Mercedes-Benz is building up steam, ahem, electrons to challenge a certain former Silicon Valley startup for a share of the luxury electric vehicle market. The German automaker is building an all-electric sedan called the EQE that will fill the space between Tesla's compact Model 3 and mid-size Model S. While it'll be slightly smaller than the current Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan, it'll essentially act as the electric counterpart to that gas-powered model; it's part of the company's larger plan to embrace electrification. So far, we've only glimpsed spy photos of the forthcoming EQE, but we're told that more official information will be released near the end of next year. Until we hear more details, here's what we know so far.
What's New for 2022?
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Mercedes hasn't said how much the EQE will cost or what trim levels will be offered. We expect its starting price will be about $13,000 more than the entry-level E-class sedan, which should put it at right around $65,000 when it eventually goes on sale.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The EQE will have both front and rear electric motors that enable all-wheel drive. We expect its all-electric powertrain to be similar to the Mercedes-Benz EQC's, which generates 402 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. Since the EQE will be lighter than the 5500-pound EQC SUV, we expect it to be quicker and should accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. The sedan should also adopt the ute's unique drive modes—Eco and Max Range—that help prolong its battery charge—and thus increase driving range—by limiting the vehicle's available power and speed. We do know that the EQE will ride on the company's modular MEA architecture, which is a flat "skateboard-like" platform that can be adapted for vehicles of all sizes.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
There's no official word on what size battery will power the EQE, but we know it'll be mounted under the floor of the vehicle. It's possible it could inherit the 93.2-kWh pack used on the EQC400 that we drove, but we predict the sedan to have a longer driving range than the compact crossover, which we believe will have an estimated range of less than 200 miles. We also fully expect the EQE will utilize DC fast charging that can take the battery from 10 to 80 percent in 40 minutes. Otherwise, replenishing the battery from 10 percent to full at home with a 7.4-kWh onboard charger could take up to 10 hours. Both estimates are based on Mercedes' claims for the EQC, so they could very well change by the time the EQE is officially revealed.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Neither the EPA nor Mercedes have provided an efficiency rating in MPGe, which is a miles-per-gallon equivalent for electric vehicles. Once that number is announced, and we get an EQE in for testing, we'll run it through our 200-mile highway route and report its real-world MPGe here. For more information about the EQE's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Mercedes is a luxury brand first and foremost, so we expect the interior of the upcoming EQE to hold true to that tradition. While it will likely have some unique EV flourishes, the cabin will certainly be fitted with upscale materials and desirable features. The latter probably includes customizable ambient interior lighting, a fully digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, wireless charging, and more. Since we know the EQE will be slightly smaller than the E-class sedan and ride on a skateboard-like platform that should be a boon to packaging, we expect it to have comfortable passenger accommodations and competitive cargo capacity.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The EQE will almost certainly be equipped with the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system. It could be very similar to the setup currently found on the E-class, which features a 12.3-inch touchscreen that can be manipulated through various controls. These include a touchpad on the center console, intuitive switches on the steering wheel, and voice-activated commands that—in our experience—can be more annoying than useful.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
We expect the EQE to be loaded with standard and optional driver-assistance technology. Along with common contemporary features, such as automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, the sedan might even offer Level 3 autonomy, which means it is capable of driving itself for long stretches on the highway. For more information about the EQE's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes provides limited and powertrain coverages for its current production models that align with most rival luxury automakers. However, unlike BMW and Jaguar, the company doesn't provide any complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance