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2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

The AMG EQE Carries On the Performance Brand's Rep for Building Muscle-Bound Sedans

Electrons or gasoline, AMG can tune it

  • Two electric motors combine to make up to 677 hp and 738 lb-ft.
  • AMG-tuned adaptive air suspension and optional carbon-ceramic brakes give this EQE additional performance cred.

Since its first real tuning success of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 — a car known rather affectionately as the Red Pig — AMG has had a thing for big sedans. That car started out life with an already big 6.3-liter engine, but AMG (at the time, a small tuning company made up of ex-Mercedes engineers) saw fit to punch that engine out to 6.8 liters, adding about 200 extra horsepower, and modify it for racing. Even though the Red Pig's racing career didn't last long, it set the trend for AMG's future exploits.

But what is AMG going to do with an electric car? Let's take a spin behind the wheel of the new AMG EQE and see if modern-day AMG engineers are just as clever with electrons as they were with fuel injection.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

The hardware

Power comes from a 90.6-kWh battery pack, the same as it does on other U.S.-spec EQEs. But AMG applied its own battery management, allowing for quicker deployment of energy in the AMG EQE's Sport and Sport+ drive modes. There's also a new wiring harness and the ability to update the battery management software with over-the-air updates. Rated voltage for the battery pack is 328 volts.

The AMG EQE uses two electric motors, one for each axle, because you need to drive all four wheels to handle this much torque. As you'd expect, AMG has eschewed the EQE's standard motors and developed its own. Utilizing custom windings with thicker wires capable of handling higher currents, these motors have increased cooling and run a different inverter.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

Power levels differ depending on the drive mode and whether or not you've plunked for the AMG Dynamic Plus package (we'll assume you have). Starting off in Slippery mode, power is a mere 308 horsepower, or about 50% of total output. Switching to Comfort boosts it to 493 hp, with Sport taking it up to 555 hp before Sport+ maxes it out at 617 hp. With the aforementioned AMG Dynamic Plus package, 677 hp is available during Race Start, otherwise known as launch control. This kind of power, coupled with all-wheel drive, gives Mercedes-AMG the ability to claim a 0-60 time of just 3.2 seconds — and we don't think they're blowing smoke.

Handling improvements over the standard EQE come from a bespoke adaptive air suspension, AMG-specific wheel hubs, suspension links and stiffer anti-roll bars. Rear-wheel steering is standard and gives the midsize luxury sedan extra nimbleness around tight corners and greater stability at higher speeds. Specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are a generous 265 section in the front and a whopping 295 out back. Like any modern supersedan, carbon-ceramic brakes are available.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

What it does

The result of all this fettling is the somewhat demure standard EQE has been transformed into a sedan with near supercar levels of performance. Power has the immediacy that we expect from a performance EV but the added traction from the all-wheel drive and wide Michelins make it that much more shocking. Some fast EVs feel like they're just as surprised as you are when they start accelerating — especially out of a corner — but the AMG EQE never lacks composure.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

While we're not the biggest fans of synthesized noise, we found it genuinely helpful to keep one of the AMG EQE's sound profiles simply to give us some audible context for how quickly the car can accelerate. These sounds have been developed by Mercedes to inject a bit of excitement into the largely silent EV driving experience. Some are similar to the sounds and vibrations made by an internal combustion engine, while others are straight out of The Jetsons. Interestingly, the AMG EQE also emits these sound profiles on the outside of the car, lending an even more futuristic vibe to the vehicle as well as alerting pedestrians and cyclists to your presence.

Handling is ridiculously good for something Mercedes-AMG says weighs just north of 5,400 pounds, so if you find yourself on a good road, you can definitely put the AMG EQE to work. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes are genuinely impressive, but the recuperation you get from the strongest setting means you don't really use those big, expensive brakes very often. We can't argue with how good they look, but we think the money you'll save by not getting them could be used to offset the number of times you're likely to charge the AMG EQE because it's just so fun to drive.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

Edmunds says

AMG's performance heritage is safe with its version of the EQE. The upgrades are more than skin-deep — this is a deeply impressive package full of high-performance engineering. We can't wait to get one into the hands of the test team for a complete performance evaluation as well as to see where it places on our EV range leaderboard.