British magazine Autocar has claimed that Mercedes’ sub-brand will be called EQ and it will not be a spin-off like Smart after all.

It also claims the first fully electric car from the three-pointed star will be an SUV that will launch at the Paris Motor Show. That will be followed by a luxury sedan to rival the Tesla Model S that will be called the EQS.

Instead Mercedes will treat its electric subset like BMW has i division under the EQA through to EQX, as well as a number of phrases that include:

EQ Inside

EQ Boost

Generation MEQ

These could apply to hybrid models, spin-off merchandise or they could even be simple advertising slogans.

First, the EQ SUV at the Paris show

The EQS could make its show debut next year, but it will not go into production until 2019 at the earliest, according to the magazine. Before then, at the Paris Motor Show later this year, we’ll get a glimpse of the first all-electric SUV that will wear the badge.

It looks like our earlier supposition that Mercedes would essentially adapt the C Class, GL and two more might be wide of the mark, too. Auto Express claims that that the company is working on a new, scalable platform that will service the electric division.

So like the BMW i line, Mercedes’ electric cars could have their own, distinctive look like the BMW i range.

Mercedes is on the comeback trail

The German marque has fallen down the pecking order of late and is now the ninth biggest manufacturer in the world. The S-Class is still the benchmark in the luxury car sector, though, in terms of luxury and also high technology.

So the Tesla Model S will have made just as big an impression on the Mercedes board as it has on the world at large, for very different reasons.

Read more: BMW i8 – everything you need to know

The luxury car has to be good, really good

Tesla has arguably taken the luxury/high tech crown with the Model S and Mercedes just has to make a big impression if it wants to win this fight. Essentially we’re looking for an all-electric S-Class with a big range, a strong rival to the Autopilot system and stunning looks.

If Mercedes goes for it from the off and opts to take on the Model S then there is a lot riding on the result. We’re all curious to see what is coming.

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