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MERCEDES-EQ EQE

“Alongside the EQA, EQB, EQC and EQS, we’re introducing the all-new, avant-garde EQE. This business saloon cements our reputation as a manufacturer of class-leading, technologically advanced luxury vehicles in the EV space.” – Mark Raine, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, and Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars.

Mercedes-Benz recently launched the EQE, a new fully electric sedan, as an addition to its rapidly expanding Mercedes-EQ range. This sporty business saloon offers features similar to the EQS, but in a more compact body and lower price point.

The EQE is the fifth addition to the Mercedes-EQ range in Mzansi. Presented as a sporty business saloon, the EQE offers all the essential functions you get from the EQS, although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of luxury that the EQS so effortlessly attains. Mercedes-Benz aligns its EVs to its existing ICE line-up, which positions the EQE in the EV range similar to where the E-Class exists in Merc’s standard line-up. 

ECHOES OF THE EQS

The design of the EQE closely resembles that of the EQS, with a focus on aerodynamics and a sleek silhouette. However, keen eyes will take note of the shorter overhangs and a 90mm more temporary body. Two models are on offer: the EQE 350+ and the EQE43 AMG. The latter gains more distinct styling cues thanks to an AMG Panamericana ‘grille’ for added flair. Both models will have wheel options ranging between 19” and 21” alloys.

EQ CABIN EXPERIENCE OF THE FUTURE

The design and cabin layout of the EQE also closely resembles that of the EQS. Customers will have the option of one of two dashboard configurations. The more restrained option will feature an S-Class-derived 12.8” portrait-oriented touchscreen, a 12.3” driver information screen, and a wood veneer expanse covering the entire dash. The second option, the MBUX Hyperscreen, features a 55” glass-front dash, which looks like something from a sci-fi movie. Both options perform the same functions, so deciding which option will depend primarily on personal preference.

The upholstery and finishings are all premium materials that closely rival the EQS. In terms of practicality, the EQE has more cabin space than the ICE E-class, although the raked roofline may compromise rear passenger head space. Luggage space is rated at 430 litres.

ELECTRIC PROPULSION

As a fully electric vehicle, the EQE carries no conventional ICE components. Instead, the 350+ gets a rear-mounted motor that outputs 215 kW and 565 Nm, accelerating the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds. The EQE 43 AMG 4Matic is endowed with a permanently excited synchronous motor on each axle with a rated output of 350 kW and 858 Nm and can accelerate the car from zero to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. Both vehicles have a top speed of 210 km/h. Both cars have a top speed of 210 km/h. In terms of range, the 350+ boasts a claimed range of up to 645 km, while the high-powered EQE 43 AMG has a claimed range of up to 535 km, which are both impressive figures for an EV.

Ride comfort is an essential aspect of the EQE experience. The car features a four-link front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, which is also similar in design to the current-generation S-Class. The EQE also offers the option of AIRMATIC air suspension with an ADS+ adaptive damping system. The EQE 43 AMG takes it a step further with the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with adaptive adjustable damping, which has been optimised with AMG-specific wheel carriers, suspension links and anti-roll bars with higher rigidity.

As expected from an EV, no engine note accompanies your throttle inputs. Instead, Mercedes has worked with sound engineers to configure the EQE with soundtracks to accompany the vehicle’s propulsion, which varies depending on the selected driving modes.

SAFETY

Mercedes-Benz is renowned for its commitment to safety, and the new EQE electric vehicle is no exception. The car features a robust passenger cell, specially designed deformation zones, and advanced restraint systems with PRE-SAFE® technology. In addition to standard crash testing, the EQE underwent various additional load tests and comprehensive component evaluations at the Vehicle Safety Technology Centre (TFS). Additionally, the car’s battery is housed in a crash-protected case in the underbody to minimise the risk of fire or damage to the battery pack.

The EQE also comes equipped with driver assistance packages, including the new Attention Assist feature, which utilises a camera in the driver display to monitor the driver’s eyelids for signs of drowsiness.

LAST WORD

The EQE offers a compelling package on paper. Its driving range is commendable in its class, and its build quality and technology are comparable to the best offerings from competitors. Although our test drive was brief, we look forward to conducting further evaluations of the car’s driving experience in the near future. Prices for the EQE are expected to range from R1.8 million for the 350+ model to R2.2 million for the EQE 43 AMG 4Matic.

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © MERCEDES-BENZ SOUTH AFRICA

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