A call. An invitation. A journey. A car and a country that I did not know and a lot of congenial encounters awaiting me and you. Accompany me on an electronic transformation in Iceland. Now.
My trip began in Zurich – I am flying to Reykjavik under good weather conditions and in the best of moods. A city that I did not yet know. Exciting. When I open the door of the arrivals terminal, wet and bitterly cold air almost blows me back. The driver who collected me saw my discomfort and said: «If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.» Alright, I only had to wait 2 minutes until I could get into a breathtaking and incredibly beautiful limousine. The beauty was an EQS limousine. A straightforward beginning for the announced (driving) experience.
It was evening already and Mercedes invited me to a joint Get2gether with drinks at the bar and subsequent dinner, both began enchantingly. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable if too many people are in one room but somehow it was unexpectedly wonderful to have personal encounters and conversations again. Experience a bit of normality and freedom, that was the plan for the beginning of the next day with the new Mercedes EQE. I’m curious and go to bed in The Edition.
Day guard, a Cappuccino and the key issuance. Things are finally getting going. I have missed the social experience and here with the Mercedes Crew I’ll be experiencing it again in its entirety. The instructors explain the vehicle allocated to me today at lightning speed. Including an emergency telephone. I start the electric car and drive off carefully following the directions from the navigation system. Firstly I adjust the seats, the mirror and everything that is important to me during a very long drive. After roughly 40 minutes in my test car I take notice of the design for the first time. I really only know Mercedes vehicles from an optical perspective and can differentiate between the classes but never drove one myself, except for the G-class belonging to a famous German sports presenter. How that came about and all other details will remain my secret for now.
Modern design language
I am completely high on a sensory level from the design – interior and exterior. The crew from Mercedes told me that the product developments took three to five years until the vehicle was launched on the market. The EQE line is, in my opinion, in line with the spirit of the times, fashion and current color trends, this fact only becomes apparent to me now – as I sit completely alone in the car. Everything is new to me in my EQE 500, but I press all the buttons and talk to her. She is called «Mercedes» and reacts to «Hey Mercedes» to receive my instructions and questions and at best to answer them. She would incidentally understand me in 27 languages. I have so much fun in a country that I am visiting for the first time. The countryside changes every twenty minutes and now I am driving up and down in the Icelandic Highlands and arrive on time for lunch in a villa. The view, the people, the interior and the food prepared by the head chefs put a permanent grin on my face.
Short break with the Exterior Designer and Program Developer. Robert and Timo, they have mercy on me and explain everything that I should know about this model series. Laura, the product manager joins us and we treat each other with welcome empathy. Robert explains to me that the design line management is called «one bow». I am already extremely impressed because this design is immediately recognizable. Sensuous clarity, generous surfaces and reduced joins with seamless transitions. The EQE has a sporty purpose design with all characteristic elements of the Mercedes-EQ. The rear forms a dynamic accent with a sharp tear bar. The shoulder section is muscular and the flush positioned wheels with dimensions of 19 to 21 inches give the EQE an extremely athletic character.
Live and drive freedom, that’s the message behind this black EQE model on the terrace of this villa, in the background an impressive and clear backdrop and scenery from Iceland. After the strong Espresso I get into my test vehicle again. It was not charged, because the range promises 654 km of driving fun and I have a remaining range of 221 km until the next station. I plan to experience the driving pleasure for the next two hours and that is exactly what I do, until I stop in front of a huge waterfall and the spray of the water rings out.
Driving with the EQE is, on the contrary, silent. I have the constant feeling that I am extremely relaxed, even after a four-hour drive. Nevertheless I decide to take a short break, until I continue to drive to my destination. An absolute highlight is the MBUX Hyperscreen. This large, curved screen extends from A-pillar to A-pillar. Three screens are located under one cover glass and fuse optically to one display. Optional extra of course. A bit like a cinema on wheels. The screen intuitively offers touch operation with haptic feedback and force feedback. The glass is scratch resistant, coated and wonderfully easy to maintain.
When approaching a roundabout I notice the ECO assistant, it offers me situation-optimized anticipation – it is delayed as strongly or weakly as necessary so that all things considered you drive in the most efficient way. Recognized preceding vehicles are approached with the least possible driving resistance. This continues even until a complete stop, for example at traffic lights. So you do not even need to press the brake pedal – pure one-pedal driving.
The shortest way is not necessarily the fastest
While the classic distance calculator lives in the past, navigation with Electric Intelligence looks to the future. The energy requirement is estimated to calculate the route. This considers topography, track layout, ambient temperature, speed, heating and cooling requirements. Other factors include the traffic situation on the planned route and the charging stations available there, its charging performance and the payment functions. The calculation takes place in the Cloud and is combined with onboard data.
The customer does not have to tank full at every charging station, but receives a specific recommendation of the optimal charging time at the charging station. The charging stations are planned in a way that proves the most favorable with regard to the entire journey time: Because under certain circumstances two short charging stops with a higher charging performance could be more advantageous than charging once for a long period. Then I got everything right today. In addition the vehicle’s charging settings are automatically adapted by the navigation with Electric Intelligence and optimized for fast charging along the route. I roll into the destination or to be more precise to the charging station and say goodbye to Mercedes. The location feels like it is nowhere and near the famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull in south Iceland. The day was impressive, intoxifying and electrifying. I am in love with digital technology, with the maximum driving pleasure and the joy that we were able to experience together.
“After the EQS, the EQE is already the second model on our new platform for electric vehicles. With the new EQE, we can quickly make the high-tech solutions of our electric flagship EQS available to a wider group of buyers.”
Markus Nast, Global Communications Mercedes Benz Cars
Photos Copyrights: Mercedes