Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV debuts ahead of Paris Motor Show
- Mercedes continues its march towards full electrification with the reveal of the 2023 EQE SUV, available in three trim levels and an AMG model.
- Power output increases from 288 hp in the 350+ to 677 hp in the AMG.
- Look for non-AMG models that will debut in the first half of 2023, while the AMG EQE SUV will bow in 2024. No official EPA lineup pricing or figures yet.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the fourth vehicle in its EQ family of electric vehicles last night in Paris on the eve of the Paris Motor Show. The Tuscaloosa-built beast will debut in US showrooms when it goes on sale in the first half of 2023.
The midsize EQE SUV will come on the heels (or wheels) of the EQB compact crossover, EQE midsize sedan and EQS luxury sedan and full-size SUV. It’s all part of Mercedes’ long-term electrification plan. Ultimately, the three-pointed star will only have electric vehicles. The strategy is labeled “Ambition 2039” and aims to “create a fleet of carbon-neutral passenger vehicles around the world over the next 20 years”.
“We are moving fast and our customers are moving with us,” Mercedes CEO Ole Kallenius said in Paris. “The demand is strong. Sales of electric vehicles increased by 115% compared to the third quarter of last year. And we have no intention of slowing down. We expect to double our electric battery share this year and continue to grow at this rapid pace in 2023.”
The EQE SUV will play an important role in this expansion, especially in the US SUV market. The EQE SUV should be the right size vehicle for most American buyers looking for an everyday kid hauler that can still bring home a load of peat moss from Lowe’s or maybe even conquer the occasional dirt road to a ski hut in Mammoth, Stowe or Da Yoop.
The new ute, launching in the US in the first half of next year, will be available in three regular models and an AMG variant:
- EQ SUV 350+ will be rear-wheel drive only, with a single motor on the rear axle developing 288 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque.
- EQE SUV 350 4Matic will have front and rear motors good for a total of 564 lb-ft of torque while horsepower remains at 288.
- EQE SUV 500 4Matic will have larger electric motors front and rear for a total output of 536 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque.
- SUV AMG EEQ doesn’t arrive until 2024, but when it arrives it’ll have 677 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque to conquer the road.
All will run on the same variant of Mercedes’ all-new all-electric EVA 2 platform, specifically designed for battery-powered vehicles, unlike the smaller EQB which relies on an ICE platform converted for EV use.
AMG buyers who can wait until 2024 should be treated to quite a performance, with everything from AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with AMG’s Adaptive Damping System, to rear axle steering and AMG Active Ride Control – an AMG-specific roll stabilization system.
All models of the EQE SUV are, of course, smaller than the range-topping EQS SUV we first drove a few weeks ago: 7.1 inches shorter in the wheelbase and 10.3 inches in all. Cargo space also increases from 74 cubic feet in the large EQS SUV to the still useful 59.2 cubic feet in the EQE SUV. The battery size drops from 108.4 kWh to 90.6 in the EQE.
Range figures so far are based on the extremely optimistic European WLTP cycle, which indicates that the EQE SUV could travel up to 342 miles on a single charge in the rwd 350+. Once the EPA has released its own SAE-based range, look for something closer to around 290 miles for the 350+, with around 250 miles for the 4Matic models and maybe 240 miles for the AMG EQE SUV, but remember, these are only estimates. Curb weight is not yet available.
Inside, look for the usual tech onslaught that includes all the best from the MBUX suite of infotainment tweaks, plus over-the-air updates available to buyers. While the standard dash will look quite impressive with a 12.8-inch dash and 12.3-inch center display, the massive MBUX display is also an option, plastering the dash with lights and whistles, of which 17.7 inches are the central display and 12.3 inches of which are made up from the private passenger display.
The interior will only be available in a two-row configuration, Mercedes says now, so if you have a carpool of seven kids, you’ll need to upgrade to the EQS model. Either way, I sat in the back seat of the new EQE SUV and had more than enough head and knee room for my lanky carcass, even with a massively impressive sunroof to compete. with the ISS, so space won’t be an issue for almost any non-NBA driver.
Mercedes is particularly proud of the different sounds that will surround the occupants of this new SUV, from “four different soundscapes for a particular acoustic experience”, to a new audio system resulting from a partnership with Dolby with Dolby Atmos.
“We asked motorists in five countries when and where they listen to music,” Kallenius said. “The result is that more than 70% cannot imagine a car journey without music. Almost as many said sound quality is equally critical.
So expect great things, sonically, from the new model.
Pricing, mileages and exact delivery dates are yet to be released, but expect the new EQS SUV to compete with BMW iX xDrive50, Genesis GV60, Audi e-tron S and Tesla Model Y, which will from the 60s to the 80s. in price. Maybe the Mercedes will be closer to an 80k sticker. We will see.