It's a little unusual for us to be the first to receive anything new, with the exception of products launched on a racetrack (given that we have the only accessible F1-grade track in the region), such that when we are the first to receive something it's a cause for mild celebration. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, in conjunction with their EQ Brand Exhibtion, managed to bring in the Concept EQ - their take on a holistic electric vehicle for the future.
At its heart, it is an SUV in form, with the kind of proportions and ground clearance that gives it a rugged off-road look - one that ties in nicely with the sentiments of our market. It's also part coupe with its swooping roofline and and an elongated greenhouse roof. From a gleaming black bonnet to the alubeam silver paintwork, the Concept EQ screams "car of the future". 21-inch alloys, minimized body panel joins, hidden door handles, and cameras instead of side mirrors all add to the future-chic aesthetic.
Lighting plays a very big role with the Concept EQ. Everything from the grille (white-illuminated Mercedes-Benz emblem flanked by other lighting elements), to the headlamps and tail lights (LEDs all round), to the peripheral light strip that runs around the edge of the car. Mood lighting changes from a Welcome Scenario to electric-esque blue lighting as the occupants transition from outside to inside.
When we think of electric cars, we don't really view them in a performance context. The greatest benefit of an electric car comes in the form of saving the environment, and the Concept EQ is capable of going up to 500 kilometres on a single charge, with a 70 kWh lithium-ion battery from ACCUMOTIVE. Be that as it may, the Concept EQ is still capable of sprinting to 100 km/h from a standstill in under 5 seconds, with 700 Nm of torque and 402 hp on hand.
On the inside, things are as futuristic as the outside. Everything has been redesigned, conventions are broken, with switchgear that features no switches or knobs, and full floating displays with a myriad of information accessible to the driver in various levels of density and detail. Rose gold, electric blue, and white are prominent colours that feature in the lighting and accents around the car. A 24-inch TFT display supplies the main information to the driver, while various OLED displays embedded in the steering wheel provide additional information.
With four individual seats in the interior, there is more focus on each individual occupant. Visual lightness comes as a result of the additional space and avant-garde upholstery, with PCB-style patterning for the seats. Sound experiences are provided by speakers embedded in each individual seat, with TFT monitors for rear passengers embedded in the back of the front seats.
As for charging, Mercedes-Benz is looking to the future with various Combined Charging Systems providing fast charging. Anywhere from 50 kW to 150 kW charge rates are possible, with even 300 kW planned for the future. At this predicted rate, it would only take five minutes for the Concept EQ to be charged enough for a 100 kilometre range.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ will go into production in 2019.
Check out the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ at the Mercedes-Benz EQ Brand Exhibition at The Waterfront, Desa ParkCity, in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition starts from 4 May 2018 and runs till 7 May 2018.