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Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4Matic prototype review

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Electric E-Class equivalent aims to add some excitement to ultra-refined EQS recipe

This undisguised cold-weather prototype is our first taste of the all-electric alternative to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Specifically, it’s a four-wheel-drive EQE 500 4Matic, and a car at a more advanced stage than the rear-wheel-drive EQE 350+ that I sampled from the passenger seat in February. It’s also a good deal more powerful.

With a dual-motor driveline using hardware similar to that seen in the even longer, more opulent Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 4Matic, the most powerful of the planned ‘mainline’ EQEs develops around 402bhp. That’s 114bhp more than for the EQE 350+, although still 67bhp less than the AMG-fettled EQE 43 4Matic and a way off the 617bhp of the AMG EQE 53 4Matic.

Bookending the range at the lower end is the EQE 300+, meaning the EQE line-up will be five models strong at launch later this year.

Energy is provided by a standard 90kWh battery, which can be heated or cooled on the move in a preconditioning process aimed at ensuring that it’s always ready to accept the fastest possible charge.

Mercedes-Benz EQE

In the EQE 350+, the battery is claimed to provide a WLTP range of up to 410 miles. Mercedes-Benz isn’t providing any range claims for the EQE 500 4Matic just yet, but it does concede that the all-paw variant can’t match the figure of its rear-driven sibling. The maximum charging rate is said to be 170kW, which translates to 155 miles of range in 15 minutes.

The biggest difference between the first two cars based on Mercedes’ EV-specific EVA platform, though, is at the rear. In place of the large liftback tailgate used by the EQS, the EQE receives a traditional bootlid. As well as incorporating a very subtle lip spoiler, it houses a full-width LED band between each of the tail-lights.

While sharing a design lineage and many key details, the EQE is arguably smarter-looking than the EQS. More compact dimensions, a lower overall height and a shorter bootline provide it with more balanced proportions all round – at least to my eyes.

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