This Is Mercedes' New EV Halo: The EQXX
With a claimed 1,000km range and all new design philosophy, this promises to be something special
A while ago, at the earliest days of Mercedes's EQ project they teased an extremely sleek, aggressive looking front end emblazoned with the name EQXX and they claimed it would be capable of 1,000km on one charge. Well, here it is!
Technically, it is still labelled as a concept but its same sort of concept as Rimac and Pininfarina did with their EVs (99% ready for the road) instead of the crazy stuff with no bodywork and illuminating seats. The head of the project has claimed by early next year Mercedes will be able to do a real world drive to prove its range so this thing is ready to go. This is near identical to what the production EQXX will look like, so lets analyse. The first thing you notice is the long and low bonnet bearing the EQ signature light bar at the front. The actual headlights and perforated panel below them look quite new for a Mercedes and even inspired by Porsche and Nio. The rear even gives McLaren Speedtail vibes as the top and sides stretch over the rear bumper. The headlight arrangement at the rear is a long bar which curves down the sides of the extended bodywork and is similar to an Audi 7 series concept. All in all though, its wrapped up well and flows quite nicely, whether you'd say it screams modern Mercedes or not I'm not sure is quite so certain.
The biggest headline, as you can probably tell is that the EQXX aims at having a perfect 1,000km range (625 miles) which would deceive you into thinking it has a huge battery and some clever packaging. Well, the latter is true but the EQXX doesn't actually have a particularly huge battery as that would only fit in an SUV and be so heavy particularly when coupled to a big 4x4 that efficiency would be terrible. The EQXX instead uses a familiar philosophy: low weight, low drag (coefficient of 0.18) for bloody big efficiency (100 miles of extra range just from drag reduction). The detail is marvellous with even the soldering in the electronics reworked to be lighter and reduce electrical resistance and therefore be more efficient when taking power from the battery. There will be many aero tricks but the only one we know right now is a retracting and extending diffuser which will drop down to improve efficiency at speed but can quickly fold back up in the case of an impact.
All this means the EQXX does roughly double the miles per kWh than your normal EV's like Teslas and Mercedes EQs. The weight is impressively low for a car of this nature, weighing in at 1,750kg which is less than VWs EV attempt the ID3 which is Golf sized! Mercedes aren't giving any performance figures other than that the base model rear mounted single motor will give about double the power of said ID3 at 204bhp. This doesn't seem like much which to be fair, it isn't and will give the EQXX a medium hot hatch feel in terms of speed, think Fiesta ST or GR Yaris stuff. However, because its an EV the launch will be insane as usual but without the buffering and "running out of puff" at the top end because the low drag design will mean the EQXX can keep going and going and going once up to speed.
The clever stuff continues with battery tech from Mercedes's F1 and FE teams to make a sub 100kw battery (like in the EQS) fit in a car with the wheelbase of an A-class. Also, instead of having a hyper active cooling network for the battery which adds weight, Mercedes have gone back to air cooling because the only advantage of the cooling is that it means faster charging, however the EQXX can drive all day, it doesn't need to charge quickly. It will be a preview the motors Mercedes want to use in the future as it uses magnets which are incredibly fiddly to set up and optimise. To eliminate noise from air rushing into its largely empty structure, Mercedes used material from nappies as its light but blocking.
The screens all use brain mimicking techniques to save power from the navigation and the speakers are small but placed nearer to the driver so you get the same volume and quality while using less power. Annoyingly for those of us who are led footed, these speakers can also play feedback to your driving and help you be more efficient: "Englisher vat are yu dooing driving so qvuickly". Thanks, but no thanks Mercedes.