In 2023, Mercedes will launch the EQE SUV on the electric market. We have already been able to get a lasting driving impression from two models.
Those responsible at Mercedes have high hopes for the fourth car on the EVA II platform, as it serves two important areas at the same time. On the one hand the SUV segment and on the other hand the electric division. The confident smile of EVA II Chief Engineer Drummond Jacoy, who welcomes us to the ride and swings behind the wheel of the EQE SUV 500 4Matic, suggests two things: Apparently he is satisfied with the result of the development work and it was also an appealing one Route selected through the Upper Danube Nature Park.
We know the performance data from the sedan - 300 kW (408 hp) and 858 Newton meters of torque. As opulent as that sounds, the e-SUV moves so calmly. We glide silently and effortlessly from the asphalted open space at the entrance to the test and proving grounds in Immendingen, only to find ourselves soon on narrow sections of country road. A quick furtive glance to the right. Wet forehead? Strained gaze? none.
Dynamic and off-road advantages
"The EQE SUV is a bit shorter than the sedan. Nine centimeters less wheelbase, ten centimeters less exterior length. We wanted to create classic SUV proportions and these dimensions also offer advantages off-road and when driving dynamic ride," explains Jacoby calmly. And indeed: The SUV, which is still 4.86 meters long and at least 2.14 meters wide, feels surprisingly compact and manoeuvrable. Even if the narrow windscreen does not offer a very large field of vision to the front. ,
The level of noise comfort does not require any complaints, as is usual with Mercedes electric models. Aerodynamically optimized, the EQE SUV cuts through the airstream with a cd value of 0.25, which is impressive for its size, without the occupants hearing any noise. If you want to be on the safe side, simply turn on the new Dolby Atmos audio system and make every cinema operator green with envy with thundering bass and crisp highs.
Speaking of audiovisual entertainment: With Zync, a new cooperation partner is on board that projects films, series and TV content in high resolution onto the passenger display of the hyperscreen (without a hyperscreen, the content is shown on the central display). So that the driver is not tempted to enjoy the film, a camera tracks his eyes and blackens the cockpit screen as soon as his gaze wanders in the direction of the passenger. Kind of mean, but immensely beneficial to security. By the way: Zync also ends up on existing vehicles of the EQ family via OTA update. ,
New technology makes its debut
With the EQE SUV, Mercedes is introducing the so-called DCU (Disconnect Unit). This ensures that the front axle is decoupled when the driving situation allows it.The automatic disconnect system switches to rear-wheel drive when the load is low and prevents the usual drag losses caused by the idle electric motor. This benefits the efficiency of the SUV by around five percent. Also new on board is a heat pump, which all models based on EVA II will have in the future. This increases the range on cold days, since the system supports the heating of the cabin.
Customers in the USA can also enjoy the new "Automated Lane Change", which independently overtakes slower vehicles ahead on freeways in their own lane and, with active navigation system guidance, also maneuvers the car into the turning lane when leaving the freeway should. So far, however, there is no approval for this in Germany. The Drive Pilot, i.e. the semi-autonomous Level 3 system from Mercedes, is also withheld from the EQE SUV. For the time being, it will only be used in S-Class and EQS models. ,
A souvenir from AMG
Time to switch to the AMG model of the EQE SUV. The Big One – the 53 with 460 kW (625 hp) and 950 Newton meters of torque. For an official rocket start, the system even provides 505 kW (687 hp) to fly over the 100 km/h mark in 3.5 seconds. Do you have to doubt that? With such a large and heavy vehicle, maybe. But EVA II project manager at AMG, Jens Hüser, briefly presses the right pedal to get in the mood and the resulting g-forces drive away any skepticism. "We would like you to take home the imprint of the AMG logo on the back of your head as a souvenir," laughs Hüser, furtively groping his fingers to see if he's right. ,
But then calm will return. The EQE 53 AMG glides gently over the streets like its series brother. A 48-volt electrical system ensures active roll stabilization, while the adjustable damping erases bumps in the road from personal perception. "In the past, if you wanted to make a car more dynamic in terms of driving dynamics, then you simply made the box rock hard and sacrificed the comfort almost entirely. Today, the technology offers sophisticated options for character spread at the push of a button," enthuses the engineer. As proof, the display jumps to Sport+ and the EQE SUV loses any SUV character.
Manhole covers and joints suddenly transform from optical interruptions on the road to noticeable distortions in the surface. The road connection tightens, the E-AMG storms the curves without incline. This guarantees driving pleasure without any traffic violations. If you like, you can configure the right soundscape in the infotainment system. ,
Oh, Christmas tree!
Things really get down to business on the closed Mercedes proving ground. There the EQE 53 rages through the so-called "Christmas tree". A serpentine ascent and descent that looks like, well, a fir tree when viewed from the air."Going straight ahead is never the whole fun for enthusiastic drivers. But taking a turn like that at 50 km/h when the rear is pressing and the tires are biting into the asphalt - that's what really brings joy," says Hüser, naming the obvious , while he nimbly maneuvers the 2.6 ton power pack through the radii.
So in the end we have no choice but to get out with a smile on our face. Yes, the EQE SUV is, as the uncreative name suggests, an SUV. But the segment affiliation is limited to their usable properties such as the raised seating position, the increased comfort and space. However, the driver always has the comforting knowledge of the fact that the ambitious, sporty interlude is only a push of a button away. ,
Mercedes expects a lot from the EQE SUV. Thanks to its more compact dimensions, it should find more friends than its expansive big brother from the EQS series. The space offered by a full-fledged SUV remains, but the people of Stuttgart want to know that comfort and sportiness are combined. The first ride proves: the plan works. And anyone who wants an SUV that doesn't feel like an SUV at all will find their home with AMG's EQE 53 SUV.