Mercedes-Benz has revealed the EQ Concept at the Paris motor show. Described as a “close-to-production” design study, the SUV marks the launch of a new, scalable architecture developed specifically for battery-electric vehicles.
The car’s name is also significant, as the German manufacturer says it intends to market future all-electric models under the EQ brand, which stands for “Electric Intelligence”.
Sitting on 21-inch wheels, the EQ is powered underneath by two electric motors on the front and rear axles and a battery in the vehicle floor.
With a total output of up to 300 kW in the most powerful variant and a maximum torque of up to 516 lb-ft, the car is claimed to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in under five seconds while delivering a range of up to 310 miles. Charging methods include both induction and wallbox technologies.
As well as ushering in a new vehicle architecture, the EQ also introduces a new styling philosophy that has been dubbed “electro-look” by design boss Gorden Wagener.
On the outside, the distinguishing mark of this electro-aesthetic is the so-called “Black Panel” front grille, which sees a white-illuminated Mercedes star and all the light elements integrated in a seamlessly glazed design element.
The rear lamps get a matching design, taking up the contour of the “Black Panel” and surrounded by an LED optical fibre in electric blue, which changes to red when the vehicle is moving and acts as a tail light. The central Mercedes badge at the rear end is likewise illuminated in white. Similarly to the front end, the clasp-like light signature on the outside changes to orange as soon as the direction indicator is operated.
Other details include scarcely visible body panel joins, concealed windscreen wipers, cameras instead of exterior mirrors and an absence of conventional door handles, all of which grant the SUV crossover a “monolithic basic form” according to Wagener.
On the inside, the minimalist look continues with four individual seats and an all-new user interface that dispenses with traditional switches and knobs. Instead, two of the three narrow spokes on the steering wheel incorporate touch controls, which are integrated into OLED displays. There’s also a 24-inch wide-screen display that sits in the asymmetrically designed instrument panel.
“Generation EQ is hot and cool,” says Wagener. “Its fascination lies in a reinterpretation of our design philosophy of sensual purity, the aim being to create an avant-garde, contemporary and distinctive electro-look. At the same time, the design of the visionary show car, which has been reduced to the essentials, reveals an alluring progressivity.”
Production of the EQ Concept is expected to begin sometime in 2019.