Exclusive: The Mercedes Vision EQXX can't even hit 90mph, but that's okay

Side view of Mercedes Vision EQXX
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

We were left a little puzzled as to why Mercedes decided to leave the top speed and acceleration specs off the official (18 page!) press release of its Vision EQXX - but now we know. They're really not what you'd expect.

During an exclusive media briefing during CES 2022 which focused on the battery, electric power and UI/UX of the Vision EQXX, TechRadar asked what these specs were.

Jasmin Eichler, Director Future Technologies at Daimler AG responded quickly, revealing a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration time of 7 seconds and a surprisingly sluggish 140km/h (around 87mph) top speed.

To give you some comparisons, a Vauxhall Corsa EV and Chevy Bolt EV can achieve faster top speeds. Meanwhile Ford's current cheapest car in the US - the 2021 Ecosport - can hit 119mph.

However, the top speed and acceleration of the Vision EQXX really doesn't matter.

Missing the point

The Vision EQXX isn't about speed, it's about efficiency, as Eichler explains; "as our overall goal, we tried to work out a challenging range number to shoot for, and we picked this (1,000km) because it just works".

Mercedes wanted to challenge itself when it came to efficiency and battery density, in a bid to make a car that is supremely closer to production, while offering staggering range statistics.

Adam Allsopp, X1 Powertrain Director at Daimler AG added; "We've looked at the best route for efficiency and battery density."

And what Mercedes' engineers have been able to achieve in terms of battery breakthroughs has to be commended.

They took the battery from the Mercedes EQS, which offers an already-impressive 453 miles WLTP (729km) of range, and shrunk its size by 50% and decreased its weight by 30%.

Adding that into a the Vision EQXX - which has the lowest drag co-efficient of any road car at just 0.17 - and you end up with a super-slippery EV with amazing range.

Rear view of Mercedes Vision EQXX

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

And lets not forget, 87mph (140km/h) is more than the upper speed limits on many roads around the world, so it's not like you'd exactly be left behind day-to-day. 

Also, you won't actually be able to buy the EQXX - it's just a concept car, or as Mercedes likes to put it, a "road-legal research prototype" which is actually very close to a production car.

So close in fact that this new battery technology - and a bunch of other features in the Vision EQXX - will be used in future Mercedes series EVs. 

What's likely to happen is range will be reduced slightly in favor of more attractive top speed and acceleration specs, but continued advancements in battery chemistry and engineering may mean the reduction is as great as you expect.

And that would certainly be a good thing, as considering the likely high sticker price of future Mercedes EVs with sizable range, the automaker would be wise to work on the speed figures to help justify the final cost to consumers.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.