Mercedes-AMG EQE 43 and 53: high-performance electric saloons revealed

Hot AMG versions of EQE promise up to 678bhp and 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, along with improved handling

Mercedes-AMG EQE 53

Mercedes has revealed full details of the high-performance AMG versions of its EQE mid-size electric executive saloon. The EQE 43 4MATIC and EQE 53 4MATIC+ both promise more power and a more involving driving experience than the standard EQE 350.

They join the larger EQS 53 4MATIC+ in Mercedes’ growing line-up of fully electric AMG models and are set to rival other high-performance EVs such as the Tesla Model S Performance, Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT. UK pricing and an on-sale date have yet to be confirmed.

Visually, the pair are set apart from the standard EQE by a black-panel grille with chrome vertical struts and AMG lettering up front. There are also high-gloss black and chrome exterior trim elements, along with a front splitter, air intakes, side sill panels, a rear diffuser and a larger rear spoiler.

Inside, there’s an AMG Performance twin-spoke steering wheel and AMG sports pedals, plus AMG seats with branded graphics, red stitching and either man-made or nappa leather upholstery. Mercedes’ huge, dashboard-spanning ‘Hyperscreen’ infotainment system, first seen on the EQS, is available as an option.

Mercedes-AMG EQE power, performance, electric motors and top speed

As the ‘4MATIC’ part of their names indicates, both the EQE 43 and EQE 53 have a pair of electric motors (one on each axle), giving them four-wheel drive. The EQE 43 makes 469bhp and 858Nm of torque, while the EQE 53 pushes out 617bhp and 950Nm; its figures can be boosted to 678bhp and 1,000Nm by adding the optional ‘AMG Dynamic Plus’ package.

Those outputs translate to a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds for the EQE 43, dropping to 3.5 and 3.3 seconds respectively for the EQE 53 depending on whether or not the Dynamic Plus Package has been fitted. The top speed of the EQE 43 is 130mph, while the EQE 53 maxes out at 137mph (or 149mph with the option pack).

Rather than just doubling up the single motor of the standard EQE, AMG says it has tuned and adapted the 43 and 53’s motors to suit the cars’ high-performance nature. Those in the EQE 43 feature AMG-specific tuning and control, while the EQE 53 uses AMG-specific motors with “adapted windings and laminations, higher currents and a specific inverter” – enabling higher motor speeds and more power. Upgraded cooling, Mercedes says, makes the motors capable of handling repeated strong acceleration without their performance degrading noticeably.

Both AMG EQEs offer three levels of regenerative braking, with the ‘D’ and ‘D-’ settings both said to offer strong enough recuperation for ‘one-pedal driving’ around town. The ‘DAuto’ setting, meanwhile, automatically adjusts the strength of braking recuperation to suit the prevailing driving conditions.

Range, charging and battery size

Provisional range figures for the AMG EQEs are between 287 and 331 miles for the 43 and between 276 and 322 miles for the 53. Both have a 90.6kWh capacity battery – the same as the one in the standard EQE 350.

In the EQE 53, however, the management system has been tweaked, to allow a focus on maximum performance in the Sport and Sport+ driving modes, versus maximising range in Comfort mode. Over-the-air (OTA) software updates for the battery management system are also possible.

The two AMG models also have the same 170kW rapid-charging capability as the standard EQE, allowing just over 110 miles of range to be added in 15 minutes when using a fast enough public charger. An 11kW on-board charger is standard, with 22kW available as an option – although for UK buyers, 7.4kW remains the fastest speed you’ll achieve from a home wallbox without upgrading your house to three-phase electricity.

The battery management system can pre-heat or pre-cool the battery if it knows you’re en route to a charging point, to ensure it’s at optimal temperature for fastest charging when you arrive. An Eco Charging function also helps preserve battery life; the cells are guaranteed for 10 years or just over 155,000 miles.

Suspension and handling

Both AMG EQEs have fully variable four-wheel drive; this continuously distributes torque between the front and rear axles in optimal fashion depending on the driving situation. Mercedes says the electric version of this system offers a significantly faster response than a traditional mechanical four-wheel-drive setup.

In the ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ driving modes, the torque distribution is rear-biased, in an effort to ensure sportier handling. Other driving modes are ‘Slippery’ (for low-grip surfaces), ‘Comfort’ (for everyday driving), ‘Race Start’ (for maximum acceleration from a standstill) and ‘Race Start with Boost’ (which is part of the Dynamic Plus Package for EQE 53 and unleashes the maximum 678bhp power output).

Air suspension and rear-axle steering also feature. The components of the former are said to have been “specifically tuned to meet the special requirements of AMG customers”, boosting both comfort and handling, while the latter promises to increase agility at lower speeds (where the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts) and stability at higher speeds (where all turn in the same direction).

Upgraded brakes to handle the AMG models’ extra power are also standard, with even higher-performance carbon-ceramic brakes available as an option.

What’s next?

With the AMG versions of the EQE and EQS saloons now unveiled, the next electric AMG creations to break cover will be the high-performance variants of the EQE and EQS SUVs, which are expected to appear before the end of 2022. Beyond that, AMG is set to develop standalone electric performance models of its own.

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