The EQS was one of the first mass-market EVs in the Mercedes-Benz lineup under the brand’s new “EQ” moniker, alongside the easily forgotten EQC. And based on our time behind the wheel of the brand’s latest electric sedan, there’s plenty to look forward to. Now Mercedes-Benz is expanding its EQ lineup with an entire range of electrified products debuting this week at the IAA Show in Munich, including the new EQE 350 pictured here.
The Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 slots beneath the EQS in the range, mirroring the relationship between gas-powered E-Class and S-Class models. While it certainly looks similar to the larger EQS, the EQE is a touch shorter, stretching out 196.6 inches (4,934 millimeters) compared to the EQS’ 207.0-inch (5,265-mm) overall length. The wheelbase of the EQE is also more compact than the EQS at 122.9 (3,122 mm) compared to 126.5 inches (3,210 mm).
Squint hard enough and you might be able to make out some visual details that separate the EQE from its larger sibling. The front “grille” is bigger and dips further down into the bumper, with illuminated tri-star accents on the AMG-Line model. The headlights are also sharper too, with unique LED accents, and there are several different wheel designs to choose from, including 19- and 20-inch aero options.
As with the larger EQS, the EQE’s design emphasizes aerodynamic efficiency. With that, the EQE yields a drag coefficient of 0.20, making it (alongside the EQS) the most aerodynamic car in the world.
Powering the EQE 350 is a 90.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a 215.0-kilowatt electric motor mounted on the rear axle that produces 288 horsepower (215 kilowatts) and 391 pound-feet (530 newton-meters). Rear-wheel drive comes standard, but 4Matic all-wheel drive is available as an option, adding an electric motor to the front axle. A single-speed transmission manages it all.
Mercedes-Benz quotes a range of 410 miles (660 kilometers) on the very generous European WLTP cycle, but don’t expect those same figures to carry over to the US EPA scale. With that said, the EQE can still charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 31 minutes using DC fast charging.
The EQE boasts a standard four-link front suspension and multi-link rear – similar to the new S-Class – with optional rear-wheel steering that yields a maximum steering angle of up to 10 degrees. Also optional is the brand’s ubiquitous Airmatic air suspension with an adaptive damping system. In Sport mode, the adaptive dampers can reduce the ride height by 1.0 inch at speeds over 75 miles per hour to help reduce drag and increase stability. At speeds under 25 miles per hour, users can manually lift the suspension by an inch to get over small obstacles and clear parking berms.
But driving dynamics will likely be the second most interesting thing the EQE offers. While the base EQE has a 12.8-inch central touchscreen with a corresponding 12.2-inch digital cluster, the new Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen is available as an option just like in the EQS.
With a single, continuous piece of 56.0-inch curved glass that extends from the instrument cluster to the passenger-side dash, the EQE has three usable screens: a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a huge 17.7-inch central touchscreen display, and a 12.3-inch passenger-side display. There’s even a fingerprint reader for biometric authentication and augmented-reality navigation.
Each of those screens runs on the latest version of Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX software, with newly colored blue-orange icons and a revised layout that makes it easier to use while on the move. The EQE also offers three unique display styles: Understated, Sporty, Classic, as well as three specific modes – Navigation, Assistance, and Service.
The base EQE comes standard with the brand’s Comfort seats, while the AMG-Line offers sport buckets at no extra cost. MB-Tex fake leather covers the seats, armrests, and portions of the dash, minus the environmental or ethical concerns. Energizing Comfort – Mercedes-Benz’s pre-programmed massage and relaxation system – also makes its way to the EQE, complete with new options like Forest Glade, Sounds of the Sea, and Summer Rain.
Active safety systems like automatic emergency braking, high-beam assist, and Pre-Safe collision awareness come standard on the EQE. Optioning the Driver Assistance package adds active lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign assist, and a Pre-Safe side-impact collision mitigation.
All told, the new 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 sounds like a proper follow-up to the EQS. Production starts mid-2022 for markets like Europe and the US, while pricing and details for the North American model are expected to arrive closer to its on-sale date.