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Now this standard sets everyone must strive for

Next summer, Teddy Woll will retire. Then he intends to take the family to Norway to go in the mountains, he tells me.

The exceptionally pleasant and knowledgeable head of aerodynamics at Mercedes, can round off his working career knowing that he will leave his mark.

There may not be many who want to know that – but he will have a great influence on the development of the electric car in the future. His work was absolutely crucial for the concept car EQXX to drive 1,000 kilometers on one charge.

We meet him in Antibes – not far from Nice – along the French Riviera. Here we will soon get to experience the car.

Exactly that is completely unique. We are talking about a car of which there is one in the world – and which has an almost invaluable value. It sets the standard that everyone now has to reach for. Demonstration of power is almost not descriptive enough for what Mercedes has managed.

Teddy Woll is the head of aerodynamics at Mercedes. He does not take that job lightly …

And it’s actually not that they drove 1,000 kilometers on one charge in themselves that is sensational …

– Seemed insurmountable

There are many other experts, engineers and bosses present at the special press event. But there is no doubt about who everyone considers the most important. Several of the others refer to Teddy Woll as “The King” – a title the main character himself seems a little bothered to overhear.

But it is easy to understand the respect he has received among his colleagues. EQXX has managed to become so aerodynamic that it boasts a Cd value of 0.17. That number you should note.

To put it in perspective. The world’s most aerodynamic series-produced car is the Mercedes EQS. It has a Cd value of 0.20.

– It was a kind of internal battle all the way, between us who worked to reduce air resistance, those responsible for design and the engineers. We had to challenge each other all the time. Sometimes the task seemed insurmountable. But we got to the finish line, smiles a proud Woll.

The French Riviera is a favorite place for beautiful boats and beaches.  Here we will also get to know Mercedes' new electric concept car EQXX better.

The French Riviera is a favorite place for beautiful boats and beaches. Here we will also get to know Mercedes’ new electric concept car EQXX better.

Promises 1,000 kilometers on one charge

Sensational consumption

The reason he can say that is that EQXX recently embarked on a special ride to show everyone that it could actually cover 1,000 kilometers on a single charge. The trip started at Sindelfingen – Mercedes development center in Germany. The destination was the coastal city of Cassis, west of Nice. 1,000 kilometers away.

– When the car rolled out of the test facility, it was the first meters it had on the public road. You might think we were excited! We knew it would work in theory. But sometimes it’s different in reality.

The conditions are not ideal. It was occasionally cold – around five plus degrees – in places a lot of precipitation, road work and queues. Everything you need to be prepared to face in the real world, in other words.

EQXX drove via Switzerland and Italy – before the sprint along the Riviera. Upon arrival, the car’s trip computer showed that it had 140 kilometers to go on!

The average consumption ended at 8.7 kWt per 100 kilometers – while the average speed was a solid 87.4 km / h.

It is not an exaggeration to call these numbers sensationally good!

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Finally!  We will be out and driving the concept car EQXX.

Finally! We will be out and driving the concept car EQXX.

Compact battery pack

As mentioned above, it is not the range itself that is most impressive. If you have a large enough battery, you can drive extremely far. However, Mercedes has made a point of making the battery pack as compact and light as possible.

The result is startling. It has managed to get 100 kWt capacity in a battery that weighs only 495 kilos. In addition, it is half the size of the battery pack in the flagship EQS – which is 107 kWt.

– One of the things we wanted to do was make a battery that can be used in even compact electric cars. This battery pack can be put in an EQA, for example.

In addition, the goal was for the car to look good. It should look like a car you could put into production. Thus, it became a solid challenge for Woll and co.

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Record low rolling resistance

It is absolutely crucial that the car must cut through the air as efficiently as possible – at the same time as it must look good and be able to accommodate four people.

It was quickly decided that the EQXX had to have a coupe-like design. Falling roofline. The front is low and slightly wider than the rear – so you get lower air resistance around the rear wheels.

There is also a diffuser that comes out and is extended by 20 centimeters when the car is driving at over 60 km / h. On the roof there is a 1.9 square meter solar panel.

