New 2022 Mercedes EQE electric saloon spied at the Nurburgring
Mercedes EQE electric saloon is nearing its launch date
These are the latest spy shots of the new Mercedes EQE, now into the final stages of its development programme at the Nurburgring.
Due on sale in 2022, it will slot into the Mercedes line-up directly beneath the new S-Class sized EQS, as an electric alternative to the E-Class. It will also be the first electric executive saloon from a premium German manufacturer, beating both BMW and Audi to the punch - though both those manufacturers have plans for electric executive saloons of their own, in the form of an electric 5 Series and Audi’s already previewed A6 e-tron.
This latest EQE mule is still heavily camouflaged, but it features more of its production-ready components than previously spotted prototypes. Up front, the EV’s grille and badge can be seen under the masking while, at the rear, the car’s stand-in lamps have been swapped for production ready units.
The new model will be based on Mercedes’s new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) – the same platform as found in the EQS limo. In the EQS, with its long wheelbase, it supports a battery 107kWh in size, with a maximum claimed range of 478 miles on a single charge.
EVA has been described by Christoph Starzysnki, vice-president for Electric Vehicle Architecture at Mercedes, as “fully scalable”. That means a downsized version of the platform with a smaller battery delivering around 300 to 370 miles of real-world range, will support the EQE and a sister SUV with the same badging.
Multiple motor configurations will be available - rear driven or dual-motor four-wheel-drive. It’s possible AMG could deliver a high-performance version of the EQE too.
With regular, non-AMG versions of the EQE, Mercedes won’t chase BMW and Audi on driving dynamics. This test mule looks quite softly sprung; the cornering shots revealing how much body roll the platform has, suggesting Mercedes is looking to prioritise comfort over dynamics.
Our exclusive images give a better indication on how the finished car will look. Mercedes’s design team will incorporate its EV styling language, which originated with the EQC SUV, into a lower, sleeker saloon.
The EQE’s front is influenced by the EQC, sharing the same ultra-slim LED headlamps and blanked-off radiator grille. The EV’s rear will be rather more conventional, albeit with tail lights that have been designed to clean up the trailing air in the car’s wake, to reduce drag and improve the maximum range figure.
The most notable element of the side profile, meanwhile, is an extremely short rear overhang – a sign of how Mercedes has tried to exploit EVA and the lack of a combustion engine by stretching the wheelbase to its limits in search of better cabin accommodation. No dimensions have been issued, but the EV layout means that the EQE could boast rear legroom comparable to that of the latest S-Class.
Mercedes says the EVA products, led by the EQS, will be launched “from 2021” and adds that the EQE saloon and SUV will “follow soon”. Auto Express understands that we’re likely to see the first of these models as early as 2022, with sales starting later that year or in early 2023.
Click here to read more about the new Mercedes EQE SUV…