The Mercedes-Benz EQ range of electric vehicles has welcomed its newest and possibly most significant member yet, the EQE. Shown off in Munich at this year’s ongoing IAA, the electric saloon will be the ‘sweet spot’ luxury EV that’ll be competing with the BMW i4, Tesla Model 3, and Polestar 2.
From the off, it’s pretty obvious that the car is very much a mirror image of the larger and more expensive EQS in terms of design, being only a little bit smaller and not quite as ultra luxurious in certain areas.
Aimed as an electric alternative at the mid-tier size segments of premium saloons like the current E-Class, this car sheds a traditional 3-box design for a more uniform overall shape to maximise aerodynamic efficiency and cabin spaciousness.
Measuring 4,946mm in overall length, the EQE is 270mm shorter than the EQS, and is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to be built using 100% recycled steel. The automaker notes that, given its stretched silhouette and hatch-style boot hinge, it’s actually more comparable to the CLS four-door coupe.
Two variants will be offered from launch, which is slated for most European markets in early to mid-2022.
For now, the range kicks off with the EQE 350 with a single rear motor with 292hp and 530Nm of torque and will be joined by a second higher output drivetrain, though Mercedes-Benz has declined to disclose details, only hinting at the use of permanent magnet motors for higher power density and efficiency.
Naturally, the EQE will smaller batteries than the EQS, but that doesn't mean range is compromised. In this current sole configuration shown to IAA visitors, the 350 boasts 90.6kWh for a WLTP rated range of 660km.
To fill the gap somewhat until this mystery higher end variant is brought to light, the base EQE can be had with with the AMG-Line package, adding sportier trim and a set of dark finished lightweight alloys to add some spice and drama to the otherwise clean and tidy exterior.
Stepping inside, the EQE is once again an echo chamber of the higher run EQS, sporting a very high tech, through a minimally styled cabin dominated by the 1,410mm wide MBUX-powered Hyperscreen infotainment system that fills the width of the dashboard.
Mercedes-Benz has gone to great pains to ensure the EQE leads the pack in terms of quality construction, ambient noise isolation, and overall refinement to minimise sonic interferences caused by the wind and drivetrain.
Seemingly in contradiction to this, the EQE also includes the ‘Roaring Pulse’ sound mode, which basically pipes synthetic engine noises through the car’s audio speakers so that you don’t totally freak out upon realising your car is totally, unnervingly silent.