The newly unveiled Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX will have a major influence on the brand's future electric vehicles. We'll see cues from it on production vehicles as soon as 2024.
Aesthetically, the EQXX's grille-less nose will appear on future EVs from the brand. "You will see something similar in years to come," Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener said during a roundtable interview.
Gallery: Mercedes Vision EQXX
The EQXX makes extensive use of renewable materials in the cabin, including types of fake leather that come from mushrooms and pulverized cactus fibers. Wagener hints at offering these textiles in the future. "Leather is still the most predominant material. I can’t see that we will replace it entirely, but we will give customers options for those who don’t want it," he said.
The current Mercedes EVs, like the EQS, feature a black panel with metallic uprights on the front end. This element evokes the styling of a grille, but it's not actually open to let air through. The EQXX does away with this in favor of an array of tiny, three-pointed stars over a body-color section of the front bumper. The only inlet is lower in the fascia.
The electric drive system from the EQXX will go into a production vehicle in 2024. The tech consists of a dedicated unit consisting of the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics. Mercedes says the components include a new generation of silicon carbides.
There will also be a dual-motor variant of this powertrain that will sacrifice the total range for more power. The single electric motor in the EQXX makes 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts).
The EQXX's 900-volt architecture will also reach production. Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer says this system can recoup 186.4 miles (300 kilometers) of range in 15 minutes.
The battery chemistry from the concept will enter production for the 2024 or 2025 model years, according to Schäfer. It offers "more range for the same money with the increased efficiency," he said during the same presentation.
The EQXX's solar panel in the roof is entering production, too. The concept uses it and a separate lithium-iron-phosphate battery to store energy for powering things like the blower for the HVAC system, lights, and infotainment system. "We do believe that new roofs will be needed. Glass roofs and solar roofs will be an important feature that we will offer in the future," Schäfer said.