You’re looking at Daimler’s answer to the Tesla Model S – the new 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQE electric saloon, loosely affiliated with the next-generation E-Class range, but arriving a year earlier.
Our spies have already caught the new EQE winter-testing several times – and now we get an even better look at the svelte design of the car codenamed V295. As expected, the EQE looks a lot like the EQS saloon, especially the headlights and the large windows.
The name reflects how Merc plans to position its EQ-branded electric cars alongside its conventionally powered models (so the EQC is the electric equivalent of the C-Class/GLC, the EQA will be the all-electric A-Class and so on).
In many regards, the EQE will be a cheaper, decontented version of the EQS due in 2021. Both will share a new modular electric car architecture dubbed EVA2 by insiders, using the now-traditional skateboard chassis with the heavy battery cells slung low down under the floor.
What to expect from the 2022 Mercedes EQE
That EVA2 chassis is said to provide the new EQE with class-leading space; it’s apparently as roomy as an S-Class, despite having a footprint smaller than an E-Class, thanks to the packaging advantages of electric motors. Expect flat floors and generous room for luggage and limbs.
Our man with the long lens says the EQE and EQS look remarkably similar when wearing their disguise. ‘The EQE prototype has a slightly smaller appearance, not something you might notice if you don’t look at the other changes,’ he observes. ‘The easiest one to spot is the third brake light that on the EQE sits on the bootlid instead of the upper part of the rear window as on the EQS. And while we are at the trunk, on the EQE the trunk is just a regular boot and not a big hatch as on the EQS.’
The EQE will be offered with all-wheel drive, the better for taming the instant torque of the electric motors, and a host of semi-autonomous driving aids are a given. Exact battery sizes are yet to be disclosed, but Mercedes engineers are targeting a range of 600km (nearly 400 miles).
Release date, price
We expect to see the new Mercedes-Benz EQE launched in late 2021, with showroom sales due to start in 2022. No word yet on price, but expect it to square up to the Tesla Model S, starting at around £60,000.
The pace of change at Daimler is hotting up, as it throws itself wholeheartedly into the electric-car scene. Mercedes plans to offer 130 electrified cars by 2030, includings EVs, PHEVs and full hybrids. The budget for this mammoth effort is in the area of €35 billion, which includes a €25bn investment in batteries.