follow whatever the Paris show concept evolves into.

Outlandish EV concepts are not new to the prestige European brand and three-point-badged cars have silently rolled out before. The F015 had a focus on the future of autonomous driving when it was revealed in 2015, while the company has played with an EV development B-Class.

Performance pundits will also regale the all-electric version of the SLS supercar, which was Mercedes’ first production electric car – albeit in very small numbers.

BMW is also said to be looking into the potential of a pure electric SUV, while Audi and Jaguar are said to be squirreling away their own SUV EV ideas.

Volkswagen will throw its electric vehicle cards on the table at Paris with its own concept of a hatchback that will herald a production version, while the company has also confirmed a pure EV version of its Crafter van.

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