Germany’s Autobild has revealed the plans, in a feature considering the position of the country’s carmakers in relation to Tesla’s increasingly popular - and all-electric - Model S sedan.
The report predicts a German EV retaliation from BMW with its i5 model, Audi with the Q6, Porsche with a 917 and the new Mercedes Ecoluxe models.
Carmakers from all nations are understood to be taking the EV route more seriously at present, as tighter emissions regulations in Europe and the US in coming years may leave them with little choice.
But it’s the reported Ecoluxe angle from Mercedes-Benz that is raising eyebrows, as the carmaker has revealed virtually nothing of such plans to date.
The report predicts almost AU$2.5 billion will be invested by Benz in its EV platform, which would be flexible enough to sit beneath rivals for both the Model S sedan and upcoming Model X SUV.
With an eye to the future, a smaller model is also reportedly on the cards as a rival to the Tesla Model III, and the platform would be rear- and all-wheel-drive compliant with rear-wheel steering.
Power from the electric engine could be as high as 454kW with a range of at least 450km. Production targets would be set at 80,000 units per year, with the first model on sale to the public from 2019.
An autonomous concept from Mercedes-Benz (pictured) was spied testing last month ahead of an expected debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, but the concept may also, in fact, be the first preview of the Ecoluxe platform.
Watch this space…
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