2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE Is a Hammer That’s as Gentle as a Suede Glove

Deep in the Lilburn, Georgia garage of Jonathan Hodgman sits a one-off Mercedes AMG E-Class wagon built in the 1980s with a 6-liter 32-valve V8 engine.  Known as “Hammers”, AMG modified about 50 E-Class sedans, coupes, and wagon for a price of $160,000 – or $445,000 today, Rolls-Royce money then and now.  I guess that’s one way to get the kids to school!

All of this is in my mind as the modern Mercedes-AMG “wagon”, an electric Hammer if you will, arrived in my driveway.  Let’s go for a very quick ride in the 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV.

Sporty Body Bling

In deference to those classic Hammers, known for their painted chrome and slammed style, our EQE sports black chrome badging, black trim, and dark 21” wheels.  LED lighting all-around signifies this AMG is of our age.  The EQE body is elegant and sleek, but maybe a bit too blobbish to be distinct.  I miss the strong lines and tall stars on the classics.

Where the old AMGs seemed to say “get your hands on the wheel and drive”, this one flaunts Mercedes’ pillar to pillar Hyperscreen that provides flatscreen gauges, wide infotainment screen in the middle, and a third for the co-pilot.  Devices connect wirelessly through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – and can be charged wirelessly, but passengers can conjure directions or summon music, then swipe them to the main screen.  “Zero layer menus” grant swift access to functions.

Beyond all that wizardry, the EQE is awash in all of the sporty spiffiness expected in an AMG model.  Red-stitched leather and suede cover the seats, steering wheel, and doors while carbon fiber and aluminum bring the bling.  Four-zone automatic climate control and Bermester 3D audio add divine comforts.  Tap the power hatch to open up a roomy cargo hold that holds its own with the old wagons.

Hodgman’s wagon rockets from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds and on to a top speed of 176 mph.  A Corvette from the era took an additional second to hit 60 and fell 20 mph short on top speed.  If you wanted to flash your family from Stuttgart to Munich toot sweet, this was your whip.

The EQE would embarrass that classic AMG in all but top speed.  Its electric powertrain with all-wheel-drive delivers 617 horsepower and 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.  Top speed for AMG models is limited to a gentlemanly 149 mph so as not to run the battery dry running to McDonald’s and back.  It can charge 10-80% on a DC fast charger in 32 minutes, but will take closer to 11 hours on a home charger.  Range is rated 235 miles, provided you’re not towing the maximum 4,000 lbs.

Driving The Sublime.

Nothing drives like a powerful Mercedes from the ‘80s, suspended on stiff iron sponges, but the EQE is a starship by comparison.  Its air suspension can be adjusted from wafting comfort to brutal cornering.  Performance is further enhanced a raft of crash avoidance systems that include adaptive cruise, automatic lane changing, automatic emergency braking, and exit warning.  Driver’s view vitals through a picture-size head-up display that appears to hover feet in front of the car.  Maneuvering in tight downtown spaces is a dream with rear steering.

I make a big deal about the EQE’s performance, but it’s also a very pleasant vehicle to drive everyday.  It can crush you kids’ backpacks when driven hard, but it can also carry them in cosseting comfort as gently as a mother’s kitten.  And, it does it all with style and tech unimaginable when Hammers ruled highways.

The Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV starts at $109,300, rising to our car’s $130,850 – a “bargain” compared to what Hodgman’s car cost new.  Others to consider include the Tesla Model X, Cadillac Lyriq, Audi Q8 e-tron, and BMW iX M60.

Storm Forward!

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