The 2021 IAA in Munich is dominated by new debuts from Mercedes-Benz and no fewer than five of them are all-electric, including the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV and Mercedes-AMG EQS. You don’t have to be an automotive industry specialist or analyzer to predict the future for the German automaker is strictly electric. But what does that direction mean for the design of the company?
The new EQS and EQE luxury electric limousines built on the dedicated MEA electric platform no longer look like classic sedans. Moreover, the Mercedes EQS even has a two-volume silhouette with a generous tailgate. Mercedes EQE has a three-volume body with separate trunk but the body line is similar to a four-door coupe.
The reasons that made Mercedes give up the traditional style of the sedan are both technical and aesthetic reasons. First of all, an electric car needs the best possible aerodynamics to consume as little as possible. Then, due to the battery, the height increases and a design artifice is needed to camouflage the higher height.
Here’s what Gorden Wagener told TopGear during IAA Munich: “Electrification will kill the three-box sedan for several reasons. Aero is one. Secondly, with a six-inch battery pack a three-box sedan simply doesn’t look good, it looks s ***. You have to do something that visually digests the height. ”
The switch to electric propulsion has given designers more freedom in the case of platforms dedicated exclusively to electric propulsion. Thus, the front part can be shorter, there is no central tunnel but there are other limitations. Luxury sedans in particular need large batteries that, despite the best tehnologies available are thick and ruin the proportions of a classic sedan.
“That’s why we came up with that bold design with the EQ models, because it looks stretched, it looks stylish. So that [electrification] will change the proportions of cars. We have to make sure they don’t all look alike, but that fear has existed for 30 years or so. We managed to make them look different, and I’m confident we can do that in the future. ”, said Wagener.