Tesla Motors needs to sit up and take notice, according to Mercedes-Benz. The Stuttgart-based company is designing a luxurious, all-electric sedan that will have the Model S in its crosshairs.
Mercedes previously revealed that the yet-unnamed sedan will be “dangerously fast,” even in its most basic state of tune. Properly configured, it will be among the top three fastest members of the Mercedes lineup; in fact, some variants might even be eligible for an AMG emblem. However, it will be designed with practicality in mind, and it will take the form of a large four-door sedan equipped with four seats.
The sedan will ride on a modular and scaleable platform that’s expected to underpin at least four electric models — including two crossovers — before the turn of the decade. An electric motor mounted over each axle will provide all-wheel drive, and a sizable battery pack located right under the passenger compartment will give the car a maximum driving of about 310 miles.
Mercedes stresses that it’s not trying to take out Tesla, but it says its American rival should be prepared for a tussle.
“It’ll be in a price bracket similar to the Tesla Model S, have a similar cruising range, but it’ll be a Mercedes, so I think Tesla probably have good reason to be concerned about it,” explained David McCarthy, the communications manager of Mercedes’ Australian division, in an interview with Australian website Motoring.
Company insiders told Motoring that Mercedes will preview its upcoming sedan with a concept that will debut this fall during the Paris Auto Show. Tesla will have time to prepare for the onslaught, because the EV won’t make the transition from a concept to a production model until 2018 at the earliest.
Mercedes-Benz isn’t the only company that Tesla needs to worry about. Porsche isn’t shy about admitting that it’s in the process of developing a high-performance electric sedan that will share more than a passing resemblance to the striking Mission E concept that bowed in Germany last fall. The yet-unnamed model is expected to arrive before 2020.