October 21, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

​Mercedes previews next-gen EV with the Generation EQ concept vehicle

Three-pointed star to bring power and practicality to EVs with 396bhp, all-wheel drive and up to 500km driving range.


Unlike conventional combustion-engined vehicles or even hybrids for that matter, the future of electric vehicles (EV) is still in unchartered territories. And since there is no ‘blueprint’ for anyone to refer to, car manufacturers have been coming up with their own interpretations of how the EVs will be like in the near future. As for Mercedes-Benz, that interpretation comes in the form of the Generation EQ concept vehicle.

“The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz will stand on four pillars: Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations.”

Mercedes has a very unique concept on how their future EVs will be built. Using a basic architecture suitable for SUVs, saloons, coupes and other model series, the platform is scalable in every aspect, all thanks to the modular building-block system. It also uses an intelligent multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fiber that meets the requirements of lightweight design, strength and cost efficiency.

The Generation EQ features the general shape of an SUV combined with the character of a coupe and a shooting brake’s rear end. Body panel joins are barely visible, windscreen wipers are concealed and cameras are used instead of exterior mirrors, all to make the Generation EQ look as a unified whole and at the same time reducing air resistance.

On the inside, the driver is able to pick what comes up on the floating 24-inch widescreen display which also acts as the instrument panel. Whether it is to display vital information like the speed and range, or additional details like driving data and navigation, it is all customisable to each driver’s preferences. 

All of the controls in the car are now touch-based (except for the electric seat adjustments), omitting the need for traditional switches and knobs. OLED displays are integrated onto the steering wheel where the driver can swipe through various menus and confirm their selection with a click. The centre console also features touch-sensitive controls where the automatic climate control and infotainment system can be operated using a single finger.

To give the occupants a more comfortable experience, the Generation EQ comes with four individual seats and even has speakers integrated into the head restraints. Passengers at the rear are entertained by the TFT monitors mounted into the front backrests.

Mercedes engineers have also taken a step further in developing the Generation EQ’s connectivity as the Car-to-X technology enables the car to exchange information with infrastructures and other vehicles to keep the driver informed of information such as nearby charging spots or even accident prevention.

One of the main concerns of EVs is the range that it could reach in a single charge. Mercedes is not turning a blind eye on this issue as using the highly efficient 70kWh lithium-ion battery sourced from Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE, the 500km driving range makes the Generation EQ more than suitable for long-range travels.

Channelling the power to all four wheels via electric all-wheel drive with axle-variable torque distribution, the Generation EQ rolls with an output of 396bhp and a massive torque figure of 700Nm coming from two electric motors on the front and rear axles. Power is definitely something that the Generation EQ has as it is able to accelerate from a standstill to 100kph in under five seconds.

The Combined Charging Service gives the Generation EQ the capacity to charge faster and at a greater capacity. Current charging capacity ranges from 50-150kW but in long term, a charging capacity of 300kW is planned. This enables sufficient power for 100km of emission-free driving to be recharged within five minutes.

Hussein Zain

 

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