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2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE: First Drive And Review

The all-new 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE is the AMG-tuned variant of the pure-electric Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ model that arrived earlier this year. The new model is fitted with standard dual motors, nearly twice the power, and a full complement of performance upgrades; its performance is significantly enhanced.

Yet, unlike performance-tuned combustion sedans, which lose some of their soft demeanor in the translation, the AMG EQE doubles down on luxury as it amplifies performance.

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Exterior and Interior

The Mercedes EQE has a distinctive appearance sculpted by the wind – aerodynamics and functionality took precedent when it was being engineered. The AMG EQE shares platforms and body panels with the EQE 350+, and although a low drag coefficient was still a primary engineering goal, AMG was able to add its signature flair to the exterior and interior.

The one-bow, cab-forward AMG EQE projects a sportier, more youthful appearance than the standard EQE 350+ model. The nose is adorned with the AMG signature black panel grille with vertical slats in chrome, and its LED DIGITAL LIGHT headlamps feature a unique AMG projection when starting and shutting down the vehicle. The front bumper is painted in body color, and high-gloss black paint is used to contrast chrome accents. In addition, there are AMG side sill panels (in high-gloss black), a rear bumper in body color, and an aerodynamically optimized rear diffuser. The rear decklid spoiler has also been increased in size to reduce lift without significantly affecting drag.

The passenger cabin benefits from its AMG treatment, too. A pair of AMG sports seats are up front, upholstered in MB-Tex/microfiber with contrasting red stitching (soft, full-grain Nappa leather is on the options list). AMG badging is embossed on the front head restraints, and there is badging on the front seats’ backrests. In addition, there are AMG sports pedals, AMG floor mats, and illuminated door sills with AMG lettering. Most notable, however, is the gorgeous, flat-bottom AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather – enhanced with the AMG Drive Unit steering wheel buttons.

Mirroring the EQE 350+ model, the AMG EQE arrives with class-leading innovation. The AMG sedan boasts the new-generation MBUX Multimedia System with Navigation and Natural Language Understanding and Keyword Activation (use “Hey Mercedes” to initiate commands), complete with a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication (up to seven profiles may be stored). There is also wireless smartphone integration and a convenient wireless charging pad. In addition, standard KEYLESS-GO and KEYLESS-START make approaching, unlocking, and driving the AMG EQE away an elegant process.

The standard MBUX driver interface is a 12.3-inch primary instrument display with a 13-inch touchscreen in the dashboard’s center, which looks great. Choose the optional Hyperscreen to extend the digital screen across the entire dashboard. In addition to the full suite of digital features found on the standard EQE 350+ model, the AMG EQE is enhanced with unique AMG performance apps and the optional AMG TRACK PACE app – consider it a virtual race engineer.

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Motors and Battery

Whereas the EQE 350+ was fitted with a single Permanently Excited Synchronous Motor (PSM) on the rear axle going through a single-speed gearbox (rated at 288 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque), the AMG EQE raises the horsepower quotient significantly. This is because its powerful electric drivetrain (eATS) boasts an AMG-specific PSM motor on each axle. Upgraded from the standard PSM, the AMG motors feature adapted laminations and wirings, higher currents, and a unique inverter for higher motor speeds and even greater power output. In addition, the rear motor is a six-phase design (two windings with three phases each), making it particularly robust.

The AMG EQE boasts a maximum output of 617 hp and 701 lb-ft of torque – essentially double the power of the EQE 350+ – in standard configuration. However, select the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, and the system output jumps to an astonishing 677 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque – it’s one of the most potent vehicles the automaker has ever offered (as a point of reference, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series offered a 720 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque).

A 328-volt high-performance lithium-ion battery supplies power with 90.6 kWh of useable energy. The battery pack is positioned at the bottom of the chassis within an armored structure to protect it in the event of a crash. The new-generation battery features advanced cell chemistry to aid sustainability – cobalt content has been reduced by 10 percent. The battery management software is specially tuned by AMG to focus on performance in the SPORT and SPORT+ driving modes (COMFORT mode focuses on efficiency and range).

While the EPA has not officially certified a range, expect the AMG EQE to deliver about 300 miles on a charge. In addition, Mercedes-AMG says the battery has advanced cooling, which allows rapid 170 kW DC charging rates – 112 miles of range may be added in as few as 15 minutes of charging. Owners may also charge their vehicles at public or home AC charging units, which take advantage of the EQE’s advanced thermal management and ECO charging functions.

Lastly, the battery pack can also be recharged during deceleration (e.g., energy recuperation or regeneration) at upwards of 260 kW. Three regeneration stages range from mild to one-pedal driving (with braking to a standstill).

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Powertrain

There’s a prodigious amount of horsepower on tap that would overwhelm a traditional rear-wheel-drive powertrain, so the AMG engineers equipped the AMG EQE with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel-drive that continuously distributes drive torque between the front and rear axles based on the driving situation. (Mercedes-AMG notes that the all-electric system delivers a much faster response time – torque is monitored 160 times per second – compared to a combustion system.)

