Mercedes-Benz has revealed the origin and talked about the future of their EQ brand. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes‑Benz cars, says that the new brand, which will house Mercedes' electric and autonomous vehicles, stands on four pillars. "Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric", which gives a fairly accurate summary of the brand's plans.
It will encompass a new generation of EVs based on an architecture developed specifically for electrics. It is scalable and can be varied to suit any models they would like to put on it, including SUVs, sedans, coupes, or all of the fusions that live in the middle. The new platform uses steel, aluminium, and carbon to meet strength and weight targets.
The first model, and the one unveiled today is called the Generation EQ. The design is an SUV with a coupe-like roofline. There is a squat greenhouse and wide, muscular fenders. Since the design is pure EV, there is no open grille, just an LED and transparent representation of one. The "black panel" front grille will be the signature of future EQ vehicles, and on the concept it includes rose gold and chrome plated inlays, matching the 21-inch wheels.
The Generation EQ has electric motors on each axle for high performance and all-wheel drive. Total output is 402 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque on the most powerful model. This gives a claimed 0-100 km/h time under 5 seconds, but a battery capacity up to 70 kWh gives a range claimed to be up to 500 km.
Inside is an asymmetric dash, with no knobs or buttons (with the exception of seat adjustment), just touch controls on the beautifully simple 24-inch touchscreen. Controls are a swipe and a click away. Information density on the display can be user selected, so you can make it as busy or as simple as you want. Climate and infotainment are both controlled via touch on the center console, or on the steering wheel mounted controls. The carpet stitching is intended to look like a circuit board, for a contrasting appearance. Blue LED accents surround the cabin, continuing the theme from outside.
The EQ name stands for "Electric Intelligence", and the automaker says it is intended to be a complete ecosystem, offering products, services, technologies, and innovations to compliment each other and the car. This ranges from the EV itself to matching charging stations, or home energy storage. Future models are expected to expand this as new technologies develop, including communicating with infrastructure or other cars.
Without providing a timeline, Mercedes calls this a "close-to-production" vehicle. It's not clear exactly what that entails, but if the production model looks like this it would be a very bold statement.