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2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV First Look: Also, First Proper Battery-Powered AMG

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
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Mercedes-Benz isn’t wasting time building up its lineup of battery-electric vehicles. The newest addition is the 2023 EQE SUV.

And for those who want serious performance, it’s readying the first-ever all-electric AMG model — though you’ll have to wait until the 2024 model year for that tire-spinning package. If you’re struggling to keep up with all the new battery-electric vehicles coming to market this year, no surprise.

Just those models delivering at least 200 miles of range will jump from around 15 at the end of 2021 to nearly 50 by the time the ball will drop over Times Square. And, quite a few will be wearing the Mercedes-Benz tri-star, including another SUV.

The German automaker only got into the game a year ago with the EQS sedan. It’s since added an EQS SUV, a compact EQB crossover, and an EQE sedan set to go on sale before the end of the year. And, reflecting the realities of today’s market, you’ll soon be able to get an EQE SUV, as well.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Mercedes EQE

As the EQE designation suggests, the sedan is the all-electric equivalent of the familiar E-Class sedan, with the EQE SUV a battery-powered alternative to the GLE crossover. Making its debut on October 16, the latter model will be offered in a variety of configurations, starting with the “base” EQE 350+ SUV.

At the upper extreme, there’ll be the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV, a monster producing up to 677 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to launch from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.3 seconds.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until the 2024 model year to take delivery of the Mercedes-AMG version. The more mainstream Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV models will be hitting showrooms a few months from now.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC+ SUV

EQE SUV Design

GearJunkie had a chance to get up close and personal with the new EQE SUV models during a private background briefing just outside Denver a few weeks ago, with company officials providing extensive insight into the new battery-electric vehicle.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Don’t be surprised if you initially confuse the EQE SUV with the crossover version of the big EQS line. But the newer model has a roughly 3-inch-shorter wheelbase, at 119.3 inches.

The overall design is quite similar and, in turn, draws inspiration from the unique — and controversial — “one-bow” design language Mercedes first introduced with the EQS sedan.

When it comes to electric vehicles, aerodynamics are essential to range and performance — though there can be compromises. In the EQS and EQE sedans, that comes in the form of limited rear-seat headroom.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

EQE SUV Interior

The taller stance of the EQE SUV — which rises to 66.4 inches — largely mitigates that loss, especially thanks to what could be described as automotive trompe l’oeil. At first glance, the roofline appears to be that of an aggressive coupe-SUV.

But there’s a second roofline, carefully disguised by painting it black. It sits higher and creates a reasonably roomy cabin and cargo bay.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

The overall look and feel are likely to remind you of the conventional Mercedes-Benz GLE crossover. The EQE SUV is lavishly appointed with classic Mercedes materials: doubled-stitched leather, refined wood veneers, and one of the nicer details: a center console with dozens of Mercedes tri-stars inlaid into the veneer.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Of course, the most commanding feature can be found on the instrument panel. Base models come with twin, flow-together video displays for the gauge cluster and infotainment screen.

Expect to see a significant share of buyers opt for the Mercedes Hyperscreen. It sprawls across the entire instrument panel, adding a third screen for the front passenger.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC+ SUV Hyperscreen

In the AMG model, the Hyperscreen is standard and features a number of unique displays to enhance and monitor the crossover’s performance.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

EQE SUV Gets Proper AMG Performance

And there, it’s a real standout. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE features two unique electric motors, one on each axle. They combine to produce a peak 617 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque.

Impressive enough considering that tire-spinning torque comes on instantly. But order the Dynamic+ package and the figures are bumped to 677 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of torque, enough to hit 60 in a mere 3.3 seconds.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

And before going on, a bit of clarification is called for. Mercedes dubbed this the “first all-electric performance SUV from Mercedes-AMG.”

That might sound confusing, as there was a performance version of the original EQS sedan stamped with those three letters. But, that was basically not a true Mercedes-AMG, which according to AMG executive Michael Brumquell, “will get the full Affalterbach treatment.”

That includes some key cosmetic changes, inside and out. That starts with a 3D waterfall grille, unique badging, turbine-design aero wheels, and a choice of 21- and 22-inch wheels. The interior features AMG embossing on the headrests and other upgrades. And there are unique track modes on the Hyperscreen.

But the big difference comes with performance-enhancing features, starting with the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV also adds rear-axle steering, AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with adaptive damping, and on the Dynamic+ package, a blended brake system with ceramic high-performance rotors.

There’s also an upgraded cooling system for both the motors and battery pack so you can run at peak performance as long as there’s a charge. A number of other sport-tuned EVs can’t manage extensive runs because of the risk of overheating.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Mercedes EQE SUV Trims

Expect a hefty premium for the AMG model. For those with tighter budgets, or a bit less radical craving for performance, there are three versions of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz crossover:

  • That starts with the  EQE SUV 350+ with its single-motor producing 288 horsepower and 477 pound-feet of torque. Which, Mercedes claims, can hit 60 in 6.3 seconds.
  • With a twin-motor all-wheel-drive system, the EQE SUV 350 4Matic produces the same horsepower but torque jumps to 564 pound-feet. The launch time is cut to 6.2 seconds.
  • The EQS SUV 500 4Matic also uses a twin-motor all-wheel-drive system. It, however, gets a substantial bump in output, to 536 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque. It hits 60 in just 4.2 seconds.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Battery, Range, Charging

All four of the EQE SUV packages share a 90.6kWH lithium-ion battery pack, compared to about 120 kWh in the bigger, heavier EQS SUV. Mercedes forecasts a range of up to 590 km or around 367 miles. But, that’s using the less stringent WLTP standard. The more accurate EPA test cycle is typically about 20% lower — so expect a max of about 300 miles of range.

As for charging, expect the EQE SUVs to all need about 9.5 hours using a 240V home charger, but the EQE SUV can go from a 10% to 80% state of charge in 32 minutes using a public quick charger delivering at least 170 kW.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Mercedes EQE SUV Pricing & Availability

Among the figures we’re anticipating, pricing likely won’t come out until closer to the spring 2023 launch of the 2023 Mercedes-EQE SUV packages and the autumn debut of the 2024 EQE SUV AMG model.

For comparison, the EQE sedan is expected to start somewhere in the $70,000 range when it reaches U.S. showrooms in the coming months.


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