New Mercedes-AMG electric SUV unveiled

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Mercedes-AMG has released its first high-performance electric SUV, a car that promises to replace throbbing V8s with battery-powered wallop.

Based on the Mercedes-AMG EQE sedan, the imaginatively named Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV is the third ‘Benz built on dedicated electric hardware.

Other models, such as the Mercedes EQC and EQA, are adaptations of petrol-powered models.

Like most Mercs, the new EQE SUV is available with a choice of power levels.

Regular models combine 215kW and 565Nm with up to 590 kilometres of range or 300kW and 858Nm with up to 547 kilometres of range.

The much faster Mercedes-AMG flagship has up to 505kW and 1000Nm of grunt, which is enough to reach 100km/h in 3.5 seconds before hitting its 240km/h top speed. It outsprints the V8-powered, 450kW Mercedes GLE 63 S by 0.3 seconds, but falls short of its 280km/h top speed.

But all that power – along with more aggressive bodywork, stickier tyres and heavier high-performance – cruels its range. The faster version is only good for 375 to 470 kilometres, according to Mercedes.

Powerful front and rear electric motors are linked to a 90.6kWh battery with 170kW of charging power that gives the model up to 170km of additional range when plugged into a fast-charger for 15 minutes. That’s reasonably impressive, but a fair way short of the rapid charging capabilities of Tesla’s Model Y or the Porsche Taycan.

Those cars can’t match the luxury of Merc’s latest contender, which has a showstopping “hyperscreen” stretching the full width of the dashboard. Updated with clever software that can show videos, games and internet browsers on the passenger side, the Mercedes uses a driver-facing camera to temporarily dim the display if the driver glances toward the passenger side of the dashboard.

Mercedes says “unrestricted viewing of films, text messages or presentations, plus internet surfing” is made possible by a “blanking function” that reacts to the driver’s eyeline.

Other tweaks include intelligent seatbelt reminders and child presence detection features that help drivers remember to buckle kids in – and to get them out of a car at the end of a trip.

Hi-tech air suspension promises a comfortable ride, and four-wheel-steering ramps up agility around town.

Full technical details and Australian prices will be confirmed closer to the model’s local debut, likely in the second half of 2022.

Originally published as Mercedes breaks with tradition to deliver first electric performance SUV

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