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Frankfurt show: Mercedes heralds electric luxury sedan

Hi-tech Mercedes Vision EQS points to Tesla Model S rival due early next decade

11 Sep 2019

MERCEDES-BENZ has introduced a highly advanced all-electric large four-door luxury sedan concept at the Frankfurt motor show this week that previews its forthcoming EQS flagship.


The swoopy EQS is expected to reach production in 2021, standing alongside the S-Class in showrooms and crowning the burgeoning EQ family of electric vehicles which by then will include the EQC SUV, EQV MPV and EQA compact hatch, among others.


Its most obvious competitor will be the Tesla Model S, but the EQS will also keep Mercedes at the forefront of the movement towards super-luxury full-electric passenger cars by more established rivals such as Jaguar with its next-generation XJ.


Porsche has just unveiled its first all-electric model, the stunning Taycan sports sedan, too.


In presenting the Vision EQS, as it is known, Mercedes described the modular battery-electric drive platform underpinning it as “completely new, fully variable … (and) in many respects scalable and useable on a cross-model basis” that will be suitable for “a wide range of different vehicle concepts”.


So stand by for more applications – including a Maybach version to take on EVs from Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin’s reborn Lagonda marque – that will similarly allow for unique designs that separate them from the regular classes and showcase the latest advancements from the German manufacturer in areas such as electric propulsion, autonomous driving and innovative construction.


On the latter, the EQS concept’s structure is made from a combination of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre, and peppered with materials made from recyclates, in a bid to meet targets in“lightweight design, strength, cost efficiency and sustainability”.


Mercedes is a little light on detail at this stage, but the powertrain uses an electric motor at both the front and rear axle – allowing four-wheel drive with variable torque distribution – and integrates a 100kWh lithium-ion battery (sourced from subsidiary Accumotive) into the vehicle floor between the axles to benefit packaging and dynamic performance.


The company says that more than 350kW of power is channelled down to the road via the 24-inch multi-spoke wheels, and around 760Nm of torque is on tap from the get-go, which enables the concept to accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of more than 200km/h.


A driving range of up to 700km is cited, based on WLTP testing, and with a DC charging output of 350kW, the Vision EQC can have its battery recharged to 80 per cent capacity in less than 20 minutes.


According to its creators, the concept previews the design of future EQ models from Mercedes-Benz – the major reference points being the so-called “one bow” proportion and “dramatic fluidity” – while the EV packaging and rapidly changing digital technology allows for a more spacious and sculptural cabin with new control concepts.


The latter includes a more advanced version of the MBUX infotainment system, nestled into a cockpit that takes its inspiration from the world of luxury yachts and aims to envelop its occupants like on the deck of a boat.


As if to reinforce the point, the textile in the roof lining includes an unspecified proportion of ‘ocean waste’ plastic that Mercedes says brings the recycled material into a highly visible and quality area of a vehicle for the first time.


Some of the finer exterior detail points include the use of ‘digital light’ headlamps, each with two holographic lens modules, while the rear lighting cluster takes the form of a belt made up of 229 individual stars.


The grille is an all-digital affair, a black panel LED matrix with 188 individual LEDs that, as a claimed world first, “provides a new level in precise signalling”.

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