2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV asks what AMG stands for

What the heck does AMG stand for as the electric era takes hold?

That question kept rolling around inside my head the entire week I spent behind the wheel of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV.

The best I can conclude based on my time with the midsize electric crossover the answer is more power, less range, AMG badges, some sportier looking bits, and a much higher price. 

That’s a far cry from the boost in overall performance of the AMGs I grew up with, which leaves me wondering how AMG keeps its luster alive in the electron-powered age.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV has lots of power

While the AMG EQE SUV has more power than its standard-line siblings, it is mostly translated only on paper. That brings bragging rights but not a lot of real-world advantage. 

The engineers in Affalterbach upgraded the two electric motors to deliver 617 hp and 701 lb-ft of torque over the lesser EQE SUVs’ 288-536 hp. They tap the same 90.6-kwh battery pack. The increase in power comes courtesy of upgrades to the motors’ windings, laminations, currents, and inverters that all allow for higher motor speeds.

For $4,000 extra, buyers can opt for my test car’s AMG Dynamic Plus Package, which boosts power output further to 677 hp and 738 lb-ft. The extra power is only available when using Race Start mode, which means it will pretty much never or rarely be experienced on a public road. Comfort mode will only put out 80% of the power, which translates to 493 hp, and Sport model ups power output to 90%, which is 555 hp. The system needs to be cranked to Sport+ mode to get the full 617 hp.

The AMG EQE SUV is capable of a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.4 seconds, again in Race Mode, and a top speed of 149 mph with the Dynamic Plus Package. It’s all a bit underwhelming compared to offerings from Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian. Despite the numbers, this isn’t neck-snapping acceleration. Brisk and uneventful best describe mashing the accelerator from a stoplight. It’s quick, but it feels Mustang Dark Horse quick, not Corvette Z06 quick. Forget anything with the word Plaid in the name. 

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV’s brakes feel unnatural

While the AMG EQE SUV upgrades to 6-piston front calipers with 16.3-inch rotors and single-piston rear calipers with 14.9-inch rotors, my test car went further. For $5,450, 17.3-inch carbon-ceramic rotors were swapped in up front, and they are probably overkill for day-to-day street driving.

Like other EQ models, the regenerative braking system is a two-stage design that feels somewhere between frustrating and alarming. When the regenerative braking engages the system physically moves the brake pedal toward the floor, which is creepy and disconcerting since it’s not my foot moving the pedal. Then, at an unpredictable point, the system engages friction braking. It’s not fluid and feels unnatural here and in all the electric EQ models, including EQS hatchback. Mercedes should copy the Lucid Air’s braking homework here. An AMG with unpredictable brakes just hurts my heart.

Mercedes knows it has an issue with its EV brakes. Mercedes spokesperson Andrew Brudnicki told Motor Authority 2024 EQ models will get a revised braking system that has been retuned for better feel, though it’s unclear when the upgraded system will come to models sporting the AMG badge.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV carves around suburban corners

While the EQE 500 SUV offers a smooth ride, the AMG model firms things up. The four-corner air suspension and adaptive dampers have been retuned for a firmer, yet not jarring, ride. Broken pavement impacts are blunted and never unsettle the suspension.

The 5,930-pound electric AMG exhibited less body roll than expected thanks to standard active anti-roll bars, but it doesn’t feel as responsive as the AMG gas SUVs. The sticky Michelin Pilot Sport EV MO1 tires on the AMG-specific 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels clawed at the pavement, but the sticky rubber almost felt out of place on such a heavy electric crossover SUV with jelly bean looks. 

The rear-wheel steering with up to 9.0 degrees of rotation shrinks the EQE SUV in low-speed scenarios below 37 mph. The turning radius of 35.8 feet is nice, but from pulling in and out of a driveway to just coming around a corner in the neighborhood, the system required me to recalibrate my expectations for how quickly the SUV would turn. Throughout the week I found myself getting caught off guard while at neighborhood speeds, but at both faster highway speeds (when the rear wheels steered only slightly with the fronts) and slower parking lot speeds (when the rear steering made sharp turns easy) the system felt more natural.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV dons few visual upgrades

While most AMGs can be spotted pretty easily, picking out the AMG EQE SUV will take a keen eye and some knowledge. The most obvious change is to the grille, which has vertical chrome strips embedded in the plastic that looks odd because they add ribbing to an otherwise flat piece of plastic. The wheels, a Y-spoke design, are also exclusive to AMG. The era of the tell-tale quad square exhaust tips is dead.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Inside, the love-it-or-hate-it Hyperscreen digital dash combines a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch passenger touchscreen under one single 56-inch pane of glass. It’s overwhelming for the senses. The shiny carbon-fiber trim feels out of place in a cabin that prioritizes technology over sportiness. The AMG sport seats are disappointingly flat and pedestrian looking. The AMG-specific steering wheel has a twin-spoke design and touch-sensitive controls that can be frustrating to operate with precision, especially for volume control.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV

Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV only goes half the way

The AMG formula seems harder to translate in the Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV because the fire and fury of the V-8 is gone. The power, dynamics, and even the sportiness of the interior all feel like they were taken only half as far as they should’ve been, from the sport seats that really aren’t that sporty to the performance specifications that aren’t that compelling to the muted feel behind the wheel. Insult to injury is an EPA-rated range of just 235 miles. 

With a price of $110,450, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV throws extra power at a competent and composed electric luxury crossover SUV without rounding it out with traditional AMG performance. My tester cost $130,850, and came off as expensive and underwhelming. 

How embarrassed will an owner be when a Rivian R1T pickup truck or R1S SUV dusts this AMG model at a stoplight for less money while having more range and all-around capability? Mercedes will have to do better than this in the electric era because it muddles what those three letters stand for.

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