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Mercedes-Benz’s Electric Venture is Stronger than Ever

Line of luxury electric cars was quickly expanded to get ahead of the crowd and set the trends this market is going to follow

Every now and then, automakers invest in creating an entire new lineup. It usually takes a couple of years to go through all models and brings not only innovative technology and breath-taking design but also sends the message that the company has chosen a new direction to follow and that we can expect awesome surprises of all types.

While the Volkswagen’s I.D. cars debuted earlier, Mercedes EQ cars are the ones taking the spotlights due to their agility: considering production and conceptual cars, seven releases took place in a two-year lapse. The message being said loud and clear here is that the folks from Affalterbach want to set the trends in the emerging global EV market.

Quite a tough goal, right? Actually, Mercedes doesn’t think so. The new lineup has also brought a new visual identity; more precisely, a new interpretation of what has characterized Benz cars over the past few years. This article is going to show you how exactly these models intend to make their manufacturer the most influential in the upcoming era.

What is the EQ lineup?

Basically, Mercedes-Benz’s sub-brand of fully electric cars. The intention is to keep the original models focused on internal-combustion engines to preserve their clientele for as long as possible while using separate ones to target new, future-oriented buyers. That division is what has allowed the visual “duality” the automaker has been enforcing.

One thing to keep in mind is that German makers have always had a penchant for evolutionary redesigns. Using this frame of reference, we can say that the EQ cars are quite bold: they use different silhouettes, specific visual details, and exclusive items inside. On the other hand, we have to observe that not all of them were created from scratch.

By flowing through several body styles and alternating between existing and all-new models, the EQ lineup wants to leave no segment untouched in the luxury market. This is why we are going to take a look at its most important design features and understand why they are important in the development of what will be a whole new sub-brand.

Aerodynamic silhouettes

Mercedes-Benz cars have design traditions with which to comply. Sedans, for instance, are expected to honor its expertise with limousines. That means the body uses delicate lines and a clear three-box shape designed with horizontal elements to emphasize the car’s length. That effect is observed even on the A-Class Sedan to some extent.

EQ cars, in turn, must focus on their technical demands. Electric cars are still earning people’s trust and part of that comes from offering high performance and long range. So far, the only way to achieve that is by using a large battery pack which takes a lot of space. Designer Gordon Wagener has said that this is going to kill the three-box design.

Two of the latest releases in this lineup, EQS and EQE, feature a tadpole shape similar to that of Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt. The smooth transitions that barely distinguish boxes from the side were made to dissimulate the necessary height while preserving a sense of familiarity with what has become the most iconic automotive body style.

Wraparound lighting

That same feeling of subversion was used at the time of designing some visual components. EQ cars feature a distinctive identity on the front end, where the headlights are connected to form a single element. This connection is made by a glossy-plastic panel which sometimes apply chrome slats to emulate famous designs like AMG’s Panamericana grille.

The rear end uses something much simpler: LED lights from corner to corner, as it should be on high-end cars, but designed in a way that leaves the whole appearance a little too close to some Audi cars. On the other hand, placing the license plate on the bumper helped balance the region as a whole and enabled the automaker’s logotype to stand out.

It is interesting to see how Mercedes-Benz has evolved in two years. The EQE’s front fascia, for example, looks more elegant and appropriate to this company than the EQC’s, which was released in 2019. Such different impression comes mostly from working increasingly better with proportions of each part and the use of regions in contrasting colors.

Opulent dashboard

It is easy to see that the EQ cars were designed to impress. Sleek silhouettes, lots of recent technology, attention to detail… they are all high-end cars and they want you to feel that. As a result, it is obvious that their cabins would do their part just as well. In this analysis, we can divide the interior design work in two major components.

One of them is the typical luxury-car pack. Endless list of comfort and safety items, nothing but the best materials, top-notch assembly quality, and some details specifically focused on well-being here and there. One of those is the ambient lighting, which uses LED strips with assorted colors to set the mood according to the driver’s whim.

The second component is the Hyperscreen: not one, not two, but three large screens working together. Each one gives access to a specific set of functions, but the group effect is to dazzle the occupants with the ease of access and, of course, the beauty of carefully designed graphics and interface. One of the best symbols of what does EQ stand for.

With seven models released in two years, Mercedes-Benz is on its way to have a complete lineup of fully electric cars. Do you think such offensive is the right way to participate in this market or would you rather wait and see how would the competitors respond? Feel free to share your opinions using the comment button below!

Writer and future engineer striving to work with car design. If you like cars but not the stereotypes that surround them, give my articles a try.