But one of the biggest challenges is the wheels. After some arguing with the design department, they landed on 20-inch rims that are flat and without spokes, to provide the least possible air resistance. The tires are narrow – only 185 mm. Not particularly beautiful, I think, but I dare not say that to Woll …

– There is virtually no rolling resistance here – almost like a train. And the rims are made of magnesium, to save weight. Even the edge of the tires is shaped to reduce air resistance, says Woll.

You always have to work a lot with models and clay before you get the finished car.  But now a lot is being done digitally.  Believe it or not - but both of these cars are made of clay ...

You always have to work a lot with models and clay before you get the finished car. But now a lot is being done digitally. Believe it or not – but both of these cars are made of clay …

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The writing on the deck

But if you really want to understand how far down in matter you have gone to find the extra kilometers of range – we have to focus on the side of the tire. Here it says Bridgestone. You can see it – but you can not feel the contours of the letters.

– We must reduce all air resistance, points out the future pensioner to Broom.

As you can see, books can be written (there will be books written) on how to push the consumption of EQXX down to 8.7 kWt per 100 kilometers.

What is hardly uplifting for the rest of the industry is that there is no shortcut. There is not a single grip that turns everything upside down. You have to do a complete job.

Mercedes has put full weight into solving the task. All departments have been involved – including the Formula 1 team and those who have been at the forefront of developing the AMG One hypercar.

– It is a real team winner and has been very fun to be a part of, Stefan Hummel states. He is an engineer and development manager.

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Mercedes had also brought this completely unique car - namely the K 540 Streamliner from 1938. Here, too, the focus was on aerodynamics.

Mercedes had also brought this completely unique car – namely the K 540 Streamliner from 1938. Here, too, the focus was on aerodynamics.

Screen bonanza

But now there’s enough talk. We will experience the car for ourselves!

The interior looks impressively “finished”. Just like the car’s exterior. Here, there is very little to indicate that we are actually sitting in a concept car.

The interior also gives a taste of the future. Not just through the use of recycled materials and designs. The first thing you notice when you dump into the seat is a huge screen. While EQS has three different screens that cover the entire dashboard – this is a single screen of 47.5 inches. It extends from A-pillar to A-pillar.

We will return to this screen in a separate case. There is a lot to say about it.

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Here is the largest infotainment screen Mercedes has ever made.  47.5 inches - and this is one screen!

Here is the largest infotainment screen Mercedes has ever made. 47.5 inches – and this is one screen!

Narrow rear seat

The interior has high perceived quality – and some tough design elements.

The electric motor itself is not particularly powerful. Here it is noticed that the range is prioritized. But out on the road, the car has a significant kick when the right foot is used a little determined. Up to 60-70 km / h it really goes away.

The car feels quiet and steady – but the seats are hard and the suspension seems quite tight set up. In a production model, there will probably be a greater focus on comfort.

The rear seats are nice to look at – but the ceiling height sets clear limits for those who will be staying on the second row of seats.

On the road we get some long glances from other road users. But not as many as I had expected.

We drive around on highways and small roads – a total of 43 kilometers we drive. Finally we are back where we started. The average speed is 60 km / h – and the consumption is 8.8 kWt. Good luck doing something similar with your electric car!

Read more about Vision EQXX here

Teddy Woll talks about the very special wheels that are on the EQXX.

Teddy Woll talks about the very special wheels that are on the EQXX.

Crack the code

We ask all the experts we meet when we can expect an electric car from Mercedes with a range of 1,000 kilometers. But no one has a good answer to that. On the other hand, they are keen to say that several of the experiences they have gained with EQXX are already on their way into models that will be on the market.

– The most important thing is that we have cracked a code that makes it possible to reduce consumption that is below 10 kWt per 100 kilometers.

We are told that the EQXX will be a blueprint for the upcoming electric cars for Mercedes. They will come close, in the future. By 2025, Mercedes will have an electric version of all its models. It is not long until 2025.

By that time, Woll has put the aerodynamics shoes on the shelf. Knowing that he has been involved in something big.

So if you meet him on a mountain hike – then remember to greet and congratulate him on his efforts. The King.

Video: We recently tested another special electric car from Mercedes:

Video: Watch the premiere of EQXX here

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