Mercedes Benz has revealed the Generation EQ concept crossover at the Paris Motor Show – but to say it is merely a concept car would be to only report a fraction of the story.
The Generation EQ embodies the German giant’s take on an entire electric model range – much like the BMW i division. Sticking with the car for now, the Generation EQ model is based on a new modular platform designed specifically for battery electric drivetrains.
The architecture can be scaled to suit all sorts of different models including SUVs, saloons, coupe’s, and convertibles. With a mix of steel, aluminium, and carbon fibre, the whole structure is both extremely light and strong.
The concept’s styling gives an idea as to what the Generation EQ range of models will look like too. The show car’s smooth surfacing with tight panel gaps, hidden wipers, and filled in grille are all likely to form the basis of the Generation EQ range. That black gloss grille will be a particular feature as it includes Mercedes Benz’s three pointed star logo, but as an illuminated section of the bodywork, rather than an attached badge.
Inside, the cabin is orientated towards the driver and removes traditional knobs and switches. All the controls are touch-based, with two of the three steering wheel spokes offering touch controls, and the ability to press or swipe buttons and menus.
There is a large 24-inch widescreen display that presents all the necessary driving information, along with navigation and media etc. This is designed to offer a very clean look when there isn’t much information to display.
Importantly, the Mercedes electric powertrain is set to beat or compete with the best around. The most powerful versions will have 300kW at their disposal, and 700 Nm of torque. The Generation EQ concept completes the 0-62mph dash in less than five seconds.
Powering the motors is a highly-efficient 70kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which will offer a range of up to 500km (310 miles) in the concept car.
A holistic approach has been taken to the electric powertrain too, with charging technologies developed too. The Generation EQ can be charged either with a wallbox and wire, or by induction wirelessly. The company’s Generation EQ approach includes Mercedes energy storage units for the home, which would work with renewable energy sources to create greener electric motoring.
Rapid charging is available in the shape of the European standard Combined Charging System (CCS). Currently, 50kW outputs are the norm, with 150kW chargers possible. In the medium to long term, 300kW chargers are being developed, which would give the Generation EQ enough charge in five minutes to over 100km (62 miles).
Mercedes is one of the owners of the HERE mapping company – alongside Audi and BMW. As part of the development of Generation EQ, highly accurate HD maps combine with the latest driver assistance systems to automatically adjust the car’s speed and driving dynamics to suit the road environment.
The concept is also equipped with advanced connected car technologies, including car-to-X systems that can exchange information with surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles.
The whole approach takes inspiration from both BMW and Tesla, by creating a whole sub-brand dedicated to tailored electric models, and the thinking that an EV is only part of the mobility solution, with it necessary to also provide fuel (charging options), and energy storage systems.
As a concept car, there is no word yet on when Generation EQ – which stands for Electric Intelligence – will start to produce production-ready results. However, with the likes of Porsche, Audi, VW, and Tesla already committed to offering 300+ mile EVs and electric ranges within the next couple of years, it isn’t likely to be too long before the sub-brand starts producing cars.