Looking to 2039
While my automotive interests lie firmly in automobiles that rely on fossil fuels for their motivation, I just couldn’t ignore the latest concept car from Mercedes-Benz, the Vision EQS. The purity of its stretched “one bow” design is undeniable and the EQS just might hint at the shape of an S-Class of the not to distant future.
Frankly, I’m weary of seeing the hoards of stylistically neutral full size Teslas roaming the San Francisco Bay Area’s highways and byways. Mr. Musk has brilliantly out flanked the entire automobile manufacturing universe on the all electric front. But it’s time for a change in the all electric design aesthetic, and perhaps MB’s Design Chief Gorden Wagener and his gorgeous EQS will lead the way.
Are we headed toward a day when vehicle windows allowing a view of our surroundings are no longer required?
Chasing CO2 Neutrality
Mercedes-Benz has declared via its “Ambition 2039” to achieve climate neutral mobility in 20 years. The slick EQS provides a glimpse of this future. With an output of 350kW from its front and rear axle mounted engines, that future is also one of silent supercar performance. 0-100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds and MB claims a comfortable operating range of 700km. Take that Mr. Musk. And an 80% charge is rumored to require just 20 minutes.
With this massive commitment to electric must come a viable charging network which Mercedes, in a joint venture with with BMW Group, Ford and Volkswagen Group, is addressing with IONITY, a rapid charging network throughout Europe. 100 of the planned 400 charging parks planned by the end of 2020 are operational. It’s all very interesting.
Achieving a reliable autonomous driving experience is the still elusive goal for all manufacturers. To this end the EQS provides the driver with “highly-automated” driving at level 3 on “longer motorway” journeys (i.e. sustained highway trips) and the system can be scaled up to the holy grail of autonomous driving, fully-automated or “eyes-off” motoring. Eventually…
Other visual cues include elegantly styled 24″ spoked wheels pushed out flush with the smooth unadorned side flanks of the car and a dazzling grille face formed in a single sweeping surface and integrating 940 individual LEDs arrayed in a three dimensional grid. The rear lights cleverly comprise 229 flush mounted LEDs each in the shape of MB’s identifying star, sans the outer ring.
Squinting your eyes and looking over MB’s design evolution over the last styling cycle, you can detect the undeniable rise in coachwork beltlines and the gradual reduction in roof height. The EQS closes the gap between roof and body beltline ever further. Are we headed toward a day when vehicle windows allowing a view of our surroundings are no longer required? Motoring in 2039 might be a strange experience indeed.
roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage.com