GRR

The Mercedes-AMG EQE is the future of AMG

15th February 2022
Bob Murray

Mercedes’ EQ electric car onslaught continues unabated, with the AMG division stepping into top selected ranges with a sporting version. This is the latest: the AMG EQE, a top-performing addition to the battery E-class line-up that arrives in UK showrooms this year. 

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The AMG EQE is just the second all-electric AMG after the battery S-class, the EQS, which this new model mimics in most ways including design, just on a slightly smaller (under 5m long) scale with a little less power.

It’s an AMG, so “less power” is a relative term: go for the top-of-the-range EQE 53 4Matic+ with optional Dynamic Plus package and you will have a mighty 687PS (505kW) under your right foot. Deploying all 1000Nm of torque from standstill in Race Start mode is sure to be a test for even the strongest neck muscles: Mercedes quotes just 3.3 seconds for 0-62mph, along with a top speed in this spec of 155mph. The electric AMG S-class equivalent might have another 55PS but it is no quicker.

As well as the top EQE 53 there is a less hot 43 (476PS, 350kW, 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and top whack of 130mph) but don’t expect a flagship 63 version; AMG’s top badge is likely to be reserved for standalone AMG models like the current GT 63S hybrid which with its 843PS (629kW), 0-62 time of 2.9 seconds and 196mph top speed remains AMG’s top performance model. AMG is promising its own standalone all-electric models using the brand’s new EA platform in the “not too distant” future.

An all-electric 63 will doubtless one day match the hybrid for performance, but today with the EQE the need to balance performance with range is the imperative. Like others in the EQE range, the AMG duo get 90kWh batteries which on provisional figures should be good for a minimum of 286 miles in the EQE – 43 or 10 miles less in the more powerful 53. You might need to leave it in Comfort drive mode (which dials the power back to 80 per cent) rather than Sport+ to get that range though. 

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Mercedes is chuffed with the clever new heating and cooling system for the batteries which it says makes for a longer life (the batteries are designed to last 10 years or 155,000 miles) and quicker charging. A 170kW fast-charger can add enough juice for 112 miles in 15 minutes. 

The batteries are tucked away low down in the EVA2 platform (same as that used for the EQS) whose long-wheelbase layout and flat floor should allow for plenty of space inside. Outside, the extreme cab-forward design, seamless aerodynamic detailing and bow-shaped greenhouse with glass roof and lift-up tailgate, all follow the style set by the bigger EQS, and immediately identify it as an electric car. 

Identifying this five-door, five-seater sedan as an AMG is largely down to a colour and trim job. Signature AMG elements include a black panel grille with vertical chrome struts, high gloss black front apron, splitter and side sills, while at the back there’s a body-colour rear apron and larger spoiler. There’s a range of AMG wheels up to 21 inches, all of them said to be aerodynamically optimised. Optional are the AMG black-and-chrome Night Package, carbon brakes and carbon-fibre trims. 

Inside, AMG seats, steering wheel, pedals, materials, graphics and emblems are about your lot. That leaves the (optional) vast Hyperscreen to be the main talking point of the cabin, as it is in other Mercedes models that offer it. 

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AMG appears to have worked a little harder underneath to ramp up the sporting ability. It says the twin electric motors, four-wheel-drive system, suspension and brakes are all tuned up to specific AMG spec. So think more rear-biased drive, adaptive adjustable damping and, as standard on both 43 and 53, rear-axle steering to enhance agility at speed, as well as make it more manoeuvrable for parking.

Also specific to the AMG EQE is its sound. The captivating noise an AMG makes has long been the brand’s calling card, and while there’s no melodious V8 warble here AMG is promising an “emotionally charged” soundscape. All of it is artificially created in a sound generator and played over speakers that include a bass actuator. 

Controls on the steering wheel enable the sounds and the volume to be changed, and an engine roar matched to the car’s rate of acceleration is just the start. You can also personalise the car’s “event” sounds, from the click-clack of the indicators to the “thunk” of the door locks. And yes, you can turn them all off if you just want peace and quiet.

  • Mercedes-AMG

  • EQE

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