"We are investing 1 billion Euros in our global battery production - this includes 500 million Euros in our second battery plant in Germany"
Zetsche said: “The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz is supported by four 'pillars': Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric. The Generation EQ brings all of these together on a brand new vehicle architecture for battery powered vehicles.”
The new five-door SUV adopts traditional proportions with a pronounced bonnet line and tall glasshouse that runs back to an angled tailgate. There are certain similarities to the GLC Coupé in the overall silhouette and dimensions, but unique exterior detailing, including an illuminated panel incorporating the headlights and three-pointed star emblem and a similar treatment housing the tail-lights at the rear, ensures the Generation EQ stands out from Mercedes' more conventional offerings.
A further departure is the surfacing, which eschews the tautly drawn treatment evident on existing Mercedes-Benz models for a fuller form without any hint of feature lines. The clean new look, which Mercedes-Benz design boss Gorden Wagener describes as "a new electro-aesthetic", is set to become a defining stylistic element of the company’s new electric vehicles.
To help boost the aerodynamic efficiency of the new SUV, Mercedes-Benz designers have resorted to a number of familiar air-cheating measures, including the concealment of the wipers underneath the trailing edge of the bonnet, the employment of digital cameras in place of conventional exterior mirrors, the deletion of traditional door handles in favour of a remote opening function and the fitment of 21in wheels featuring an aerodynamically optimised spoke design.
The basis for the Generation EQ concept is a newly developed platform that Zetsche says Mercedes-Benz will use to develop a complete range of zero-emission vehicles over the next decade. “We’re ready for the start of an electric vehicle offensive with models that will cover every segment, from the compact class to the luxury class,” he said. The platform is constructed from a combination of hot-formed high-strength steel, aluminium and carbonfibre reinforced plastic and has been engineered to suit a number of different vehicle types, including SUVs, saloons, coupés, cabriolets and what are described as 'further models'.
As with the German car maker’s existing structures, the new electric vehicle platform is scalable, allowing it support what Mercedes-Benz says are “a wide variety of wheelbase and track measurements as well as electric motors and battery combinations”. Taking advantage of the inherent packaging advantages offered by contemporary electric drivelines, the Generation EQ’s lithium ion battery is mounted low down wholly within the floor of the new structure, providing it with an ultra-low centre of gravity by contemporary road car standards.
Power for the new SUV comes from two brushless electric motors, with one mounted within the front axle and another housed within the rear axle. The layout is said to provide a clear preview of that planned for the upcoming production version of the Generation EQ, which will also receive a four-wheel drive system boasting fully variable apportioning of power, both between the two axles and between each of the individual rear wheels, through a further-developed version of the torque-vectoring function first seen on the SLS Electric Drive.