Mercedes-AMG EQE: An Electric E-Class With 677 HP and Four-Wheel Steering
It’ll do zero to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds, but there’s no outrunning that aerodynamic blob design.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS may cost similar to what a Tesla Model S does, but the two aren't to be mistaken for competitors. Not only is the EQS a segment above the Model S, it's also the flagship of the foremost automotive luxury brand in the world. Soon, though, Tesla will have to worry about Model S sales being driven down by the AMG EQS's smaller sibling, the Mercedes-AMG EQE, which drops next year with up to 677 all-wheel horsepower and four-wheel steering, as well as styling that's... Let's just say aerodynamic.
Mercedes' midsize performance EV has a chassis constructed largely from recycled steel, which in its floor encloses a 90.6 kilowatt-hour battery, whose range hasn't been finalized but is expected to come in somewhere in the upper-mid 200-mile range. The AMG model's headlining feature is the power generated by its AMG-specific permanently excited synchronous motors, which have unique windings, laminations, and a different inverter to enable higher speeds.
And of course, greater power, nominally 617 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque, laid down through torque-distributing all-wheel drive with thermally managed reduction gearing. Zero to 60 mph takes just 3.4 seconds, and it'll top out at 137 mph. More performance still is available with the AMG Dynamic Plus Package, which adds "Race Start" launch mode that boosts power approximately 10 percent to 677 horse and 738 pound-feet. They cut zero-to-60 to 3.2 seconds, and escalate the EQE's top speed to 149 mph.
Turn off stability control and that power will also put to test the EQE's AMG-exclusive sway bars, hubs, and suspension links, which help suspend the body on actively damped air suspension (four-link front, multilink rear), which adjusts height to reduce drag at speed. Its standard 20-inch wheels are optimized to cut drag too and can be upgraded to 21s to accommodate optional ceramic disc brakes.
They can expand the front rotors from 16.3-inch discs with six-piston calipers to 17.3-inch rotors, while the rears remain lighter-duty with single-piston calipers but still-big, 14.9-inch rotors. The wheels they hide behind are steered, too, up to 3.6 degrees, following the direction of the fronts above 37 mph for stability, and contrasting them below it in the name of agility.
As the EQE's electrical system is only 328 volts, its DC fast-charging caps at 170 kW, allowing a tentative 112 miles (WLTP, not EPA) of range recovery in 15 minutes. Over-the-air battery management updates may improve range and charging performance with time, though the EQE will launch with software to prioritize charging at off-peak hours to reduce costs, or at rates that limit battery degradation.
On the go, the EQE can automatically pre-condition its battery to the optimal temperature in advance of charging when the navigation is set to a charger through the optional dash-spanning Hyperscreen. This system also contains an AMG Track Pace app, which tracks more than 80 vehicle parameters including lap and sector times. Switches on its optionally heated steering wheel adjust regenerative braking and can allow one-pedal driving, while its standard Nappa leather can be optionally matched by Nappa on the seats—normally wrapped in artificial MB-Tex leather and microfiber, and bound by red stitching.
Mercedes hasn't shared pricing for the Mercedes-AMG EQE, but I speculate it'll come in around the $95,000 starting price of the cheapest Tesla Model S. We'll know for sure by the time it goes on sale in the United States in early 2023.
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