Thursday, May 03, 2018
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ Gets Its First Southeast Asian Premiere in Kuala Lumpur - A Showcase of Future Mobility
These days, Malaysians actually get to see concept cars brought in from overseas to be showcased. How lucky we are, as times have changed as Malaysia is deemed to be a very important car market to many large and established manufacturers. Now, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ car which was developed to showcase the three-pointed star's design and technology direction has made its Malaysian debut. It is also the Concept EQ's Southeast Asian debut too, at the Mercedes-Benz EQ Brand Exhibition in Desa Park City this weekend.
The Concept EQ represents the beginning for the Mercdes-Benz EQ brand and idea. Mercedes-Benz states that this represents a total approach to future mobility where a car comes with everything from the interior & exterior styling, services, technologies and innovation. It is also a new sub-brand for Mercedes-Benz too. The EQ series of cars, which are the plug-in hybrid cars like the C350e and the E350e now sport EQ badging, had recently joined the brand portfolio alongside Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach in the current Mercedes-Benz line-up of passenger cars.
And speaking about the first EQ car, the Concept EQ you see in the photos herein, Mercedes-Benz states that it is more than just a design study for them. It serves as a showcase to what their new design approach to interior ergonomics, connectivity, and electric vehicle architecture and drive systems alongside autonomous features. What you see in this concept car will be eventually seen in all future Mercedes-Benz cars in the near future. Not at one go of course, but depending on the timing and the position of the model of course.
The car shows Mercedes-Benz’s continuous effort to being the industry leader in future mobility. It features the four pillars of connectivity, autonomous driving, shared & services as well as electric drivetrains. As the company that invented the first motorcar, Mercedes-Benz could now be seen as one of the pioneers of future transport.
It features some groundbreaking technology in terms of its electric drivetrain. It has 300kw or around 402hp and an immense 700nm worth of torque. It also has a range of 500km which is a heck of a lot for a fully electric car. Aside from that, there is a whole slew of systems from driver comforts, active safety and design cues which are totally...well, concept car like to say the least.
“The EQ brand from Mercedes-Benz stands for Electric Intelligence, and is derived from the brand values of emotion and intelligence. It encompasses all major aspects of customer- oriented electric mobility, and goes beyond the vehicle itself. As such, EQ offers a comprehensive electric mobility ecosystem of products, services, technologies and innovations." said Dr Claus Weidner, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (pictured above with Mark Raine, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia).
"As the premium market leader, we are committed to remaining an industry pioneer with state-of-the-art products and innovations. In short, we are boldly flipping the switch – creating tomorrow today by developing the needs for the coming mobility landscape." added Dr Weidner.
“The Concept EQ is a cornerstone of our new electric mobility brand, EQ. It presents an innovative product approach as part of a holistic and comprehensive ecosystem for future mobility. In every way, this vehicle proudly manifests its claim of being a technology leader – meeting the demands of sustainable and future-driven motoring. We are delighted to be able to showcase the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ here in Malaysia, marking the beginning of a pure-electric product offensive which will wear the EQ badge,” said Mark Raine, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
Again, the preview of a concept car here basically states the importance of the Malaysian market to the marque. The automotive industry in Malaysia is slightly different with its current push towards electro-mobility and energy efficient vehicles by the government. This simple push has somehow made Malaysia into a country where sales of hybrid electric vehicles have taken off. The Mercedes- Benz plug-in hybrids sold here could make Malaysia the largest market outside of developed countries that has accepted these energy efficient vehicles. This unique push has attracted companies to invest here on the basis of technology rather than just trying to bring in more just by the cost factor. This is a good thing.
Do head over to Desa Park City this weekend (4th to 7th May 2018) if you have the time to catch a glimpse of this unique concept car. #switchtoEQ
The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ in detail:
EQ: the new electric mobility brand from the inventor of the automobile
EQ offers a comprehensive electric mobility ecosystem with products, services, technologies and innovations. The spectrum ranges from electric vehicles to wallboxes and charging services to home energy storage units. Mercedes-Benz will market future battery-electric vehicles under the brand name EQ. The name stands for "Electric Intelligence" and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion and Intelligence".
The new brand encompasses all key aspects for customer-focused electric mobility and extends beyond the vehicle itself. Future models will embody the essentials of state-of-the-art electric mobility: the fusion of emotively appealing and intelligent design, exceptional driving pleasure, high everyday practicality and maximum safety, a hallmark of every vehicle from the inventor of the automobile.
The close-to-production concept vehicle Concept EQ marks the launch of an architecture for battery-electric vehicles across all models.
Electric-vehicle architecture for all models
The new generation of electric vehicles will be based on an architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models, which is scalable in every respect and usable across all models: the wheelbase and track width as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to the modular building-block system. The vehicle concept is thus optimised to meet every requirement of a future-oriented, battery-electric model family. The basic architecture is suitable for SUVs, saloons, coupés and other model series.
