Join Date: Sep 2010
Vehicle: 1999 slk 230
Other Toys: 1966 Mercedes Heckflosse
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 530 Post(s)
Thanked 1,420 Times in 958 Posts
Mercedes-Benz Is Building a Tesla Model S Rival and It's Official
It seems that, one way or the other, everything has something to do with Tesla these days, and the trend doesn't seem to lose momentum anytime soon.
There's a simple explanation for this: the Tesla Model S is the absolute best electric vehicle that money (granted, a lot of them) can buy at the moment, and whoever wants to come up with a new EV has to try and make it better.
Tesla Motors has recently made things easier for its competitors by realising its patents for everyone to use, but even with that information available, it still takes time to develop a new vehicle. And it's hard to say whether the fact Mercedes-Benz already had some vehicles with electric powertrains in development was helping or not. It means you have considerable knowledge about the matter, yes, but it also means it's going to be harder to merge your own work with anything useful found in Tesla's breakthroughs.
Well, one way or the other, Mercedes-Benz are announcing their plans to launch an electric vehicle with a maximum range of 311 miles (500 km). Speaking to German magazine and website Auto motor und sport, Chief of Development Thomas Weber said "we are working on an intelligent concept for a highly attractive electric vehicle with a range of 400-500km (228-311 miles)". See, we weren't lying.
Where is this going?
What Mercedes-Benz has and Tesla Motors doesn't is a full range of different models, and according to Thomas Weber the new powertrain will fit neatly in a lot of the brand's current and future products.
What Tesla Motors has and Mercedes-Benz doesn't is a dedicated network of fast Superchargers that allows the Tesla S to act as almost as a regular vehicle, able to cover large distances without the dreaded range anxiety.
So, it looks like it might be a draw.
Mercedes-Benz already has a capable EV in the form of the B-Class Electric Drive and they even made a four-wheel drive electric supercar a few years ago based on the SLS AMG, so they know what they're doing.
You can't speak about Mercedes-Benz without mentioning its two main rivals, BMW and Audi. The Bavarians (the ones closer to the South, that is) are planning to expand their "i" range with a new, larger model - allegedly built on a 5 Series platform - while Audi is making huge steps forward with their e-Tron project. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure, and the main beneficiary of this cold war is going to be the public.