Mercedes-Benz’s EQ sub-brand is the future of the brand. The EQE SUV’s world debut ahead of the Paris Motor Show was a milestone for the brand – it debuted new sound technologies, like the native integration of Apple Music, and a heavy focus on the Dolby Atmos suite of tech.
But most importantly, it’s the final EV model to complete the EQ lineup. With the EQE SUV, Mercedes claims that it now has an EV model for every mainstream vehicle segment it sells, barring any sports cars or commercial vehicles. What next, though? Is that it for the EQ brand or EV2 platform? What happens to EQ when Mercedes eventually phases out its ICE efforts?
During the EQE SUV debut in Paris, we got some time to sit down with Christoph Starzynski, the Vice President of Electric Vehicle Architecture, and Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer to ask some questions. And the first was what the EQ brand looks like when Mercedes phases out combustion power.
“That’s the $1 million question, isn’t it? It’s a question for the marketing and sales team, but the brand itself is more than just a battery; it’s a technology, its intelligence,” Starzynski said. “The question is, what will be the nomenclature in the future? But right now, we’ll still be parallel, until later this decade. The brand is more than just the badge on the rear of the car, you know?”
We also asked Starzynski about the future of the EV2 platform, which currently underpins not just the EQE line, but the EQS family. With rumors that they’ll be the smallest products on EV2, what does the future of the architecture hold?
“[The] MMA [platform] is the successor of the current compact cars. The A, B, GLA, GLB, EQA, EQB; the MMA (platform) will be the successor,” Starzynski said. “The only real thing we’re going to do here is go down from seven models to four. Then, the MB.EA [platform] will do middle and upper-class vehicles. The EV2 platform will run parallel for a while.”
In another roundtable discussion, Markus Schäfer, did hint briefly that there could be some more things in store for the EV2 platform before its replacement.
The future EQB crossover will ride on the MMA platform.
“Our Tuscaloosa-built models [EQE and EQS SUV] will hit the market early next year, and it will be our fourth model on the EV2 platform,” Schäfer said. “We have further ideas, more to be announced yet, that we could do on this platform, but definitely, the SUVs will be, for us in terms of volume and sales expectations, an important part of our EV strategy.”
So, it looks like Mercedes is already gearing up for the next generation of EVs, even as it explores the possibilities of new models on its current EV architecture. It’s making new modular platforms, in order to phase out its EQ-series converted gas cars, namely the EQA, EQB, and EQC.
The EV2 platform, which underpins the EQE and EQS in both sedan and SUV form, will eventually be phased out, as well, to be replaced by a new modular platform that will likely underpin everything from the C-class on up. Whether or not that means the EQ brand will usurp the traditional Mercedes-Benz naming scheme when the brand stops making ICE vehicles, well, it seems like the brand is still figuring that out. It’s exciting times for the future of Mercedes-Benz, that’s for sure.