Mercedes-Benz’s all-electric SUV expected to take on Tesla Model X

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 27, 2016

Just recently, the German government announced that it will offer sales subsidies for electric vehicles with prices less than €60,000. It is part of the government’s €1.2 billion electric car purchase incentive scheme which we believe aims to encourage automakers to create more environment friendly vehicular alternatives.

Mercedes-Benz seems to have accepted the challenge and is in the works of creating their first line of electric vehicles. According to Thomas Weber, Mercedes-Benz outgoing research and development boss, four new electric vehicles will be joining the Mercedes line-up targeted by the end of 2020. It will be composed of two electric saloons and two SUVS. It will be competing with EVs developed by Tesla Motors’ Model S, one of the leading EVs since its production in 2012. It will also be released as a response to Audi’s production version of the e-tron quattro concept set to debut in 2018.

Mercedes will base the saloons on the C- and S-Class while the SUVs will be similar to the GLA and GLC. A modified version of the MFA platform, the same platform used by the B-Class Electric Drive, will be adopted by the GLA-based SUV while the GLC-based SUV and the saloons will have a brand new variant of the Modular Rear Architecture or MRA platform which is made specifically for EV applications. Not much information has been released regarding the saloons but it looks like the SUV’s entry to the automotive world is inevitable as it has been tentatively planned to go into production by 2019. It will make its first appearance in September at the Paris Motor Show.

Rumours are that the SUVs will be made with unique styling, which everyone is very excited to see. Mercedes plans on pitting their new EV SUV against Tesla’s Model X as well as EV SUVs from rivals Audi and Jaguar. The first of Mercedes-Benz’s EV series will be the GLC-based SUV, which will also be the German automaker’s first ever pure electric vehicle.

The German automaker’s first ever zero-emissions EV SUV concept is currently under construction in their prototype workshop on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany. The prototype will be made in a fashion where it would give a clear cut exhibit of the external appearance, interior facilities, technical layout and overall dimensions of the GLC-based EV SUV. Because of its GLC base, the Mercedes would probably change the styling of the EV SUV to be able to show off the electric underpinnings of the vehicle. Also, the said SUV will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell instead of the traditional petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.

The concept SUV, which is the first of the EV lineup, will also come with a brand new design language developed by a team of Mercedes’ in-house designers. The said design language will also be adopted by the production version of the said model.

According to one Mercedes-Benz official who currently has some information of the new EV concept, the upcoming EV SUV will have a unique look which will showcase the unique properties of an electric vehicle. Mercedes has high hopes for this lineup as it has also hinted at plans to enter its EVs into Formula E (according to Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz marketing boss). Even with what little information that we know of Mercedes’ all-electric lineup, we’re still super excited to see the final product and how it would fare with its competitors. Expectations are high and we’re expecting Mercedes-Benz to live up to it. The pressure’s on!

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