Mercedes-Benz EQ is gunning for Tesla


One thing is for certain in the automotive industry; you are only as good as your last product. By 2025, Mercedes-Benz will be retailing no less than 10 fully-electric models under its EQ (for Electric Intelligence) umbrella, and the first model to take the fight to Tesla (which currently offers three models) will be based on the Concept EQ you see here.

Said to unite ‘the genes of an SUV with the dynamic character of a coupe and a dash of shooting brake at the rear end’, the Concept EQ doesn’t bear any resemblance to existing Mercedes-Benz models despite sporting the familiar three-pointed star on its LED-illuminated front grille and tailgate.

Underneath that smooth, wind-cheating monolithic shape are underpinnings that belong to a modular platform with variable building blocks to accommodate different body styles and battery capacities.

The clean, uncluttered theme carries on inside, where there is a distinct absence of hard switches and knobs (though there are physical stalks on the steering column). Instead, you are enveloped by vibrant touch-sensitive OLED screens that would make Samsung or LG blush, even the door handles and power windows are touch operated.

The rear passengers aren’t neglected and they get 24-inch portrait-type TFT screens incorporated into the front backrests. To this end, we hope that Mercedes-Benz will figure out a way to make digital displays resistant to fingerprint smudges.

While the Concept EQ is a four-seater, expect the production model to accommodate a fifth passenger when it rolls out of a Mercedes-Benz production plant at some point next year (probably late 2019). The fully-electric EQ C, as it is rumoured to be called, will offer 500km worth of electric range from its floor-mounted 70kWh battery pack.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Tesla challenger if it didn’t offer respectable performance; how about 400hp and 700Nm, all-wheel drive and zero to 100km/h in less than five seconds, complemented by cutting-edge connectivity and autonomous technology from Mercedes-Benz.

The Concept EQ is making its debut in South East Asia as we speak. If you want to experience the concept vehicle up close and try out the Mercedes-Benz C350e and E350e EQ Power models, head on to The Waterfront at Desa Park City this weekend, 4th to 7th May 2018, between 10am to 6pm.


IMAGE GALLERY


Denis Wong

Denis Wong

In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.
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