AMG is on a path of discovery proper now. Mercedes’ efficiency wing is on the absolute high of its sport producing a variety of gasoline-powered efficiency autos, however now it has to discover a new means ahead as Mercedes brings extra EVs into its lineup. The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE is its second try at reworking a daily Mercedes-Benz mannequin right into a fire-breathing AMG. The primary was the massive AMG EQS, which we discovered to be a reliable Mercedes-Benz, however not a convincing AMG. Turning a Mercedes sporting the letter E into an AMG is a fair better problem, although, as the most well liked E-Courses have arguably been the definitive AMG going again to the Hammer. To say the duty is a troublesome one for Affalterbach is an understatement.
Go forward and overlook most of the belongings you’ve recognized about AMG for years (many years for a few of us) as a result of the longer term goes to be completely different. AMG doesn’t have the identical fallbacks it might depend on to get fanatics enthusiastic about its merchandise. There’s no rip-snorting V8, melodious inline-six or absurdly boosted four-cylinder to carry the drama. Extra so than many efficiency manufacturers, an AMG has been about shopping for a automotive with a particular engine — in any case, constructing race engines is how AMG received its begin.
Electrical motors? Properly, they’re quiet. However there’s no doubting the efficiency numbers this new-age AMG places up. The twin-motor AWD setup within the AMG EQE combines for a complete output of 617 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque. Use the “Race Begin” launch management, and presuming you stated sure to the AMG Dynamic Plus package deal, output is quickly boosted to 677 horses and 738 kilos of twist (greater than any E-Class AMG mannequin has ever had), permitting 60 mph to reach in simply 3.2 seconds. That’s faster than the AMG E 63 S Sedan, however solely by one-tenth of a second. With out the additional efficiency package deal, it’s 3.4 seconds, making you slower than the gas-powered AMG. What a disgrace, proper?
The AMG EQE comes with some necessities to get the quickest acceleration, with essentially the most prohibitive being that you need to have better than a 70% cost of the 90.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to get most efficiency. You’ll additionally must be sure to’re in Sport+ mode for the complete horsepower, be it 617 or 677, as Mercedes limits energy output in lesser drive modes. With these met, you’ll be able to let it rip.
Whenever you do, we hope you’re prepared for some wild spaceship noises, as a result of that’s the theme AMG went for with this EV. You’ll be able to select between “Efficiency” or “Genuine” modes, however we discovered each to be annoying and decidedly inauthentic. The launch management sequence intensifies the sound results performed over the audio system, and whereas the quantity could also be excessive within the cabin, it’s not the kind of noise fanatics would count on from their high-performance Mercedes. Or any automotive, truly. It’s cartoon-ish and sounds extra like what you’d count on from a hovercraft arcade online game. Against this, the Porsche Taycan’s synthetic noises replicate the sound of an electrical motor and is tuned to make it appear to be the sound is emanating from that motor, versus simply indiscriminately filling the cabin. You’ll want to listen to the AMG for your self to return to a last conclusion, however as soon as the novelty wore off, I rapidly uninterested in it. Fortunately, you’ll be able to flip off all of the noises if you wish to.
AMG is aware of that with out its customary loud engines and exhaust, it must do one thing to make its EVs be extra than simply quicker common Mercedes fashions. Nevertheless, I discover it laborious to consider that somebody who adores the snarl and aggression from the hand-built AMG V8 will discover the spacey in-cabin noises of this EQE extra satisfying in any means. The choice proposed by Dodge with its Fratzonic Chambered “exhaust system” is worthy of its personal debate, however in these early days of EV efficiency vehicles, there’s no telling which route producers will take.
If the foolish pretend noises aren’t a dealbreaker for you, the AMG EQE undoubtedly affords an entire lot of driving pleasure that any fanatic can get behind. Per ordinary, AMG went to work on altering just about all the things beneath the EQE to make it extra enjoyable to drive. It’s outfitted with AMG-specific wheel carriers, suspension hyperlinks, anti-roll bars, adaptive dampers and air suspension tuning. It additionally will get an “AMG Efficiency 4Matic+” model of all-wheel drive — Sport and Sport+ modes lock you right into a extra rear-biased program, and AMG makes certain you realize it.
