Time to plug in the luxury. Mercedes-Benz has revealed two production-ready battery-powered cars and two extraordinary concepts as the high-end German firm accelerates away from fossil-fuel and towards an all-electric future. No longer will plutocrats and their chauffeurs be relying on the rumble of a powerful internal combustion engine to announce their arrival. Instead there will simply be the eerie quiet provided by responsible-to-the-planet battery power to waft them from the opera to Michelin-starred restaurant. Being Mercedes-Benz means being thorough down to the smallest detail as well as coming up with a design language that honours the Stuttgart firm's illustrious past, while referencing new technologies. Have they succeeded? We'll leave you to judge.
The G-Class is Mercedes-Benz at its most rugged, a brick-like go-anywhere super-luxury four-wheel-drive statement of intent. From 2025 all of that will be available with all-electric power and Mercedes-Benz has released the first images of its super-sized new battery baby, an update of the current G-Class. A solid panel with LED stars in a 3D effect replaces the grille. LED strips adorn various parts of the exterior, including across the front of the roof rack, signalling, say Stuttgart, the EQG's potential for "demanding off-road adventures". Of more import are the four electric motors that will power those adventures, one mounted on each wheel and individually controllable. These engines will, say the firm, offer "enormous pulling power and control". Like a Tonka toy, batteries included.
If you're looking for ultimate luxury while proclaiming your planet-friendly credentials, this may just be your ideal machine. Maybach is the badge Mercedes-Benz uses to take its already cosseting luxury up a notch or ten. On the EQS Maybach Concept - expect the production version in 2023 - that aim translates into the most luxurious SUV-sized electric car currently planned. Most owners will be spending their time in one of the two super-deluxe armchairs with integrated footrests that take up the rear of the Concept, along with, if you choose to specify it, a refrigerated compartment to take care of the vintage Champagne. Exterior styling features a boldly pinstriped front panel referencing one of the prime Maybach design cues. Open a door and running boards automatically emerge. Wafting power comes from a pair of electric motors for an arrival that's entirely silent but not without its impact. Like a responsible private jet, for the road.
Production-ready and due next year, this electric dream is an absolutely key release by Mercedes-Benz. The EQE has a big job: beating Tesla's Model 3 and Polestar's 2 at their own game, deploying the added appeal of the three-pointed star, here adorning the gloss black front panel that replaces a conventional grille. Exterior design is uncluttered, with a distinctly "cab-forward" silhouette that's come to typify bespoke models in Stuttgart's electric range. Manufacture is from 100% recycled steel - a first for the company - and aerodynamic efficiency was a key aim of the design, particularly important in electric vehicles to get the most out of their batteries. Range is expected to be impressive, with close to 400 miles being quoted by Mercedes-Benz themselves from the 10-cell 90kWh battery. Even the most basic car will have 288 bhp on tap, which should allow for impressive importance. Pricing should be around £60,000. If you're thinking of a Tesla, you might want to wait a while.
The one performance addicts have been waiting for, and available to order later this year. The AMG EQS is the flagship of both the EQS range and of Mercedes-Benz's bespoke electric models. Power is what the AMG division is all about and the AMG EQS doesn't disappoint. Maximum power from the top-end model can reach a staggering 751 bhp. Yes, you did read that right. There's an AMG-only electric motor on each of the front and rear axles which can take the AMG EQS to 60 mph in a frankly unbelievable 3.4 seconds, on a par with a Lamborghini Huracan. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, which should be just enough but expect the range of around 330 miles substantially to diminish if you cruise at that pace all day. Luxury is exactly as sybaritic as you'd expect, featuring the Mercedes-Benz "Hyperscreen" across the whole of the dashboard. Like one? You'll need around £80,000 from the piggy bank, and an autobahn or an airstrip to make the most of it.
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