Saturday, November 26, 2022

As Its First Sustainable Showroom Opens, Another Mercedes-Benz EV Hits the Road

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Mercedes-Benz has been playing catch up in the booming luxury EV market dominated by U.S. automaker Tesla Motors. But the brand has been busy making up for lost time with new models and its first sustainable showroom.

It’s a busy week for German automaker Mercedes-Benz. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQ 350 EV is being taken on its first test drives as the brand announces the EQE 500 is expected to land in the U.S. In Singapore, the luxury car manufacturer has opened a sustainability-themed concept store.

Following its EQS launch last year, the EQE will run on a 90-kWh battery at 288 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque with a range estimate of 400 miles per full charge.

Edmunds test-drove the new model:

So far we’ve only driven a well-equipped EQE 350. Acceleration is immediate and certainly more than most drivers will ever need. Mercedes estimates it will reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. That may disappoint those who think that all EVs should hit that speed in 3 seconds, but in our experience, that novelty wears off quickly. Then again, the top AMG EQE should satisfy spec-conscious shoppers with its 3.2-second estimate to 60 mph.

More impressive to us was the manner in which the EQE 350 accelerates. With the simulated motor noises turned off, the midsize sedan is delightfully silent on the inside. There’s no detectable electric whirring or road noise. Wind noise is also absent up until you push past 100 mph (unrestricted autobahn stretches for the win).

Slowing the EQE is similarly graceful, with several levels of brake regeneration (using the motors to charge to batteries when decelerating) to suit your preference. Under typical driving conditions, drivers won’t feel a transition from brake regeneration to the physical brakes behind the wheels. To our dismay, we couldn’t figure out how to enable one-pedal driving that can bring the vehicle to a stop without having to touch the brake pedal. (We missed the slow-speed “creep” driving mode in the on-screen menus that should have been disabled.) We’re assured that when configured correctly, its one-pedal mode operates much like it does in other EVs.

Handling is really where the EQE begins to differentiate itself from the EQS sedan. The smaller size, lighter weight and shorter wheelbase (the distance between front and rear wheels) all contribute to more agility and a more direct feel for the driver. While we won’t call the base EQE 350 sporty, it will please sporty drivers more than the EQS. Even on rain-slicked mountain roads, the EQE instills enough confidence to explore its performance threshold. It’s not just fun to carve through curving ribbons of asphalt, it’s easy. Indeed, it’s an easy car to drive under any condition. For the rare driver who may want more performance, the forthcoming AMG EQE may be just the ticket.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the EQE 500 is also coming to the U.S. It adds a second motor to the front axle, which brings the horsepower to more than 400, compared with the EQE 350, giving the 500 all-wheel drive and power boost. Details on torque have not yet been announced, but is expected to be significant.

Singapore showroom

Earlier this week, in a brand first, Mercedes-Benz opened a concept showroom in Singapore dedicated to sustainability.

Located in Singapore’s Great World, a new Mercedes-Benz concept store is putting the spotlight on its sustainability metrics, including its new EQS EV. The store was launched in partnership with Hypemaker, the creative studio behind Hypebeast.

“The environment is at the core of our Mercedes-Benz brand,” Claudius Steinhoff, President & CEO of Daimler South East Asia/Mercedes-Benz Singapore, said. The automaker is expected to launch four EV models this year. On Instagram this morning, the brand teased the new EQS, asking followers if it was “reality or just a dream.”

“In addition to the progress we’ve made in reducing our impact on the environment all across the supply chain as laid out in our Ambition 2039, we feel that now is the right time for us to play a leadership role in convening and collaborating with like-minded individuals and entities in taking environment-led initiatives forward in Singapore,” Steinhoff said.

The new showroom is located inside the environmentally friendly construction, the Great World shopping mall, which is currently in the process of earning its Green Mark certification from the Building and Construction Authority.

Mercedes-Benz says the showroom is aimed at helping consumers evaluate their own environmental footprint, not just through the cars they drive.

The showroom is divided into three areas: a showcase for the EQ models with interactive displays that explain the brand’s vision of the future of transport. The Artist @ Work section is meant to be a collaborative space for brand partners to showcase their work and open new lines of communication around the environment. The Takeover is a sustainable lifestyle concept where consumers can learn more about their own daily impact on the environment and how to make more responsible choices.

According to the brand, the store’s concept will change over time with new EQ models on display.

Last September, Mercedes launched the EQA, its second full battery EV in Singapore after launching the EQC in June.

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