While Mercedes has introduced several plug-in hybrid powertrains in its lineup, the German automaker has not been pushing very hard on the all-electric front. The company never built an electric car from the ground up and its only battery-powered vehicles were built on existing model platforms (A Class and B Class) with drivetrains developed in partnership with Tesla.
But earlier this year, the company announced a change in direction and greenlighted 4 new all-electric cars for production. Now we learn that the company is set to unveil the first of 4 models later this year at the Paris Motor Show.
In a new report, Autocar cites insider sources revealing that the company is working on a new SUV for the first of its new EV lineup:
The new concept, currently undergoing construction at Mercedes’ prototype workshop on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany, is said to provide “a clear insight” into the external appearance, interior appointments, technical layout and overall dimensions of the German car maker’s first truly dedicated electric vehicle – a uniquely styled SUV.
While the vehicle will be new from the ground up, Autocar suggests that it could take design cues from the Mercedes-Benz GLC, or possibly its recently unveiled coupé version (pictured above and below):
The all-electric SUV is expected to hit the market in 2018 or 2019 – around the same time Audi is expected to bring to market its own battery-powered SUV, the quattro. It will also compete with the Tesla Model X in the all-electric luxury SUV segment.
According to the report, Mercedes will also confirm its plan for its new electric vehicle lineup with the unveiling of the SUV. The vehicles should be two sedans and two crossovers (or SUVs) build on Mercedes’ electric vehicle architecture ‘EVA’. The company invested $2 billion in EVA last year.
The German automaker is already working on its supply chain for the new electric vehicles by selecting SK Innovation as the supplier of battery cells for the upcoming line of electric cars.
The 2016 Paris Motor Show starts in late September (press show) and stretches into October (public show).