When Mercedes-Benz exclusively built gas-powered cars, it routinely sent them to its AMG performance division. AMG engineers would take the standard Mercedes car and inject it with Tabasco, building quicker, more powerful, better-looking editions that would sell at a hefty premium.
Mercedes is going electric. But the AMG step isn’t going away.
In September, the German automaker gave the world its EQE electric luxury sedan. Sharing space with the iconic E-Class sedan in the Mercedes lineup, it’s a sumptuous executive sedan with one of the largest batteries on the market (though the EPA still hasn’t weighed in on its range). So, it’s about time for the spicy one.
Meet the Mercedes-AMG EQE.
High performance or higher performance
You have two options: a lot of power or even more power. The AMG EQE uses a motor on each axle to give you all-wheel-drive grip and 617 horsepower. It leaps from a standstill to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.
Should that not be enough, an available AMG Dynamic Plus Package pushes it up to 677 horsepower for a brief boost in Race Start mode. That one does the run to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.
It all rides on an AMG Ride Control adaptive air suspension borrowed from the AMG GT. It, Mercedes says, “analyzes data – including data from the acceleration and wheel path sensors – to adjust the damping force for each wheel in a few milliseconds to suit the situation.”
Four-wheel-steering is standard. It moves the rear wheels opposite the front below 37 mph and with them above. That combination, Mercedes says, offers increased maneuverability at neighborhood speeds and more stable handling at highway speeds. Drivers can select for comfort or sporty feel with five driving modes. The Dynamic Plus Package adds a sixth.
Mercedes hasn’t predicted the car’s range. But the company says it can add 115 miles of driving range in just 15 minutes when connected to a Level 3 fast charger.
Subtle changes outside, more dramatic inside
Not much differentiates the AMG model from the standard EQE’s inflated jellybean looks. It wears more aggressively shaped bumpers and side skirts, but those can be selected on the standard car with the AMG Line Package. Unique to the AMG EQE is a faux grille with chrome vertical bars and a trunk lid spoiler.
Inside, AMG-specific race seats feature red stitching on black leatherette upholstery (Nappa leather is an option). A flat-bottom AMG performance steering wheel includes paddle shifters. That’s an odd addition on an electric car (they don’t shift), but Mercedes says they control “various recuperation levels.”
The EQE is available with Mercedes’ signature Hyperscreen — an immense, full-width screen that replaces almost the entire dashboard with touchscreen surface.
AMG’s internal combustion vehicles are known for their lusty engine sounds. Electric cars are near-silent. So, Mercedes has developed what it calls “the AMG Sound Experience,” which uses speakers separate from the entertainment system to play customized sounds from themes the driver can select to match their mood.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.