Mercedes Unveils Stunning 200-Mile EV Concept with 350-KW Charging

By · August 24, 2016

Mercedes used Monterey Car Week, the annual classic car extravaganza, as the venue last week to unveil the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6—a daring new electric vehicle concept.

While the sleek luxury concept model with an ultra-long and elegant hood is not intended for production, its technical specifications are a harbinger of future EV design. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 has a whopping 80 kilowatt-hour battery pack capable of providing more 200 miles on a single charge. Moreover, its Quick Charging function is rated at 350 kilowatts, meaning that the vehicle could add as much as 60 miles of driving range in just five minutes.

Perhaps the classic car fans witnessing the unveiling in Monterey were not fully aware of the vehicle’s electric powertrain. But they were certainly impressed by the design of the 2+2 coupe measuring nearly 20 feet in length—with an almost impossibly long hood and very low roof line. The main body of the car is bulging and muscular. Mercedes said the design was an homage to the “glorious age of aero coupes.”

The experience from behind the wheel would be just as impressive. The output from the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6’s four electric motors is 750 horsepower—sending a surge to all four wheels. Acceleration from zero to 62 miles per hour is less than four seconds. Top speeds is 155 miles per hour.

The vehicle was unveiled in a bunker-like building on the third fairway at the historic Pebble Beach golf course. It’s Monterey Car Week, so of course, the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes concept has a narrow split rear window and gullwing doors. The EV concept wears the same marque as the Mercedes-Maybach S 500 and S 600—the automaker’s luxurious production models launched in February 2015. The base MSRP for those models is $190,000.

Leaving no stone unturned, Mercedes-Benz equipped the vehicle with gee-whiz technology such as a front windscreen that serves as a giant heads-up display that can be controlled by passengers using hand gestures. There are also sensors embedded in the upholstery that somehow change interior lighting to match ambient lighting conditions as well as the outside temperature and (curiously) the color of the passengers’ clothing.

Yet, the most promising practical feature of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is its use of the DC-based CCS Quick Charging standard—juiced all the way up to 350 kW. That would represent a quantum leap from today’s common 50-kW so-called Quick Charging—and even a significant increase from Tesla’s 120-kW Supercharger that can adds 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. If Quick Charging could safely and economically provide 350-kW charging, electric vehicle recharging could reach refueling times similar to what’s provided in a gasoline-powered vehicle. Mercedes said the vehicle—clearly just a concept at this stage—could provide that extraordinary level of Charging with a cable or wirelessly.

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