2022 Mercedes EQE electric SUV: pictures and details

New Mercedes electric SUV spied testing ahead of 2022 release; will join smaller EQC and forthcoming larger EQS SUV in the range

Spy shot of secretly tested future car

These spy shots are our first look at Mercedes' next pure-electric SUV, set to bring the brand's EQ model range to a total of six by 2022. The car will sit above the Mercedes EQA, EQB and EQC in the range, while offering a higher-riding alternative to the EQE Saloon; 2021's EQS saloon will top the range, as well as getting its own SUV variant.

Speaking at the official launch of the EQS saloon, Mercedes designer Gorden Wagner went into more detail about the EQE SUV and its larger EQS counterpart. "They'll look different in a similar way, as I describe the EQS," he said. "They'll be more seamless, more integrated, more aerodynamic, more futuristic looking – so it will be a new type of SUV."

Seen in our pictures testing under a comprehensive disguise, the SUV version of the EQE looks to share a similar front end to its saloon counterpart, with slim LED headlights and a large grille just about discernable under the dazzle camouflage. A tall roofline tapers down to meet the rear end, which itself is likely to feature a full-width LED light bar as found on the EQC. 

Unlike the current GLC-based Mercedes EQC, the EQE SUV will sit on the same electrified platform as the EQE saloon and both EQS variants. The new underpinnings, named MEA, should prove lighter, more efficient and better for overall packaging than the brand's first effort.

As with other EQ models, the EQE is likely to be available with a range of different battery sizes and power outputs, similar to those offered by rivals including Tesla and Audi. It's likely that the top-performing models will easily pass the 350-mile mark for range, alongside punchy sub-five-second acceleration times.

Mercedes-AMG has also confirmed it's working on high-performance versions of the brand's electric models – so an EQE equivalent to to the GLE AMG combustion-engined variants seems a near-certainty. It's not yet clear if Mercedes will replace the current EQC with a new version using its dedicated electric-vehicle platform; the SUV only arrived in 2019 and so is likely to stick around in its current form for a few years yet.

The new car shown here in our spy images will rival large electric SUVs like the Tesla Model X, but also take on higher-end versions of established rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron, plus BMW's forthcoming iX3. We're yet to see confirmation of any larger electric SUVs from those brands, but it's safe to assume it won't be long until each follows suit.

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