Similarly to the latest series-produced models from Mercedes-Benz, the vehicle architecture builds on an intelligent multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. This ensures that the requirements in terms of lightweight design, strength and cost efficiency are ideally met.
As an SUV crossover, the dimensions of the Concept EQ for length, width and height are 4730 mm, 1948 mm and 1560 mm respectively.
Exterior design with new electro-look
The Concept EQ is a reinterpretation of our design philosophy of sensual purity, the aim being to create an avant-garde, contemporary and distinctive electro-look. At the same time, the design of the visionary show car, which has been reduced to the essentials, reveals an alluring progressivity.
The monolithic basic form of Concept EQ unites the genes of an SUV with the dynamic character of a coupé and a dash of shooting brake at the rear end. The squat, elongated greenhouse gives rise to muscular-purist proportions. The new electro-look is the result of a flowing transition from the gleaming black bonnet across the windscreen to the dark-tinted panoramic roof – an exciting contrast to the alubeam silver paintwork.
Scarcely visible body panel joins, concealed windscreen wipers, cameras instead of exterior mirrors and an absence of conventional door handles emphasise the stretched, dynamic silhouette, making the SUV crossover appear as a unified whole while reducing its air resistance. An intentionally reduced side view, broad shoulders and large 21-inch light-alloy wheels make for a dynamic presence even before the vehicle moves off.
Driver-oriented cockpit with new electro-look
The focus of the driver-oriented cockpit is on simple, touch-based controls with a new electro-look consistently reflecting the exterior styling. The asymmetrical design of the instrument panel with its large, floating wide-screen display is tailored to the driver. The innovative, digital user experience differentiates Concept EQ from the familiar control logic in today's vehicles, while giving a peek into the future of user interaction at Mercedes-Benz.
Interior with new, touch-based controls and no knobs
The interior of Concept EQ is characterised by contemporary luxury, this finding its main expression in an all-new user interface, which combines emotive appeal with intelligence and user-friendliness while dispensing with traditional switches and knobs, except for the electric seat adjustment typical of Mercedes. Two of the three narrow spokes on the steering wheel are provided with touch controls, which are integrated into OLED displays (OLED = organic light emitting diode). They indicate icons and symbols in the respective menus. The driver can swipe through the various menus and confirm their selection with a click.
The 24-inch (53 x 11 cm) TFT high-definition wide-screen display presents all the relevant information, such as speed, range, driving data or navigation and map details. The innovation is apparent from the differentiation between a highly reduced and a complex display, including intermediate stages. Whether there is a low information density with a very clean look to the display, or whether extra content is on view, is left to the driver's personal preference.
User interface design with individualised content
The information density can be increased step-by-step from a digital display and built up into a single- or dual-tube instrument containing more detailed information and feedback on speed and range. These modular displays allow the content to be individualised. An attractive user interface design is ensured by, among other things, a world of colours in electric blue, white and rose gold – the colours of the instrument displays adapt, depending on driving mode or charging process, to allow fast and intuitive recognition.
Bordered in rose gold, the centre console appears to float in space: dispensing with mechanical controls, it is equipped with touch-sensitive elements. Similarly to the touch controls on the steering wheel, the driver can use a finger to operate the automatic climate control and the infotainment system. As Concept EQ is devoid of conventional exterior mirrors, cameras are used to project an image of the traffic behind onto integrated displays in the doors. Both the door openers and the electric window lifters are touch-controlled.
Avant-garde, functional interior
Concept EQ comes with four individual seats. The reduced volume, impression of floating in space and avant-garde seat upholstery layout make for a visual lightness. A tailored sound experience is provided by speakers integrated into the head restraints. The side bolsters are covered in light-white leather, while perforations with a pixel rain look reveal a view of particles in rose gold. Stitching with a PCB look on the deep-brown centre sections produces an exciting contrast. TFT monitors for rear-seat entertainment are integrated into the front backrests.
Both inside and outside: new light signature for electric cars
With a new exterior and interior light signature, the inventor of the automobile presents the design trend for future electric vehicles with the star: the distinguishing mark of Concept EQ is the "Black Panel" front grille: the white-illuminated Mercedes star and all the light elements are integrated in this seamlessly glazed design element. The blue-illuminated surround gives a completely new interpretation of the typical Mercedes radiator grille. Illuminated LED optical fibres in electric blue produce a light show with exciting touches of colour.
The peripheral light strip of the "Black Panel" is equally typical of Concept EQ. Embedded in it are the white, powerful LED headlamps. Viewed from the side, the flowing E-line and beltline form a frame around the base of the mirror camera. Touches of rose gold in the chrome-plated E-line moulding and the spokes of the 21-inch wheels serve as a special eye-catching transition from interior to exterior.
The rear lamps are of matching design, taking up the contour of the "Black Panel" and surrounded by an LED optical fibre in electric blue, which changes to red when the vehicle is moving and acts as a tail light. The central Mercedes star at the rear end is likewise illuminated in white. Similarly to the front end, the clasp-like light signature on the outside changes to orange as soon as the direction indicator is operated.
