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Concept EQ embodies MB's foresight on future of NEV segment

By Li Fusheng in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-18 08:06

China is rapidly becoming the most important market worldwide for new energy vehicles, which largely explains why just weeks after its debut at the Paris Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz's newest show car, the Concept EQ, made its way to Guangzhou.

The newly unveiled Concept EQ was designed to highlight Mercedes-Benz's "C.A.S.E" strategy, which outlines a striking vision for future mobility.

"The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz will stand on four pillars: Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric," explained Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management at Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, during the concept car's premiere at the Paris Auto Show in September.

Concept EQ embodies MB's foresight on future of NEV segment

Arriving as the German automaker's new brand is EQ, which stands for "Electric Intelligence", a play on the familiar IQ and a nod to the new brand's focus on intelligent electric mobility.

While EQ's first product unveiling is an SUV, Mercedes-Benz says the new brand will go beyond the vehicle, including other services relating to electric mobility.

"EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations. We see the car transforming from a product into the ultimate platform. That's a fundamental change in perspective," he added.

Though the Concept EQ is a new take on the SUV, the platform it is based on features a modular system that can also be used in sedans and other models.

So while still years away from going into production, expect a model similar to the Concept EQ not long from now.

Both sporty and electric, the Concept EQ gives a glimpse of the dynamic new generation of vehicles with battery-electric drive systems currently in the company's planning stages.

With a look that manages to be both hot and cool at the same time, the show model reinterprets the company's sensual purity design philosophy with a distinctive 'electro-look'. The five-door SUV bears a certain resemblance to Mercedes-Benz's best-selling GLC Coupe, but with a number of distinctively futuristic touches.

The vehicle's black panel front grille delivers an impactful first impression, with a cascade of rose gold particles which glisten under the faintest light. Equally noticeable is the lack of side mirrors - instead, cameras project rear traffic images onto integrated displays in the doors.

The vehicle's interior again mirrors the model's distinct 'electro-look', reflecting the exterior's futuristic feeling. Touch-based controls and a 24-inch widescreen floating display combine with the asymmetrical design of the instrument panel to provide the driver with easy use. This experience is further improved with four individual seats with speakers integrated into the head restraints, giving the impression of dreamily floating in space.

What really sets the Concept EQ apart, though, is what's under its hood: two electric motors in the front and rear axles deliver a range of up to 500 km when fully charged. In addition to this stamina, they also offer surprising power.

Thanks to the SUV's scalable battery components, the most powerful variant offers a max output of 300 kW and a max torque of 700 Nm, giving the SUV a 0-100 km/h acceleration of just under five seconds.

China is already the largest auto market in the world, and with more than 300,000 new energy vehicles sold here last year, this market is poised to shape the future of the global auto industry.

With its Concept EQ, Mercedes-Benz has made a strong statement and is following it up with an ambitious plan to incorporate more all-electric models into its line-up, and China is likely to give these cool cars a warm welcome.

 Concept EQ embodies MB's foresight on future of NEV segment

The newly unveiled Concept EQ is designed to highlight Mercedes-Benz's "C.A.S.E" strategy.

 Concept EQ embodies MB's foresight on future of NEV segment

The Concept EQ's interior reflects the model's distinct "electro", futuristic feeling.

(China Daily 11/18/2016 page7)

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