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2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept


Well after toying with the idea with previous concepts that looked outright out of this world, Mercedes has finally got its act right and went ahead to  launch a fully electric-powered vehicle that is surely going into production sooner than you think. With the new model, Mercedes seek to take the war straight at Tesla’s doorstep. In fact, Mercedes have spent over two decades developing their electric-powered vehicles, trying to come up with a winning formula. The fruits of this research were showcased at the recent Paris Auto show in the form of the “ 2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept ”, a smooth, attractive compact crossover.

The Generation EQ is one of the members of the planned battery electric family that will include a coupe, two convertibles, a sedan, a wagon and an SUV. All the models will fall in the new EQ sub-brand. Deutsche Accumotive, a subsidiary of Mercedes, supplies the lithium-ion batteries used in the models.

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2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept Exterior

Since the advent of the “automotive” age, the front fascia has been the element that identifies vehicles. From looking at the nose and front grille of a model, you can tell which brand it is. Well, for conventional models, the nose and grille were so designed to aid in channeling air to cool the engine mounted under the hood.  All that is set to change because electric models don’t have engines that need to be cooled.  As such, manufacturers have been forced to rethink their strategy and come up with new identifying marks.

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Mercedes has done a clever thing by using lighting effects for the grille. The model features a LED lighted grille with a gigantic Mercedes emblem at the middle. The LED design mimics the physical grilles of the new Mercedes guzzlers. This has enabled the automaker to make the fully electric model look like a conventional Mercedes. Its headlights are pushed into the corner tops as well as on the sides of the grille.  The sides of the grille also feature a long strip of LEDs.

On the sides, the vehicle features a sloping roof where the center part of the roof has a glossy black finish. The sides of the roof, on the other hand, feature a silver finish. The door glass, as well as the stationary rear glass styling, is adopted from conventional Mercedes models. The side skirts feature a blue LED lighting similar to the one on the grille. There are no normal door entry handles while small camera units replace conventional side mirrors.

The rear is smooth and well trimmed just like you would expect in a sporty crossover. It features a glossy black overhang that is mounted on top of the rear hatch. The rear glass stretches the length of the hatch itself. Like the front headlights and the grille, the taillights feature the same blue LED lighting. A glossy black insert connects the taillights while a Mercedes emblem sits between the taillights.

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2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept Interior

As you would expect of such a concept, the cabin is riddled with many futuristic technologies.  The upper dash is upholstered in dark brown leather below which lies a blue LED lighting strip. On the dash, below the strip is a smooth dash that features cutouts at each corner. The cutouts have a holographic projection. Another cool feature in the cabin is the 24-inch wide instrument cluster that sits ahead of the steering wheel. The screen is also used to manage the infotainment and navigation systems. There are three other small LED screen displays whose role the automaker is yet to reveal.

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The steering wheel is wrapped in white and silver and features three spokes.  The doors on the other hand have small LED backlights, which create a special relaxing ambience. The automaker has also added traditional pull handles on the doors, which are finished in a bronze color. The handles features touch-sensitive buttons used to control the windows.

The center console has a floating look and it has a Rose Gold accenting.  There are no buttons on the center console as everything is touch-sensitive. Another small touch-screen in front of the center console is used to manage other functions of the car including controlling the HVAC subsystem.

The compact crossover will accommodate4 passengers. The rear passengers will enjoy the rear entertainment system that features TFT monitors on the rear side of the front seats.

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Engine and performance

Well, Mercedes is starting on a high. The all-electric baby is set to start with a range of  around 310 miles courtesy of a 70 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack is hidden on the floor between the two axles. The battery pack channels power to two electric motors mounted on both the front and rear axles meaning the SUV will be AWD in nature. The electric motors combine to give the model some real juice at 402 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The output will be scaled down for cheaper production models.

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This output will enable the model to hit 60 mph from a standstill in less than five seconds.  The batteries will be recharged via induction charging or via a wall box. Although charging capacity of many electric cars today range between 50 and 150 kWh, Mercedes plans to bump that capacity to 300kWh to enable the car to take in enough charge to last around 60 miles in five minutes.

Well, that is a lot to take in at once. I am not even sure if the automaker will see all these features into production models, but I will take a model close to what they are promising. Currently, many people keep off the all-electric vehicles due to their short ranges. However, if Mercedes make true their promises, it will be a game changer in the industry.

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Price and release date

Mercedes is yet to put a price tag on the model or even confirm its actual release date. I hope the automaker won’t keep us waiting for long.

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