Set to launch in Australia in the second half of 2022, Mercedes-Benz’s Tesla Model S rival will eventually be offered in 500kW performance versions.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the fifth model in its rapidly expanding all-electric EQ model line-up, the EQE sedan.
Based on the same premium electric vehicle architecture (EVA2) as the larger EQS sedan, the EQE is sized to compete head-on with the Tesla Model S and will initially be offered in two variants when it launches globally mid next year.
AMG fans may be pleased to know that high-performance EQE variants are also on the table.
The only technical details revealed so far relate to just one variant – the rear-drive EQE 350. The “second model” (to be confirmed closer to launch) is expected to be a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive EQE 4Matic.
Featuring a 90kWh lithium-ion battery and a rear-mounted electric motor, the EQE 350 has 215kW/530Nm at its disposal and offers a WLTP range of 545-660km, depending on the equipment fitted.
Mercedes-Benz claims a fast-charge time of 32 minutes for the EQE 350, with power consumption spanning 15.7-19.3kWh/100km.
As for the battery itself, Mercedes says its composition has been optimised to reduce cobalt content to less than 10 percent, while the management software allows for over-the-air updates throughout its lifecycle.
Beyond the 215kW EQE 350, Mercedes has confirmed it is working on future EQE performance variants with “around 500kW.”
At 4946mm long, 1961mm wide and 1512mm tall, the EQE is roughly comparable to a current CLS in size, though its proportions are dramatically different. The EQE has a very short front overhang and an abbreviated tail (still with a regular bootlid, not a liftback).
Like the CLS, the EQE also features coupe-like frameless doors, though unlike the CLS, the entire front-end is a ‘Black Panel’ unit that can be further enhanced with an optional, three-dimensional star pattern in conjunction with AMG Line or Electric Art exterior packages.
While the EQE’s enormous 3120mm wheelbase is 90mm shorter than an EQS’s, this smaller electric sedan offers substantial packaging benefits over its combustion-engined cousins. There’s 27mm more front shoulder room and 80mm more interior length than a W213 E-Class sedan. The driving position hip point is also 65mm higher.
The EQE’s 430-litre boot is smaller than a regular E-Class sedan at 540 litres, though it’s considerably larger than the 370-litre boot of a plug-in hybrid E300e.
There is no storage under the EQE’s bonnet – it provides access for specialist workshops to undertake maintenance work, such as replacing the interior air filter.
A service flap in the left front mudguard allows for topping up windscreen-washer fluid.
Much like the exterior, the EQE’s cabin is clearly inspired by the strikingly similar, though wider, EQS – especially when optioned with an MBUX Hyperscreen that transforms almost the entire width of the dashboard into a display screen.
Measuring 1410mm wide and made of scratch-resistant aluminium silicate, MBUX Hyperscreen features a dominant blue colour scheme with orange highlighting, symbolising the “electric world” for Mercedes-Benz.
Even the front passenger gets a 12.3-inch OLED display capable of playing movies, video games or accessing the internet on the move (depending on the market). This set-up relies on Attention Assistant to monitor the driver’s eyes, and if the driver attempts to watch the passenger display, the screen is automatically dimmed.
Other cabin highlights include a unique fragrance composed for EQE called ‘No.6 MOOD bittersweet’. Based on the aroma of dark chocolate, the number 6 acts as a tribute to the first “Mercédès Electrique” vehicles of 1906.
With a suspension system derived from what’s underneath the latest-generation W223 S-Class and the EQS, the EQE features a four-link front suspension set-up and multi-link rear suspension.
In Europe, ‘Airmatic’ air suspension with multi-chamber air springs and adaptive damping will be optional, though you would expect this suspension set-up to be standard in Australia. Wheels sizes are 19-, 20- or 21-inch.
Two versions of rear-axle steering will be optional – enabling the rear wheels to steer through either a 4.5-degree or 10-degree range while slicing a huge chunk from the turning circle. With 10-degree rear-axle steering, the EQE’s turning circle is reduced from 12.5 to 10.7 metres.
Rear-axle steering will also provide significant agility benefits to the EQE. If the EQS’s dynamic performance is any indicator, the EQE should offer a responsive, agile and entertaining driving experience.
From the outset, the EQE’s most obvious competitor is the Tesla Model S – the car that kick-started the modern world’s fascination with electric vehicles, and the possibilities with EV performance.
But fierce rival BMW is set to unveil the i5 in 2023 – a similarly sized electric sedan closely related to the next-generation 5 Series also scheduled to launch in ’23.
Australian sales for EQE 350 and an additional EQE model will begin during the second half of 2022.
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