In true AMG style, the EQE is fast to chuck its tail out. In a decent nook or below laborious preliminary acceleration with slightly wheel angle, you’re going to be despatched sideways. Whenever you need to hold it clear, the usual rear-axle steering of as much as 3.6 levels makes this huge, lengthy sedan flip into tight corners swiftly. Its air suspension doesn’t wallow or include the form of floatiness some efficiency vehicles with air suspensions exhibit. As a substitute, it stays buttoned down and shrugs off mid-corner bumps with management and sufficient forgiveness that you simply gained’t be knocked off your line. Even the steering is properly executed with a correct quantity of heft and tuning that communicates what’s happening down at these huge tires. If there’s one factor about this EQE that AMG completely nailed, it’s the dealing with, as a result of this sedan will tear via a technical highway with out breaking a sweat.
Whenever you go to get on the brakes, it’s a special story. As we’ve discovered all through the EQ lineup, the transition between regenerative and mechanical braking is unnatural and troublesome to modulate. Braking energy versus pedal despair merely doesn’t really feel linear, and I discovered myself usually cursing the impossible-to-learn transition and odd brake pedal really feel. When you can one-pedal it round a highway utilizing the utmost regen mode, all the things is hunky-dory, however begin to ask these huge six-piston entrance and single-piston rear AMG brakes to do their job, and the ultimate tuning simply feels out of whack from what you count on out of a efficiency braking system. Carbon ceramics are non-compulsory, and whereas our automotive wasn’t outfitted with them, it’s laborious to think about the brake-by-wire tuning to be a lot completely different. This result’s much more disappointing contemplating AMG makes use of a particular brake “i-Booster” for the AMG mannequin in an effort to make the brakes really feel extra like what you’d count on out of a efficiency mannequin.
The AMG EQE features its shine again in every day driving duties. A sure stage of discomfort within the title of dealing with is predicted from an AMG mannequin, however there’s nearly no compromise to the trip high quality with this sport sedan. Mercedes’ repeatedly adjustable dampers work wonders on a poor highway, because the EQE fortunately sops up potholes, frost heaves and anything Michigan roads must throw at it. Contemplating how effectively the AMG EQE handles, this stage of consolation got here as a nice shock. To make use of numbers (for the reason that AMG EQ fashions don’t), it’s most corresponding to an AMG 53 than 63 mannequin so far as trip consolation goes. It’s not tuned with a singular focus towards dealing with, which is apt for a automotive that can doubtless be used as an on a regular basis car.
So, how about that EV cred? Vary from the 90.6 kWh battery pack sits at a low EPA-rated 225 miles. Essentially the most vary you’ll get out of any EQE mannequin is the RWD 350+, which is rated for 305 miles. Stepping as much as the 350 4Matic or 500 4Matic drops you right down to 260 miles, so an additional hit right down to 225 miles is to be anticipated out of the efficiency mannequin. It additionally places the AMG EQE in the identical vary as some Porsche Taycan variants. Nevertheless, a most charging pace of simply 170 kW is nowhere close to the Porsche’s speedy most of 270 kW. Mercedes doesn’t say precisely how lengthy a 10-80% cost would possibly take below ultimate DC fast-charging circumstances, however with its battery measurement and cost pace, we suspect it’d take slightly over half-hour. Actual-world testing noticed our charging speeds peak slightly below 170 kW. For these in colder climates, know that the AMG EQE additionally comes with a pre-conditioning program that can warmth the battery up for quick charging in your solution to the charger.
I’ve saved one in all my largest beefs with the AMG EQE for the top, which is the design. It simply doesn’t appear to be an AMG. Certain, the styling is incrementally improved over the usual EQE with its lined grille, AMG-specific wheels and mini trunk spoiler, however none of it goes far sufficient. There are not any bulging fenders, sporting diffusers or any sense of event. This lack of AMG-ness can largely be attributed to Mercedes’ EQ automotive styling being blander than toast, but it surely’s highlighted to a fair better diploma if you slap AMG badges on the entrance and rear. I count on an AMG to have immediately recognizable curb attraction that screams German efficiency, and this design simply doesn’t minimize it.
At the least the inside feels match for its $108,050 worth. Apparently, you’ll be able to’t spec the AMG model of the EQE with Mercedes’ expansive Hyperscreen, leaving you the extra conventional portrait show with MBUX within the middle and a free-standing instrument cluster in entrance of the motive force. The inside feels extra upscale with out the additional passenger display screen, because it replaces that space with decadent wooden trim. That’s a win, and so is the backseat house, useable trunk, wonderful driver help techniques and snappy infotainment. In some ways, it’s an ideal Benz. However I feel AMG nonetheless has work to do in its transition to the EV age. This second strive does an entire lot proper, but it surely suffers from comparable points because the AMG EQS did, which finally holds it again from being an ideal AMG efficiency sedan.