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Mercedes-Benz EQXX: future electric C-Class previewed by concept with 1000km range

 

The current flagship Mercedes-Benz electric concept car – the EQXX – is closer to production than you might expect


The Mercedes-Benz EQXX may appear like a far-flung designer’s dream, but the midsize sedan that was shown off in February 2022 has already reached the moving prototype phase according to CEO Markus Schäfer.

In an interview with electric vehicle publication Move Electric, Mr Schäfer mentioned that there are “many elements of the vehicle which are very close to moving into series production.

“We can look at the shape and form of the vehicle, and we are very close to the series car that we are going to see in 2024”, Mr Schäfer continued.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept 2022 diffuser
The Vision EQXX’s low drag shape make it seriously efficient

Some of the EQXX’s near-production elements include its low drag (0.18Cd) shape that, in prototype form, has Mercedes-Benz estimating an energy consumption of 10.4kWh/100km in the combined WLTP cycle – or about 30 percent lower than a Tesla Model 3 sedan.

The EQXX’s resulting 1000km range from a circa-100kWh battery pack is the target for the next evolution of electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz with a focus on efficiency above all else. 

Mercedes-Benz will use the latest lithium-ion battery technology from CATL, a battery manufacturer based in China. This achieves a 50 percent reduction in the physical size of the pack and a significant weight reduction of about 35 percent when compared to the EQS’s 107.8kWh battery pack that tips the scales at about 670kg.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept 2022 dynamic
According to the designer, the EQXX is similar in size to a current C-Class sedan

With the new battery technology on board, Mercedes-Benz estimates that the EQXX will weigh roughly 1750kg, only 6kg more than the claimed kerb weight of a W206 C300 sedan and a lot less than a 2480kg EQS sedan. 

What shape will the EQXX take?

Without having seen the EQXX in the flesh some may have assumed this futuristic prototype would become a flagship AMG GT four-door successor, though according to the chief of design at Mercedes-Benz, Gordon Wagener, told Move Electric the EQXX will be “at least one segment smaller than the EQE.”

That would place the EQXX in Benz’s traditional midsize segment with the C-Class, making it a rival for the BMW i4 Gran Coupe and Tesla Model 3. 

Crucially, the slated production version of the EQXX could also sit on Mercedes-Benz’s new MMA platform designed with compact vehicles in mind, but not ruled out for a midsize car. 

Mercedes-Benz EQXX prototype 2022-1
Now we’ve seen the inside of the EQXX

The MMA platform will also be newer than the EVA architecture that debuted beneath Benz’s flagship EQS electric sedan, not to mention lighter. 

Exact dimensions of the EQXX are yet to be determined, but according to an Autocar report it is likely to ride on a 2800mm wheelbase. 

Mercedes-Benz says the EQXX is packed with further technological advancements in the motor and battery. Active battery balancing that shuffles current and charge around the cells is said to improve efficiency at a constant speed on the highway. 

There is also a single rear motor producing only 150kW of power which gives a hint that the EQXX isn’t about maximum performance in the same way a Tesla Model S Plaid is, but instead about eeking every last percentage of efficiency from the EQXX’s design.

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