Mercedes’ future-focused EV concept uses smart aero solutions and lightweight DNA to eke out an incredible range of over 600 miles
There’s been a sense of Deja Vu coinciding with most premium electric saloon reveals for the last few years. You should know the score by now – it’ll involve a circa 100kWh battery pack living under the carpet, a couple of powerful motors, a range of about 300 miles and a kerb weight of 2.5 tonnes or so.
The Mercedes Vision EQXX, however, doesn’t so much ignore that rule book but lob it out of the window. Here we have a car with a range of over 620 miles (1000 kilometres), a relatively low-output motor and a super-slippery body unlike any other EV in the current market.
To achieve that figure, Merc hasn’t simply stuffed in more battery cells than usual. In fact, at 100 kWh, the Vision’s pack has a slightly lower useable capacity than the one in the EQS. Crucially, it has 50 per cent less volume and is 30 per cent lighter. That means the EQXX doesn’t need to be as big as the EQS (it’s similar to the size of a C-Class) and is a whole lot lighter – it tips the scales at just 1750kg.
The lighter battery allows for what Mercedes describes as a “virtuous circle”. Less weight means the EQXX doesn’t need big, heavy brakes, nor does it require a pair of huge motors. Instead, it has just one power unit closely related to one from the AMG One hypercar putting out 201bhp. Trimming the far further, various components are 3D-printed to remove excess material.
The weight figure is only part of the efficiency story – the other big factor here is aero, with the EQXX achieving a super-slippery drag coefficient of just 0.17Cd. No doubt you’ll have noticed that dramatically sloping rear end, but what’s less obvious in the pictures is the way the car tapers at the sides too, with a rear track that’s 50mm narrower than at the front.
There’s an “air breather” in the front bumper working together with the covered 20-inch magnesium rims (wrapped in bespoke low-rolling-resistance Bridgestone tyres) “to remove almost every last whisper of aerodynamic separation from the front wheels”. See those holes in the top of the bonnet? Some of the cooling air is redirected via a set of active flaps and pushed through these depending on the thermal demands of the battery. At the other end of the car is a retractable diffuser.
Inside you’ll find an enormous 47.5-inch 8k screen stretching the entire length of the dashboard, lightweight seating for four, and a whole host of sustainable materials – no leather in here. The menu includes a ‘MyloTM’, a vegan leather alternative made from mushrooms, carpets made from bamboo, and another leather alternative called ‘Deserttex’ which is derived from cactus fibres.
Mercedes refers to the EQXX as a “blueprint for series production,” and it won’t be long until we get a showroom-ready version. “There is not much to stop it [the EQXX] going into production,” the company’s chief technical officer Markus Schäfer said before the car’s reveal, adding, “It is close to the series car that we are going to see in 2024.”