Mercedes EQ electric concept SUV revealed
1st Oct 2016 12:00 pm
The all-new brand, 'Generation EQ' SUV concept gives a peek into styling, technology and performance targets of the automaker’s upcoming EV.
The Mercedes Generation EQ concept, a 408hp four-wheel drive electrically-powered SUV concept, has been unveiled at the Paris motor show. The SUV is planned to go into production in 2019 as an electric rival to the likes of the Audi e-tron quattro, Jaguar E-Pace and Tesla Model X.
As with AMG, Smart and Maybach, EQ is set to become a sub-brand within the Mercedes-Benz group.
Along with the preview of Mercedes’ first uniquely-styled series-production electric vehicle, the concept provides an insight into new electric vehicle platform structure, autonomous driving technology, connectivity solutions and safety features developed for a range of electric vehicles to be sold under the EQ name.
The new five-door SUV adopts traditional proportions with a pronounced bonnet line and a tall glasshouse that runs back to an angled tailgate. There are certain similarities to the GLC Coupé in the overall silhouette and dimensions, but unique exterior detailing ensures the Generation EQ stands out from Mercedes' more conventional offerings.
To help boost the aerodynamic efficiency, designers have resorted to a number of familiar air-cheating measures, including the concealment of the wipers underneath the bonnet, digital cameras in place of wing mirrors, deletion of traditional door handles and the fitment of 21in wheels featuring an aerodynamically-optimised spoke design.
The basis for the Generation EQ concept is a newly-developed scalable platform that will be used to create a complete range of zero-emission vehicles over the next decade. The platform is constructed from a combination of hot-formed high-strength steel, aluminium and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic and has been engineered to suit a number of different vehicle types, including SUVs, saloons, coupés and cabriolets.
The Generation EQ’s lithium-ion battery is mounted low down wholly within the floor of the new structure, providing it with an ultra-low centre of gravity by contemporary road car standards.
Power for the new SUV comes from two brushless electric motors, with one mounted within the front axle and another housed within the rear axle. The layout is said to provide a clear preview of that planned for the upcoming production version of the Generation EQ, which will also receive a four-wheel drive system boasting fully variable apportioning of power, both between the two axles and between each of the individual rear wheels.
Mercedes did not specify the exact output of the Generation EQ. However, boss Dieter Zetsche confirmed that the electric motors have been developed to deliver a combined output of up to 408hp.
The battery uses a modular cell structure that allows it to be scaled to suit the model in which it is used. In the Generation EQ, it receives a capacity described as being “over 70kWh”, which is sufficient to provide the concept with a claimed range of up to 500km. The battery of the concept has also been developed to support a range of different charging methods, including standard household, wallbox and inductive.
Inside, the Generation EQ receives an all-new interior developed specifically for Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming EV line-up. It features a low-set dashboard featuring a 24in high-definition monitor with unique graphic. The concept also gets touch-based controls on the centre console, a multifunction steering and multiple OLED displays. The cabin boasts accommodation for up to four individuals in the front and rear, although officials indicate the production SUV is planned to come with a traditional rear bench-seat.
The concept also features a number of new driver-assistant functions being considered for adoption on the company’s upcoming zero-emission models. Included is a prototype navigation that is able to precisely calculate the position and radii of corners and roundabouts, allowing the car to automatically adapt its speed and chassis settings. Also on board is the newest in Car-to-X technology that is able to communicate with the infrastructure and other road users in order to provide the basis for a range of different safety features.