Electric cars step up: Why Mercedes-Benz reckons its 2023 EQE SUV will be a gamechanger against the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX, Audi e-tron and other EVs – Car News
Mercedes-Benz has revealed that the EQE SUV will be the brand’s true blockbuster electric vehicle, with the design and dynamic appeal to take it to the top of the EV SUV luxury class in Australia.
Reported to be priced from about $160,000 when it launches sometime after the middle of next year, the newly-unveiled mid-sizer is taking aim at the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX and Polestar 3, as well as the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the EQB medium SUV recently, Mercedes-Benz Australia head of media relations and brand engagement, Jerry Stamoulis, believes that the EQE SUV is the model that will open consumers’ minds to the benefits of EVs like no other the company has offered before.
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“We are expecting big things from the EQE SUV when it arrives in the middle of 2023,” he said. “It will sit between the EQC and the new EQS, and appeal to a wide range of buyers. And it will be the game changer.”
While the EQE SUV shares much of its technology with the EQE sedan version set to arrive by the end of this year, it will have a much larger impact on both the global and Australian markets due to its SUV packaging, dramatically broadening the EV’s appeal.
In other words, the EQE SUV exposes Mercedes-Benz’s vaunted new next-generation ‘EVA’ dedicated EV architecture to more potential buyers than the EQS sedan could. That technology also underpins the closely-related EQS sedan and EQS SUV flagships already released or due in the third quarter of next year respectively.
In contrast, every other EQ EV in Mercedes’ armada is built on an albeit highly modified internal combustion engine (ICE) platform, from the transverse-engined/front-drive MFA2-based EQA and EQB to the longitudinal rear-drive biased MRA2 in the larger EQC. As such, the EQE and EQS models are more efficiently and effectively packaged as EVs.
Along with the just-launched eVito electric van range, the EQE SUV will bring the number of Mercedes-Benz EVs to at least seven by the end of next year.
After that, from about 2024, the EQE SUV is set to be joined by the second-generation EQC.
To sit on the brand’s all-new MMA architecture that’s described as “electric-first/ICE-second”, it is reported to accommodate hybrid as well as range-extender electrified powertrains, providing the German brand with a more effective and less-compromised EV than the current EQC as well as a lower anticipated price point proposition for buyers who cannot stretch to the EQE SUV. The successors to the EQA and EQB will also follow suit in time.
Basically, Mercedes-Benz is aiming to have all electrification bases covered in the hot SUV segments by the middle of this decade.
As reported earlier this month, there will be three EQE SUV grades on offer, starting with the single-motor and rear-wheel drive 300, and then moving up to the 500 4Matic with twin motors and all-wheel drive. Of course, there are also AMG versions coming (the inhouse tuner’s first EV SUV), in the form of the EQE 53 4Matic AMG. All use a 90.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack at launch and all are five-seater only propositions.
While tech specs are still thin on the ground right, we know that the 350kW/858Nm 53 4Matic can achieve up to 488km on the WLTP cycle or sprint to 100km/h from standstill in under 4.3 seconds, while the 53 4Matic+ we’re more likely to see in Australia, with 460kW/950Nm outputs (and 505kW on overboost as well as 626kW/1000km with an optional Dynamic Plus package), can slash that 0-100km/h time to 3.5s, or still manage a decent range of between 375km and 470km.
As we’re recently seen in Australia, the EQE SUV will adopt a variation of the EQS’ Hyperscreen fully digitized dashboard experience, as part of a substantial list of technological advancements that will also include the latest round of driver-assist technologies.
As the EV wars intensify, Mercedes-Benz is ensuring that it will have the most effective and up-to-date offerings in the luxury end of a booming market.