New Mercedes Vision EQXX: 620-mile prototype EV teased

The Mercedes Vision EQXX will be officially unveiled next year, boasting the longest range of any electric vehicle to date

Mercedes is gearing up for the launch of the Vision EQXX prototype electric car. It will make its debut in 2022, acting as a precursor for the brand’s future electric technology.

The EQXX EV was first teased last year, with Mercedes claiming it will have the longest electric range and highest efficiency of any battery-powered vehicle ever built. Now, Mercedes has provided some figures to back up those claims, stating the EQXX will have a real-world electric range of “more than 1,000km” (around 620 miles).

The prototype was first teased during Mercedes’s 2020 strategy presentation. The firm has now released another teaser image to coincide with its recent e-mobility strategy update, which offers a slightly clearer look at the car’s styling compared with the original silhouetted profile shot of the car.

Engineers working on the project claim that, rather than increasing battery capacity (and with it, weight), improving a car’s aerodynamic efficiency is key to unlocking such a long range figure. Mercedes engineers explained: “The easiest way is to put a bigger battery in the car, but it leads to diminishing returns. The key is efficiency of vehicle and powertrain.”

Speaking at this year’s strategy event, Markus Schafer, head of Mercedes’s Research and Development department, said: “In terms of aerodynamics this project aims at going even beyond what’s been achieved with the EQS, already the world‘s lowest Cd series production car ever. And we are also working on increasing the energy density by an additional 20 per cent at the cell level compared to the EQS.”

Mercedes’s latest teaser image hints at this focus on aerodynamic efficiency. The prototype has a very small frontal area, while the transition from the bonnet to the windscreen has a shallow rake to aid airflow. Vents and gills have been kept to a minimum, too, with the only noticeable intakes being mounted on the bonnet.

Sadly, the EQXX won’t directly spawn a new Mercedes EV. It’s expected to be a one-off prototype, designed to showcase the technological prowess of the Mercedes EQ brand. However, bosses have confirmed that the learnings from the prototype will filter down into the brand’s future series production models.

Schafer continued, saying: “Today, we’re talking about the future of Mercedes-Benz. And naturally it’s pretty much all about numbers, facts and data. But we all know the real magic happens when impressive technological achievements become reality in a car. That's why I'm very proud to give you a preview of our Vision EQXX. 

“Back in 2020, we initiated an exciting next step in electric vehicle development and put together a cross-functional, multi-disciplinary team of experts supported by specialists from the Mercedes-AMG F1 team.

“We instructed them to aim beyond 1,000 km on one charge. But not by making the battery bigger. Anybody could do that. No, they’re working with a normal sized battery, destined for series production in a forthcoming Mercedes compact car. Efficiency is the new currency!

“Our eDrive experts are making rapid gains in efficiency and pushing the boundaries of what‘s possible in terms of eMotor, inverter, battery design, packaging and thermal management. They’re chasing marginal gains that compound to substantial increases in range. Our goal is to integrate these new technologies in future Mercedes road cars.”

Now read our run down of the best electric cars on sale now… 

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