Lighting mood: from welcome scenario to electric blue
As the driver approaches the car, it automatically activates to welcome him or her with a specific colour mood in the interior. The welcome scenario is rounded off by digital light in the perforated interior door panels. Once the driver has taken their place, the lighting mood switches to electric blue, with the lights in the doors and on the seats dimming slowly. The wide-screen display gradually builds up to present the energy level. The navigation map shows all the destinations that can be reached on the current battery charge.
Adaptive ambience lighting for a feel-good atmosphere
A special feel-good atmosphere is produced by the adaptive ambience lighting on board Concept EQ. There are lighting elements in the light strip underneath the windscreen, on the side and middle air vents, seats, door handles and interior door panels, on the centre console and around the Mercedes star in the steering wheel.
Powerful electric drive: 300 kW total output with a range of up to 500 kilometres
With two electric motors on the front and rear axles and a battery in the vehicle floor, Concept EQ embodies a powerful vehicle concept. The basis for dynamic high-level performance and safety comes courtesy of the electric all-wheel drive with axle-variable torque distribution and a battery installed deep in the vehicle floor between the axles. With a total output of up to 300 kW in the most powerful variant and a maximum torque of up to 700 Newton metres, Concept EQ accelerates to 100 km/h in under five seconds. In combination with the intelligent operating strategy from Mercedes-Benz, Concept EQ has a range of up to 500 kilometres.
In the transfer to series production, Mercedes-Benz benefits not only from its in-house development and production expertise, but also from the Group's cross-model-series modular strategy for alternative drive systems and direct access to key components for electric mobility. The high-efficiency lithium-ion battery originates from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. Thanks to their modular design, the innovative battery systems have a model-specific total capacity of over 70 kWh.
Convenient charging at home and on the road
Concept EQ brings together the latest-generation charging technologies. The vehicle is ready both for charging at home by induction or wallbox and for fast charging. Mercedes-Benz energy storage units of the future could form an ideal symbiosis with the cordless charging system via induction or wallbox. Households that have their own photovoltaic system and which store their surplus solar power in a Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit can thus benefit from a "green" source of power that is extensively independent of the energy market.
Significantly reduced charging times will come with the introduction of fast charging by the Combined Charging System (CCS). This European charging standard allows for fast charging with a far greater capacity than at present. Currently, charging capacities from 50 up to sometimes 150 kW are possible.
In the medium to long term, a charging capacity of even up to 300 kW is planned. This would enable sufficient power for 100 locally emission-free kilometres to be recharged within five minutes.
Driver assistance systems for maximum safety
It goes without saying that Concept EQ also features the latest driver assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz. Using highly accurate maps from our partner HERE, the systems know such things as the precise curve radii as well as the position and size of a roundabout. The vehicle can then automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics to give the driver even greater comfort and relaxation. EQ thus takes a further step on the road to autonomous driving, always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. There is a special focus on the optimised interplay between the individual features, so-called "sensor fusion", i.e. the intelligent combination of data from different sensors. In the opinion of experts at Mercedes-Benz, this is one of the key requirements on the way to automated driving.
Extended communication by Car-to-X technology
But the engineers have gone one step further: for example, Concept EQ is equipped with Car-to-X technology and can exchange information with the infrastructure and other vehicles – an ideal basis for a series of new driver assistance features that build on existing systems and thus take a further step in the direction of accident prevention. It is also helpful for the driver to be informed about nearby recharging opportunities. As soon as Concept EQ realises that the destination cannot be reached on the available battery charge, it advises the driver of appropriate options on the navigation map.
3D real-time map display from HERE
Yet the digital interface can do considerably more: another highlight is the high-detail 3D city view with its trendsetting design. Technically, it is based on the map platform from HERE. This makes it possible, for example when searching for points of interest, for restaurants, shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to be especially highlighted. Other buildings recede elegantly into the background. A further focus in the design of the new HERE maps lies in reduced visual complexity while the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver can see only those buildings and information that are relevant for navigation. There is an exceptional interplay between cockpit and map, with the buildings on the map reflecting details of the instrument lighting. At the same time, the map display also gives a preview of new features, especially for electric vehicles: the driver is provided with information on charging stations as well as opportunities for inductive charging along the route. The high-detail display also includes an indication of the current energy consumption along the route.
Intelligent driver assistance
The focus of the user interface is on optimal driver assistance, such as when the main concern is to make best possible use of the available energy in the batteries in order to achieve the best possible range. The innovative consumption display provides the driver with feedback on their driving style while drawing attention to energy-saving possibilities.
Additional driver incentives are conceivable: the wide-screen display can be used to tell the driver that the current range is not just sufficient to reach the desired destination, but would also allow a detour for a spur-of-the-moment visit to friends. In addition, the driver can collect bonus kilometres as a reward for especially efficient use of the traction battery – a functionality similar to the one already familiar from current models. The trick is that the collected bonus kilometres make the occupants aware of the attractions or interesting places they can reach from the current location thanks to their driving style.