Mercedes is taking the next step towards electric power with the launch of the new Generation EQ concept at the Paris Motor Show. The car previews a range of future EVs, which is set to be introduced under a new sub-brand called Mercedes-EQ, much like BMW’s i division.
The SUV concept, which is 90 per cent production ready in terms of design, will launch in 2019. But it’s what‘s under the skin that‘s most important. The Generation EQ uses a new scalable platform which uses two electric motors – one on each axle.
In the Generation EQ, the electric motors provide permanent four-wheel drive, and the system develops up to 420bhp, depending on its use. Mercedes is also aiming to deliver a range of around 310 miles, while also retaining its tradition of building luxurious and safe cars.
“EQ uses high-strength steel, aluminium and carbon fibre to help keep weight down. Lithium-ion batteries set low in the chassis to aid handling”
The EQ name is a play on IQ and is designed to convey the film’s vision of ‘Electric Intelligence’, and building cars that, according to Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche, deliver “a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations”. It’s clear the Tesla Model X is a key rival for this electric SUV.
While it’s a concept for now, the platform for the Generation EQ is virtually production ready. It uses a combination of high-strength steel, aluminium and carbon fibre to help keep weight down. There are lithium-ion batteries set low in the chassis to aid handling, too.
As well as new running gear, the Generation EQ showcases Mercedes‘ latest interior technology, with a new layout featuring touch-sensitive steering wheel controls that scroll through various menus on the ‘organic’ LED dashboard displays.
With the Generation EQ, Mercedes has created a dedicated architecture for EVs, and the scalable nature of the platform means it can be used in a wide range of vehicles beyond the SUV concept seen in Paris.
Mercedes is also developing new technology which could see rapid charging boosting the car’s range from a low charge to 100 miles in just five minutes.