Mercedes-Benz is just days away from unveiling its Vision EQXX concept, an ultra-efficient EV with a focus on aerodynamics. Now, the firm has put out a revealing teaser image showing the car’s profile.
Mercedes’ COO Markus Schafer has previously disclosed that it promises a real-world range of 1000km (620 miles). Dubbed “the most efficient vehicle the brand has ever built”, the Vision EQXX will be unveiled online on 3rd January 2022, before transferring to the Mercedes-Benz stand at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas a few days later.
The latest preview image is the most revealing yet, showing most of the car’s profile. It’s clear that the focus of aerodynamic efficiency gives the Vision EQXX a radical shape, with a low front-end, rising bonnet, narrow glasshouse and curved roofline. The rear in particular is striking, with a long overhang that slopes downwards from the car’s four-door centre.
Mercedes says that the new car “demonstrates the gains that are possible through rethinking the fundamentals from the ground up. This includes advances across all elements of its cutting-edge electric drivetrain as well as the use of lightweight engineering and sustainable materials.”
The Vision EQXX is more than just a show stand trailer queen, because it previews the brand’s future electric vehicle technology. It won’t directly spawn a new Mercedes EV, but bosses have already confirmed that some of the findings from the project will trickle down into the brand’s production cars.
The prototype was first teased during Mercedes’s 2020 strategy presentation. Previous images have shown the car’s rear three-quarter view and front-end design, meaning we have a pretty good idea of what it’ll look like before the unveiling.
Engineers working on the project claim that, rather than increasing battery capacity (and with it, weight), improving a car’s aerodynamic efficiency is key to unlocking such a long range figure. Mercedes engineers explained: “The easiest way is to put a bigger battery in the car, but it leads to diminishing returns. The key is efficiency of vehicle and powertrain.”
Earlier this year, Schafer also mentioned that his team was working on improving the output of its battery packs, saying: “In terms of aerodynamics this project aims at going even beyond what’s been achieved with the EQS, already the world‘s lowest Cd series production car ever. And we are also working on increasing the energy density by an additional 20 per cent at the cell level compared to the EQS.”
Mercedes’s teaser images give a clear picture of the engineers’ aerodynamic intentions. The prototype has a tiny frontal area, while the transition from the bonnet to the windscreen has a shallow rake to aid airflow. Vents and gills have been kept to a minimum, too, with the only noticeable intakes being mounted on the bonnet.
Speaking at the last preview for the EQXX, Schafer said: “We’re talking about the future of Mercedes-Benz. And naturally it’s pretty much all about numbers, facts and data. But we all know the real magic happens when impressive technological achievements become reality in a car. That’s why I’m very proud to give you a preview of our Vision EQXX.
“Back in 2020, we initiated an exciting next step in electric vehicle development and put together a cross-functional, multi-disciplinary team of experts supported by specialists from the Mercedes-AMG F1 team.
“We instructed them to aim beyond 1,000 km on one charge. But not by making the battery bigger. Anybody could do that. No, they’re working with a normal sized battery, destined for series production in a forthcoming Mercedes compact car. Efficiency is the new currency!
“Our eDrive experts are making rapid gains in efficiency and pushing the boundaries of what‘s possible in terms of eMotor, inverter, battery design, packaging and thermal management. They’re chasing marginal gains that compound to substantial increases in range. Our goal is to integrate these new technologies in future Mercedes road cars.”
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