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Mercedes-Benz plots ultra-luxurious electric sedan

by Ronan Glon

Tentatively named EQ S, the model could arrive in 2020.

Mercedes-Benz's electric car offensive will include a range-topping, ultra-luxurious sedan, according to one of the company's top officials.

"We will have an electric vehicle at the level of the S-Class, no doubt, but it will not be the S-Class," said Michael Kelz, the manager of Mercedes' large cars, in an interview with British magazine Autocar.

His comments suggest Mercedes won't simply rip out the S' combustion engine and replace it with an electric motor. The zero-emissions model -- tentatively named EQ S -- will be a standalone car with its own look.

Going electric will allow designers to give the EQ S a different design. "Short overhangs front and rear thanks to the packaging under the floor and huge wheelbases," Kelz said. He has already seen a concept version of the car, which suggests Mercedes will likely show it to the public in the not-too-distant future.

The production model will arrive between 2020 and 2022. Autocar adds Mercedes plans a global lineup of at least 20 electrified models by the turn of the decade. One of them might be a plug-in hybrid variant of the new CLS; it depends on whether the company senses there's enough demand for the model.

"We have not planned to bring this car to market as a plug-in hybrid, but it would be possible. As soon as we see there is higher demand, we could go for a plug-in hybrid in the CLS," Kelz explained.

Note: Mercedes-Maybach S-Class pictured. Photo by Ronan Glon.