Mercedes gets serious about electric cars with Generation EQ concept

Almost exactly one year ago, at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi unveiled the e-tron quattro concept, a preview of an all-electric SUV it plans to launch in 2018. Now, at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is firing back with an electric SUV concept of its own.

The Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept rides on a new dedicated platform for electric cars that will eventually underpin multiple models. Mercedes says the modular platform is flexible enough to accommodate everything from convertibles to SUVs. It’s Mercedes’ attempt to match its German rivals, not to mention Tesla Motors.

In addition to previewing a new platform, the Generation EQ previews styling that will be used to set future Mercedes electric cars apart from their gasoline and diesel counterparts. What the carmaker calls its “electro look” is defined by a panel of lighting elements that takes the place of a conventional grille. The vehicle itself has a sleeker design than traditional SUVs, with a low roofline and smooth body sides. It also uses cameras in place of exterior mirrors, removing a source of aerodynamic drag.

Naturally for an SUV, the Generation EQ has all-wheel drive, as well as 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That will get the concept car from 0 to 62 mph in under five seconds, according to Mercedes. The lithium-ion battery pack from Mercedes parent Daimler’s Deutsche Accusative subsidiary boasts 70 kilowatt hours of capacity, enough for an estimated range of 500 kilometers (310 miles).

Read more: Volkswagen’s I.D. concept should make Tesla worried

The interior does away with anything analog. Most information is relayed through a 24-inch TFT widescreen display, and touch controls handle virtually all operations. Touchpads are located on both the steering wheel and center console which, because this is still a Mercedes, is lined with rose gold. The display can show 3D city maps generated by Here (in which Daimler owns a stake). They highlight points of interest by fading other buildings into the background.

The Generation EQ likely heralds an all-electric production SUV from Mercedes. The carmaker describes the concept as “close to production,” and in a press release for the EQ, boss Dieter Zetsche said Mercedes is about to launch an “electric product offensive” that will “cover all vehicle segments.” Watch this space.

Product Review

If you don't know about Genesis yet, the G70 is going to change that

The 2019 Genesis G70 is Korea’s first attempt to take on the vaunted German trio of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Competition doesn’t come much tougher than that.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Cars

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.