Is Mercedes Trying to Put an End to Tesla’s Reign at the Top of the EV Food Chain?
Mercedes’ opinion of Tesla has changed a lot over the last yearby Robert Moore, on
Back before the Tesla Model X had even made its debut, when we had nothing more than word of mouth about what the electric SUV was going to look like, Mercedes came right out and said that it didn’t consider Tesla a competitor. As it stood at the time, Mercedes clearly had no plans of going all-electric and competing with the pioneer of long-range EVs. Shortly after that, word started to spread Mercedes was working on an all-electric lineup, but details were scant at the time. Finally, in June of this year, word came down from Autocar that Mercedes was working on a Model X competitor (quoting an MB official with knowledge of the new vehicle.) Now, there is a new development and Mercedes has officially eaten its own words.
According to the Australian website Motoring, an interview with David McCarthy – the communications manager of Mercedes’ Australian division – has revealed that Mercedes does, in fact, have Tesla in its sights. As the story goes, the brand is working on a Model S competitor that will ride on the same underpinnings as at least four other all-electric vehicles. Furthermore, it will be a direct shot at the American EV manufacturer, as it will have a similar pricing strategy.
In the interview, McCarthy said, “It’ll be in a price bracket similar to the Tesla Model S, have a similar cruising range, but it’ll be a Mercedes, so I think Tesla probably have good reason to be concerned about it.”
As you can see from that quote, Mercedes isn’t only loading the gun; it’s already firing warning shots as well. This could get interesting.
Note: Image shown above is a spy shot of the upcoming Mercedes S-Class Sedan.
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Why it Matters
The company has already revealed that this unnamed sedan will be “dangerously fast,” and will actually be one of the faster cars in Mercedes’ lineup. It has even been said that some variations of the car could rock an AMG badge. We know it will be a large, four-door sedan with four seats and all-wheel drive. There is still no word on whether or not it will have something similar to Tesla’s Ludicrous mode but, given the most recent quote from Mercedes, I have a feeling it will. Driving range is expected to top the 300-mile mark.
Mercedes claims it isn’t trying to take Tesla out, but it should be “prepared for a tussle,” according to Motoring. Furthermore, we should get to see the new electric sedan in concept form as early as the Paris Auto Show. With that kind of conceptual debut, the new Model S fighter could hit Mercedes showrooms as early as 2018. What do you think? Can Mercedes top Tesla and still keep the new EV in the same price range without taking a loss? Let us know in the comments section below.