Mercedes-Benz Will Reportedly Develop an EV-Only Platform
With the advent of a transportation future that runs mainly on electricity on the horizon, more and more car manufacturers are investing resources in creating the pillars of the time to come. Among them is Mercedes-Benz, who, according to a recent report by Autobild, is preparing to invest a boatload of money into a bespoke EV architecture. AutoBild says that the three-pointed star will drop around two billion euros ($2.4 billion as of 12/23/2014) into the project, dubbed "Ecoluxe", which will spawn two unique electric-only models with four different body styles.
Contrary to what some may expect, the first full-electric model based on the platform will allegedly be a large crossover coupe in the style of the recently-unveiled 2016 GLE Coupe, with introduction to take place either at the end of 2019 or in 2020. AutoBild expects two sizes of the crossover to be offered, one with five seats and the longer one with seven, just like the current GL or future GLS. Each model may also spawn a "Shooting Brake" variant of its own to create four body styles in total.
The smaller variant, set to carry the "S" moniker, will apparently offer 544 horsepower, with 408 horsepower sent to the rear wheels and 136 horsepower to the front ones. The larger "GT" version will also make do with 408 horsepower to the rear wheels but 204 horsepower to the front ones, for a total of 612 horsepower. Thanks to a rather large battery pack included into the double floor of the cars, range is expected to sit at around 450 km (280 miles), no matter the power output.
Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes’ future "Ecoluxe" EV Platform.
Why it matters
While German car magazines are sometimes right about their future predictions, I have a feeling that the information above may be indeed based on some insider leak, but most of the details were probably added in just to make it a little more believable. Why do I say this? For two reasons actually, with the first being that it is next to impossible to know the exact power output of a vehicle five years before its unveil, not to mention that the crossover/SUV mentioned is not even in the development stages yet.
Second of all, it would be pretty peculiar for Mercedes-Benz to invest money into an all-new platform that will underpin just two vehicles with four body types. As some of you may know, the Stuttgart brand is already on the verge of cutting the number of different architectures it uses to just four in the upcoming years. Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz Modular Front Architecture for compacts, Modular Rear Architecture for most sedans and coupes, Modular High Architecture for larger crossover and SUVs, and Modular Sports Architecture for sports cars platforms, these four platforms are expected to be featured on every single Mercedes apart from the G-Class in a few years from now.
The so-called "Ecoluxe" could be a last-minute addition to the ones above, but Mercedes-Benz would probably be better off with modifying an existing architecture for a future range of all-electric cars, just like it somewhat recently did with the smart fortwo, SLS AMG and the B-Class Electric Drive.