By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business
Mercedes gave details on a number of new electric cars ahead of next week’s Munich transportation show. They include two SUV concepts -— one a rugged off-roader and the other an opulent ultra-luxury model — as well as a high-performance sedan.
The Mercedes-Benz EQG concept SUV is an all-electric interpretation of the Mercedes G-class SUV. The SUV shares the G-class’s boxy shape. Engineers even copied the G-class’ jutting door handles and meticulously recreated the same “thunk” made by the G-class’ doors when they close. Instead of a spare tire mounted on the EQG’s tailgate, there’s a storage box that can hold a charging cable.
Mercedes plans to produce a vehicle based on this concept, and announced that it will even drive it through the same Austrian mountain off-road course where the internal combustion-powered G-class model is tested. Each wheel of the EQG is powered by its own electric motor, according to Mercedes, to allow for maximum four-wheel-drive control.
Mercedes also revealed the Mercedes-Maybach EQS, a large luxury SUV intended mostly for on-road use. Mecedes-Maybach is the automaker’s ultra-luxury sub-brand with models and prices that compete against brands like Bentley.
Like the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan, the Maybach EQS SUV has a glass panel that covers the entire dashboard giving the impression of a single enormous touchscreen. On the outside, it has a two-tone paint job, an option on Mercedes-Maybach models. As in the EQS electric sedan, the doors can open automatically as the driver approaches. Mercedes has announced it intends to put a large electric SUV, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, into production in 2022. The Maybach SUV would be based on that.
The Mercedes-AMG EQS, also revealed Sunday, is a high-performance version of the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan. Mercedes-AMG is Mercedes’s high-performance sub-brand. Not just a concept car, this will be the first fully electric AMG production model.
It has two high-performance electric motors, one each for the front and back wheels, producing at total of 649 horsepower. Power output can briefly reach 751 horsepower using a special Race Start mode. The car’s electric motors were specially designed for high performance use performance demands, according to Mercedes.
Mercedes designers also created special sounds for what would otherwise be a largely silent driving experience. The sound, which is generated both inside and outside the vehicle, can vary depending on the driving mode, such as Comfort, Sport or Sport+. In Sport, it’s a gentle hum with an added jet-like overtone during acceleration. In Sport+ it takes on a subtle rumble suggestive of an internal combustion engine.
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