For now, the Lucid Air tops the list of long-range EVs, while Tesla has the most models on that podium. However, if Mercedes-Benz has anything to say about it, that list might get a shake-up soon. About six months ago, Mercedes released a teaser for a new electric concept car, the Vision EQXX that it claimed offered Air-beating range. And now, that teased EV has finally been revealed in full—and it looks like it can back those claims up.
The 2022 Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept is a hyper-efficient look at a long-range electric future
If you want to give your electric car more range, the obvious solution might seem like a bigger battery pack. And large battery capacities do boost Lucid’s and Tesla’s EVs’ long-distance abilities. However, bigger batteries aren’t just more expensive; they’re also heavy, which cuts down on range. But if you just install an even bigger battery, you won’t necessarily get an equivalent range ROI, because of the extra weight.
Mercedes, therefore, is tackling range anxiety in a different way with the Vision EQXX Concept. Rather than pump up capacity, this Mercedes electric car focuses on its energy efficiency game. And that means it can do more, or rather, go further with less capacity.
Mercedes says the 2022 Vision EQXX Concept’s usable battery capacity is just under 100 kWh. That’s less than even the standard EQS. However, the EQXX’s battery is 30% lighter than the EQS’s pack, 50% smaller dimensionally, and more energy-dense, MotorTrend reports. Yet Mercedes claims—according to computer simulations—that’s enough to take the 3858-lb Vision EQXX Concept over 621 miles.
Admittedly, the EQXX only has 201 hp. Nevertheless, if Mercedes’ simulations are real-world accurate, that means this sedan has 100 more miles of range than the Lucid Air Dream Edition R.
So, how did Mercedes eke out so much range out of such a ‘small’ pack? For one, Formula 1 tech. No, seriously, the Mercedes F1 and Formula E teams helped develop this concept. And it shares some of its hardware with the F1-derived AMG One hypercar. But the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept’s efficiency devotion goes further than F1 electronics, though.
Genuine F1 tech isn’t the EQXX’s only way of keeping its act clean
Looking at its sleek, Volkswagen XL1-like appearance, you might expect that it’s very aerodynamic. And it is. With a claimed 0.17 drag coefficient, it’s slipperier than the EQS. But it doesn’t just rely on its body design for that. It has active air flaps, a motorized rear diffuser, and an underbody cooling plate, too, Car and Driver reports.
In addition, the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept doesn’t solely on its battery pack to power every accessory and luxury feature. For example, because the battery is passively air-cooled, the heat pump can help warm the cabin. Also, the EQXX’s solar panels power things like the fan, lights, and infotainment system. On a sunny day, that’s worth a claimed 15 miles, Car and Driver notes. And to decrease power draw, the electric Mercedes concept has conventional side mirrors—not cameras—and “over 3000 local dimming zones” in its 47.5” digital display, MT reports.
Furthermore, Mercedes didn’t only make the Vision EQXX Concept’s battery light. Firstly, its cast-aluminum floor structure incorporates patches made of “sustainable plastic substitute,” MT explains. The casting process, dubbed ‘Bionocast,’ uses less material without sacrificing strength. And with those patches, it weighs 15-20% less than the equivalent conventionally-cast structure. Mercedes used the same Bionocast process to make the EQXX Concept’s windshield wiper brackets and front damper domes, The Drive says.
Also, the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept rides on forged magnesium wheels wrapped in custom Bridgestone tires and aero covers. It has aluminum brake rotors, which are much cheaper than carbon-ceramic ones but offer similar weight savings over cast-iron rotors. This electric Mercedes sedan concept also has fiberglass-reinforced plastic rear springs as well as aluminum-reinforced carbon-fiber-and-glass-fiber-reinforced doors.
Finally, the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept doubles down on sustainable material usage. It has vegan-certified bio-fabricated silk door pulls, for instance, and both cactus-fiber- and mushroom-based vegan leather. Plus, the EQXX features bamboo-fiber carpets and recycled-bottle interior trim. And Mercedes made the rest of the body out of low-CO2 steel, Car and Driver adds.
Will the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept become a real production electric car?
In short, the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept showcases some incredible features besides its 621-mile claimed range. But will these features, or indeed, this electric Mercedes concept car, reach the road?
Well, it’s complicated. The EQXX passes current crash standards, so it is street-legal, MotorTrend says. However, Mercedes considers it a rolling prototype rather than an outright production car preview. So, while it won’t necessarily show up in dealers, future electric Mercedes cars will feature its technology.
But if the EQXX is a true vision of the brand’s upcoming EVs, it’s a future many will undoubtedly want to experience.
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