Last October, Mercedes-Benz gave us an artful, obscured peek at a vehicle it called the Vision EQXX the same day parent company Daimler presented its Strategy Update. Eventually, we learned that Mercedes has no plans to sell the Vision EQXX. The car, like all such with “Vision” in the name, is a concept being used as “a pre-development project to introduce new technologies” in the words of Daimler CEO Olla Kaellenius.
Mercedes has knighted divisions like its UK-based High Performance Powertrains, which specializes in developing the hybrid drivetrain for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, to experiment with maximizing EV efficiency and range. Last year, the company dangled the promise of the EQXX being able to travel between Beijing and Shanghai, which is 754 miles. We thought the brand might debut the silent, slippery wonder at an auto show, but that hasn’t happened. Daimler’s presenting its new Strategy Update today, and we have a new teaser image of the EQXX on Twitter and tucked in the presentation’s slide show.
Our VISION EQXX – a symbol of our ambition to create the most efficient car. Join us for more exciting news at our Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update. July 22nd.https://t.co/QeQIxYctGC pic.twitter.com/baiUTycuvE
— Mercedes-Benz (@MercedesBenz) July 21, 2021
Instead of the singularly convex front fascia seen on the EQS luxury sedan, the shiny black rendering exposes complementary shapes and curves at the front of the EQXX reminiscent of the Mercedes-AMG One. Fenders swoop over the front wheels to a pair of narrow, angled headlights that each hold six LED lighting elements arranged in the form of two upside-down T’s. An LED strip runs across the front, illuminating how the center section of the nose dips well below the vehicle’s edges. It looks like a simple, unadorned bumper extends across the concept below the LED strip. Above that, on the hood, two racy vents fulfill purposes we can’t be sure of yet. It’s also said that, like the AMG One, the three-pointed star at the front of the EQXX is a sticker in the name of aiding efficiency.
The text on slide 19 featuring the technology tester says the car will have “a real range of over 1,000 kilometers,” which is 621 miles. We’re don’t know if that’s a climbdown from last year’s Beijing-Shanghai boast, or if Mercedes plans to underpromise and overdeliver. The 134 miles of range lost in the last ten months gets drowned out when we’re told that the 621 miles or more will be achieved “with a compact car segment sized battery.” Achieving that would make Mercedes the hands down leader in EV range and efficiency, at least in prototype form. The efficiency target is “single digit kWh per 100 km.” If we used nine kilowatt-hours as a placeholder, Mercedes is talking about a minimum achievement of 6.9 miles per kilowatt-hour. The Lucid Air and its 113-kWh battery, much larger than a compact-car-sized EV battery, is credited with doing at least 4.5 miles per kWh.
Ever since last year’s tease, Mercedes has said it plans to transfer what it learns to its production cars. To speed that exchange, Daimler is in the process of shrinking, preparing itself for the challenges of electrification by “hiring a lot of new software engineers, experts in battery chemistry, electrification.”