Mercedes-Benz is trying to play with your emotions with its new electric vehicle concept, debuted at the Paris Motor Show today. The “Generation EQ” it unveiled is a sporty SUV design, which is reminiscent of the Tesla Model X in its lines and overall look. It has a dual electric motor drive train, and a theoretical max range of around 310 miles, thanks to a scalable battery systems that maxes out at a total storage capacity of 300 kW.
You might know EQ as the acronym for emotional quotient, but for Mercedes, it stands for “Electric Intelligence,” though they’re fully aware of, and actively trying to invoke the emotional component, too. Mercedes explains in a press release about the vehicle’s unveiling that Generation EQ is the combination of its four-pillar mobility plan for the future, which focuses on connected, autonomous, shared and electric transportation methods.
As carmakers are wont to do, Mercedes-Benz gets pretty deep in the weeds in terms of flowery marketing language and aspirational visions of an idyllic future when describing the thinking behind the design. Cutting trough some of that crap, the basic takeaways are that the body design is supposed to look sporty, while also reducing drag for max power efficiency.
Inside, there’s a huge display for the driver, plus seats and interior lighting that evoke nothing quite so much as Tron. Seat and internal structure design also look to be pared down with an eye to minimizing weight and maximizing effective use of the electric battery powerhouse. Like Volkswagen with its I.D. concept, Mercedes has decided to scrap the conventional wing mirrors in favor of cameras and displays integrated into the doors for views behind the car.
Also like VW, Mercedes is looking to use lights as a way to communicate with the driver, and with surroundings, starting with a welcome pattern that displays as the driver approaches. There’s also adaptive ambient lighting inside that the carmaker says will provided a “special feel-good atmosphere.”
Induction and wired charging options are both included, and Mercedes touts its own energy storage unit as a complement to owners with solar systems for keeping a power source handy. Driver assist features are powered by HERE maps, and data from on-board sensors. EQ also boasts full complement of comms made to talk to smart city infrastructure and other vehicles, provided we can all get our stuff together enough to make that truly ubiquitous some day.
It’s probably a little too sci-fi for most, but I like the design of the EQ. But again, this is a concept vehicle – it likely won’t look like this if and when it ships as a production car. Still, it’s interesting to see where Mercedes believes transportation is heading, since if it truly believes in those four pillar concepts and pushing them forward, we’ll have a very different view of car ownership by the time the EQ hits the road.