2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept

Well after toying with the idea with previous concepts that
looked outright out of this world, Mercedes has finally got its
act right and went ahead to  launch a fully
electric-powered vehicle that is surely going into production
sooner than you think. With the new model, Mercedes seek to
take the war straight at Tesla’s doorstep. In fact, Mercedes
have spent over two decades developing their electric-powered
vehicles, trying to come up with a winning formula. The fruits
of this research were showcased at the recent Paris Auto show
in the form of the “ 2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept ”, a
smooth, attractive compact crossover.

The Generation EQ is one of the members of the planned battery
electric family that will include a coupe, two convertibles, a
sedan, a wagon and an SUV. All the models will fall in the new
EQ sub-brand. Deutsche Accumotive, a subsidiary of Mercedes,
supplies the lithium-ion batteries used in the models.

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2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept Exterior

Since the advent of the “automotive” age, the front fascia has
been the element that identifies vehicles. From looking at the
nose and front grille of a model, you can tell which brand it
is. Well, for conventional models, the nose and grille were so
designed to aid in channeling air to cool the engine mounted
under the hood.  All that is set to change because
electric models don’t have engines that need to be
cooled.  As such, manufacturers have been forced to
rethink their strategy and come up with new identifying marks.

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Mercedes has done a clever thing by using lighting effects for
the grille. The model features a LED lighted grille with a
gigantic Mercedes emblem at the middle. The LED design mimics
the physical grilles of the new Mercedes guzzlers. This has
enabled the automaker to make the fully electric model look
like a conventional Mercedes. Its headlights are pushed into
the corner tops as well as on the sides of the grille. 
The sides of the grille also feature a long strip of LEDs.

On the sides, the vehicle features a sloping roof where the
center part of the roof has a glossy black finish. The sides of
the roof, on the other hand, feature a silver finish. The door
glass, as well as the stationary rear glass styling, is adopted
from conventional Mercedes models. The side skirts feature a
blue LED lighting similar to the one on the grille. There are
no normal door entry handles while small camera units replace
conventional side mirrors.

The rear is smooth and well trimmed just like you would expect
in a sporty crossover. It features a glossy black overhang that
is mounted on top of the rear hatch. The rear glass stretches
the length of the hatch itself. Like the front headlights and
the grille, the taillights feature the same blue LED lighting.
A glossy black insert connects the taillights while a Mercedes
emblem sits between the taillights.

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2016 Mercedes Generation EQ concept Interior

As you would expect of such a concept, the cabin is riddled
with many futuristic technologies.  The upper dash is
upholstered in dark brown leather below which lies a blue LED
lighting strip. On the dash, below the strip is a smooth dash
that features cutouts at each corner. The cutouts have a
holographic projection. Another cool feature in the cabin is
the 24-inch wide instrument cluster that sits ahead of the
steering wheel. The screen is also used to manage the
infotainment and navigation systems. There are three other
small LED screen displays whose role the automaker is yet to
reveal.

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The steering wheel is wrapped in white and silver and features
three spokes.  The doors on the other hand have small LED
backlights, which create a special relaxing ambience. The
automaker has also added traditional pull handles on the doors,
which are finished in a bronze color. The handles features
touch-sensitive buttons used to control the windows.

The center console has a floating look and it has a Rose Gold
accenting.  There are no buttons on the center console as
everything is touch-sensitive. Another small touch-screen in
front of the center console is used to manage other functions
of the car including controlling the HVAC subsystem.

The compact crossover will accommodate4 passengers. The rear
passengers will enjoy the rear entertainment system that
features TFT monitors on the rear side of the front seats.

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Engine and performance

Well, Mercedes is starting on a high. The all-electric baby is
set to start with a range of  around 310 miles courtesy of
a 70 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack is hidden
on the floor between the two axles. The battery pack channels
power to two electric motors mounted on both the front and rear
axles meaning the SUV will be AWD in nature. The electric
motors combine to give the model some real juice at 402 hp and
516 lb-ft of torque. The output will be scaled down for cheaper
production models.

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This output will enable the model to hit 60 mph from a
standstill in less than five seconds.  The batteries will
be recharged via induction charging or via a wall box. Although
charging capacity of many electric cars today range between 50
and 150 kWh, Mercedes plans to bump that capacity to 300kWh to
enable the car to take in enough charge to last around 60 miles
in five minutes.

Well, that is a lot to take in at once. I am not even sure if
the automaker will see all these features into production
models, but I will take a model close to what they are
promising. Currently, many people keep off the all-electric
vehicles due to their short ranges. However, if Mercedes make
true their promises, it will be a game changer in the industry.

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Price and release date

Mercedes is yet to put a price tag on the model or even confirm
its actual release date. I hope the automaker won’t keep us
waiting for long.