When we drove the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX battery-electric concept over the summer, we learned this low-rise, hyper-efficient four door was the engineering laboratory for future Mercedes EVs. The EQXX won’t enter production, but EVs out of Stuttgart as soon as 2024 will benefit from advances made with the EQXX. Autocar reports the retail journey begins with a sedan to inaugurate Mercedes’ “entry luxury” brand of electric vehicles. The news came from Robert Lesnick, the automaker’s head of exterior design, who said the vehicle doesn’t have a name yet but it will be about the size of the current CLA at 185 inches. Based on the EQ series lineup we’ve seen so far, Mercedes will likely be pitching CLA sizing outside with C-Class room inside for a small family car designed to challenge the BMW i4, Polestar 2, and Tesla Model 3.
The car will sit on the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA). The sheetmetal’s EQXX aerodynamic inheritance will be clear, but the production car will make compromises for human livability. The technology connection will be more direct. That means lighter, more power-dense battery packs from battery partner CATL. The nearly 100-kWh pack in the EQXX is roughly half the physical size of the 107.8-kWh pack in the EQS sedan and crossover, and two-thirds the weight. The motors dubbed eATS 2.0 for now will be lighter and smaller compared to motors of similar output, and super efficient. Malte Sievers, one of the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX’s project managers, said 95% of battery energy reaches the wheels. You can expect novel build techniques, too, with lightweight 3D-printed, carbon fiber, and biomimicking components bolted to enormous castings. Active aero will play its part, Autocar saying the AMG version of the entry luxury EV will get a version of the deployable diffuser from the EQXX.
The new range could help Mercedes make a better and more profitable go at the entry-level end than it has with its traditional ICE offerings. The automaker refocused its ambitions on high-end luxury earlier this year, committing 75% of investment to high-margin offerings and saying it would offer four vehicles in the entry-level space instead of the seven on sale globally. We’ll learn more about how the automaker segment poles go electric in 2024, the battery-powered G-Glass due the same year as this EQXX-inspired sedan.