The driver may configure the driving dynamics of the AMG EQE with five different drive modes: SLIPPERY, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+, and INDIVIDUAL. Each setting alters numerous components that range from steering feel and accelerator responsiveness to suspension damping and battery management – optimizing the driving dynamics from efficiency to the racetrack (Mercedes-AMG even allows an ESP OFF setting). The all-electric powertrain also permits different motor outputs based on the driving mode. In SLIPPERY configuring, total output is limited to 308 hp, while RACE START with boost function (offered with the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package) allows the full 677 hp.

In RACE START, Mercedes-AMG says the AMG EQE is capable of sprinting from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 149 mph.

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Suspension

Underpinning the AMG EQE is a fully independent AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with adaptive adjustable damping. While the basic four-link front and multi-link rear suspension designs are carried forward from the EQE 350+, AMG engineers specified new wheel carriers, suspension links, and anti-roll bars to allow high-performance tuning (in terms of sport and comfort) for its discriminating AMG customers. An advanced suspension control unit analyzes data from an array of sensors to continuously adjust damping (in milliseconds) to optimize the ride to suit the situation. Dual-adjustment valves permit a vast range of adjustments between COMFORT and SPORT+ modes. The air suspension even drops the vehicle’s ride height to lower the aerodynamic drag – thereby improving electric efficiency – at speed.

Rear-axle steering is also standard on all AMG EQE models. The system allows up to 3.6° of rear-axle steering either in-phase (above 37 mph) to improve stability or out-of-phase (below 37 mph) to advance maneuverability and reduce the turning radius. The AMG engineers have designed unique aerodynamic wheels for the vehicle in 20- and 21-inch diameters. (My test vehicle was fitted with high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires designed to provide exceptional grip and low rolling resistance.)

The braking system on the AMG EQE has been upgraded with larger 16.3-inch rotors and six-piston calipers on the front axle (the rear axle uses 14.9-inch rotors with single-piston calipers). Those wanting even more braking capability will choose the optional AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system with 17.3-inch carbon-ceramic rotors on the front axle.

How does the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Drive?

While the all-new Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 delivers stronger performance than any E-Class AMG model, the driving experience couldn’t be more different. Whereas previous combustion-powered AMG models were noted for their luscious deep exhaust notes that would roar under full acceleration, the EQE 53 runs silently –yet it feels much quicker and more powerful.

Mash the accelerator pedal from a standstill, and the vehicle rockets forward. The acceleration is brutally immediate and phenomenally strong – and generally drama-free as the vehicle’s electronically controlled all-wheel drive ensures wheel spin is negligible. Electric motors are mostly quiet, but the AMG EQE is offered with the AMG SOUND EXPERIENCE that adds a uniquely composed acoustic sound piped through the speakers and bass actuator to accompany the acceleration. The intent is to amplify the emotional experience – think of it as a futuristic spaceship soundtrack evoking warp speed! (There are three other sound modes: Balanced, Sport, and Powerful, which may be used to enhance any drive mode – or the vehicle may be kept silent.)

There’s no need to wait for a transmission to shift into a lower gear, turbochargers to spool up, or even the motors to warm up as the AMG EQE is always ready – immediately – to produce instantaneous thrust. As a result, merging into traffic is effortless, as is passing every other vehicle on the road. While this unquestionably adds pleasure to the driving experience, it simultaneously (and significantly) improves safety as the sedan is immediately responsive to the driver’s commands. (On that note, the AMG EQE is configured with Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE, including its comprehensive suite of safety features.)

Dynamically, there’s no hiding the fact that the AMG EQE has a curb weight of about 5,500 pounds (about 700 pounds heavier than its combustion equivalent). The driver feels the substantial mass, yet it ultimately manifests as stability – a solidness on the road. Interestingly, the motor’s responsiveness, adaptive dampers, all-wheel-drive, and rear-axle steering dispel any feeling of sluggishness. Almost magically, the AMG EQE feels sprightly and agile when pushed hard in corners or on twisty roads. It goes where it is aimed with magical precision, with only the slightest protest from the Michelin tires (that are being asked to bend the established rule of physics).

The AMG EQE is swift and silent in the more sedate driving modes (e.g., COMFORT and INDIVIDUAL, if configured as such). Power is unlimited and instantaneous, which takes much of the stress out of driving. The five-passenger sedan devours highway and city miles – even bumper-to-bumper traffic – in a calm matter, allowing its occupants to enjoy the comfortable cabin or the audio system.

How much does the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Cost?

Mercedes-AMG has not released pricing for the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE, but most expect it to have a base price of about $100,000 when it arrives in showrooms at the end of the year.

Who should buy the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE?

Mercedes-AMG is targeting an affluent forward-thinking buyer who values advanced electric vehicle technology and its ability to enhance high-performance driving. The ideal customer will be familiar with Mercedes-Benz and appreciate the innovative engineering, peerless build quality, premium luxury appointments, exclusive dealer network, and cachet the German brand offers. The AMG model and its associated increased performance envelope and distinguished styling are alluring – the target buyer is mindful that those qualities elevate the AMG EQE to the top of the EQE model lineup and increase the vehicle’s exclusivity.

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