Hot on the heels of its luxurious – and fully electric – EQS SUV, Mercedes-Benz is taking aim at the compact crossover segment as it moves towards its emissions-free future.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is set to arrive in Canada next spring, setting down roots in what’s arguably the hottest segment in the entire auto industry. It uses the bones of the EQE Sedan, although with a wheelbase that’s slightly shorter it casts a smaller shadow.
Emphasis on the ‘E’
This being the fourth vehicle on the brand’s new dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform, the Tuscaloosa, Ala.-built EQE SUV features electric motors on each axle. Canada will get the EQE 350 and 500 models, both of which feature all-wheel drive thanks to those twin motors. Like the EQE Sedan, we expect the EQE SUV to have a 90.6-kWh battery that can be charged from 10 to 100 per cent in 9.5 hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger, or from 10 to 80 per cent in 31 minutes on a DC fast-charger.
While no output figures have been released, it will likely line up with the sedan version – 288 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque for the 350 version, and 402 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque for the spicier 500.
This crossover’s cabin is a showpiece of design and exquisite execution, showing a dramatic sweeping aesthetic dominated by a large floating centre console. Standard will be a 12.8-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen display and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (borrowed from the S-Class), while the available curved display – dubbed the “hyperscreen” – wows with its door-to-door swath of glass that seamlessly integrates three screens: a 12.3-inch driver’s display, 17.1-inch central screen, and 12.3-inch display with its own interface for the passenger that can entertain with movies, games, and more. The EQE SUV will get the full complement of safety and driver aids, along with daunting layers of tech. Voice recognition is here to help with most requests, too.
The space inside feels airy, and rear-seat room is competitive for the class. Cargo capacity measures 520 L with the 40/20/40 split-folding second row in place, expanding to 1,675 L with it stowed. Available rear-wheel steering with a maximum 10-degree angle in either direction dramatically shrinks the turning circle, and the available air suspension comes with an off-road program.
Upping the Performance Ante
Following the EQE 350 and 500 SUV models will be the hot Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV – the first all-electric SUV from Affalterbach. Judging by our brief time poking around (but not driving) the 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV, it’s much more than just a warmed-over version of the regular model. The electric motors are unique to AMG, with different windings, cooling, and inverters. Output leaps to 626 hp, with 677 hp on tap with the AMG Dynamic Plus package (race start and boost mode). Maximum torque is 737 lb-ft. One hundred km/h comes up in 3.5 seconds, and the SUV tops out at 240 km/h.
With rear-biased power, standard rear-axle steering, and AMG-tuned air suspension with an electric anti-roll system, the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV should be a formidable handler. The 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels are shod in bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport EV M01tries, and the vehicle rides five mm (0.2 in) lower than the regular models. There are five drive programs (slippery, comfort, sport, sport+, and individual), and an AMG Performance Monitor (with a cool digital version of an analogue IWC watch) displays all pertinent details.
As a company that trades in visceral emotion (much of that aural), AMG’s challenge will be delivering that feeling in its electric vehicles. AMG says its standard signature sound will “bring AMG’s DNA into the electric world.” Four selectable sounds – authentic, balanced, sport, and powerful (character and intensity dependent on driving dynamics) – are piped through both internal and external speakers. A special performance soundscape comes with the AMG Dynamic Plus pack.
Visual clues to this go-fast variant include larger wheels, vertical slats on the grille, AMG-specific body bits, and the AMG logo on the hood – something that will be showing up on all AMG vehicles going forward. Inside, we see an AMG steering wheel, sport seats, specific trim, and available carbon fibre.
The Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV will also be built in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and is slated to arrive in Canada sometime in 2024.