2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan
Great Luxury Sedan, Better EV
Mercedes-Benzs launched their quickly expanding all-electric EQ sub-brand with the EQS sedan, arguably the first EV to come from an established brand that truly delivered the flagship luxury sedan experience. Well, it’s time now to determine if this midsize EQE sedan can deliver the same experience for the rest of us.
Making a fully electric luxury flagship sedan is easy when money is no object, and Mercedes sure created a great one with last year’s EQS. Bringing that excellence down to a lower price point is much more difficult; but Mercedes wasted no time undertaking it with this midsize 2023 Mercedes-EQE.
The interior is not quite to EQS levels of sophistication, but still glorious to look at and with all the ambient lighting, almost as high-tech feeling.
While the EQS’ wide Hyperscreen dash is available, a more traditional setup is standard with the central control panel housing a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen, with a tablet style 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster mounted upright behind the steering wheel. The MBUX interface is similar and responds quickly, with most functions easy to find. Standard navigation with Electric Intelligence will plan the most efficient route, or one with charging stations if necessary.
Whether you stick with the standard MB-Tex upholstery or upgrade to real leather, the feel is luxurious throughout. Front seats are very comfortable, as are the rear seats with plenty of legroom. A large panoramic roof and a premium Burmester sound system are standard.
Regen braking has three levels right up to full 1-pedal driving, plus an auto setting which never seemed to give the feedback we were looking for. Overall, the EQE was very solid feeling on the road, behaving more like a typical Mercedes-Benz sedan than an electric car. The only detractor from the experience was a very thick sloping A-pillar which seemed to be in our line of sight more than we’d like.
On to more specific powertrain details. A base 350+ features a single rear motor rated at 288-horsepower and 305-miles of range from a 90.6-kWh battery. An additional motor can be added up front for 4MATIC all-wheel drive both in 350 form, and this top of the line 500 4MATIC which cranks out 402-horsepower from 300kWs worth of dual-motors. No official range figure for the 500 yet, but our car indicated as many as 263-miles available, though based on our driving loop, around 220 seems much more realistic.
Off to Mason Dixon Dragway to see how that 400-plus horsepower translates to acceleration times.
While there was enough oomph off the line to press us back in the seat a bit, it felt mostly smooth for a somewhat soft launch. There are plenty of unique hyperdrive-like sounds to go along with the very quick 4.0-second trip to 60 miles-per-hour. According to Mercedes, torque delivery is checked 10,000-times per minute, distributing power to front and rear motors, according to traction, way faster than is possible with any mechanical system. Power stayed pretty consistent until just before the end of the ¼-mile, where it tapered off slightly as we finished in 12.6-seconds at 108 miles-per-hour.
In our handling course, the EQE delivered a very unique experience as its optional rear axle steering provides an extreme 10-degrees of turning, which translated to very little input needed to the steering wheel to change direction quickly. And while that hyper responsiveness took some getting used to, the minimal body roll and overall well-balanced nature were much appreciated. And needless to say, whipping in and out of parking spots is a breeze.
While the EQE shares the same basic one-bow, cab-forward shape of the EQS, the smaller size makes for a bit less of an elegant profile. Still very futuristic looking however, with a smooth face and wheelbase stretched to the max. Pricing starts at $76,050 for the rear-drive 350+, with the top 500 4MATIC beginning at $87,050.
While it doesn’t have quite the presence or panache of the full-size EQS, the 2023 Mercedes-EQE Sedan does a great job of bringing plenty of the flagship flair down to a more attainable level. Making it not only a great luxury sedan, but an even better EV.
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph