• EQC: Learning from the best.

    EQC 400 4MATIC:
    Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 21,5–20,1 kWh/100 km;
    CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km.⁶ 

    Text: Jelena Pecic | Photos: Benjamin Knoblauch

Passion for motorsport.

At first, the petite woman hardly stands out among her mostly male colleagues: they are all wearing black jackets with “Mercedes-Benz Driving Events” printed on them. It’s only when you take a closer look that you realise that former professional racing driver Traudl Klink is the one setting the agenda for the Driving Event at the Hockenheimring as the lead driving instructor. Her passion for motorsport and her enthusiasm for the coming hours on the race track in particular are already palpable.

This driving event is all about electric mobility. Plug-in hybrid vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz model range are available, as well as the fully electric EQC.

Former racing driver Traudl Klink at the Hockenheimring.

Former racing driver Traudl Klink at the Hockenheimring.

Getting the thrill of the speed.

The brand offers its customers the opportunity to experience every aspect of Mercedes-Benz models between April and October. This also means driving in a safe environment without the constraints of road traffic.

And getting the thrill of the speed and re­discovering the agility and dynamism of Mercedes-Benz models. Traudl Klink leads the team that gives tips, instructs and supports the participants to improve their driving skills.

Traudl Klink leads in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class; Matthias Malmedie follows in the all-electric EQC.

Traudl Klink leads in the E-Class; Matthias Malmedie follows in the all-electric EQC.

Change with passion.

Today, Traudl Klink has television presenter Matthias Malmedie as her student. The seasoned car tester and presenter of the cult show “Grip” has long shared Traudl Klink’s passion for motor racing. Why is he taking part in the Electric Driving Experience at the Hockenheimring despite all his experience and already holding his racing licence? “The best learn from the best here, and I certainly still have a lot to learn from Traudl,” Malmedie sums up in good humour.   

Just as the automotive world is changing, so too are the Mercedes-Benz Driving Events. 

More and more noise-reduced electric cars are already mingling with the roar of the combustion engines, taking the curves of the Hockenheim­ring just as dynamically. Watching the hustle and bustle on the race track from the Mercedes-Benz grandstand, you can’t tell the difference between the combustion engine-powered and electric cars. It soon becomes absolutely clear that thrilling driving dynamics, safety and efficiency do not have to be mutually exclusive – quite the contrary: here, you experience holistic and sustainable driving pleasure. 

In the blink of an eye.

When we take to the track with Traudl Klink in a plug-in hybrid E-Class, the speed pins us back into our seats in the blink of an eye. Speaking instructions into her walkie-talkie, she accelerates, brakes and steers with almost casual ease around the sharp bends and inviting straights of the Hockenheimring.

All the while, she effortlessly gives tips on sustainable driving: “Driving with foresight means acting not only safely, but efficiently. If you're recuperating instead of braking, you’re recovering energy while at the same time saving your brake pads from rapid wear.”

Matthias Malmedie learns from Traudl Klink how to combine sustainability with the sheer joy of driving.

Matthias Malmedie learns from Traudl Klink how to combine sustainability with the sheer joy of driving.

A formidable career.

As a child, Traudl Klink spent a lot of time in her parents’ car repair shop, where, aged only three, she was already sorting screws while sitting in hubcaps. But she wasn’t discovered until she was 28, in what was known as a talent “sighting”. She came out on  top of 1,300 applicants at the Hockenheimring in 1983. Two years later, she took the championship title in the Ford Fiesta Ladies Cup, followed by a brief stint in the DTM and 24-hour races.

After a successful racing career, she took over the car business with her brother and has been working as an instructor since 1990. But the racing bug never quite left Traudl Klink, she says: “I kept falling off the wagon, but at some point all good things have to come to an end,” she says today. Traudl Klink’s last race was in 2011.

Passionate: Traudl Klink teaches the art of driving properly. An encounter at the Hockenheimring.

Passionate: Traudl Klink teaches the art of driving properly. An encounter at the Hockenheimring.

Sustainable driving style.

Meanwhile, Matthias Malmedie is hot on our heels in the EQC. Traudl Klink keeps slipping in little jokes between the instructions over the radio, which he counters with a laugh. Malmedie, who is already a four-time competitor in the Nürburg­ring 24-hour race, is consciously looking to the future – which includes electric motors.

“We want people to see that electric vehicles are suitable for everyone to use.” The EQC inspires him: “Always ready to go at a moment’s notice, it fits perfectly into everyday life with its range, and is enormously enjoyable to drive too. And then the quiet … When you accelerate in the city, you don’t disturb anyone.”

Traudl Klink gives instructions via walkie-talkie – and also tells a joke or two.

Traudl Klink gives instructions via walkie-talkie – and also tells a joke or two.

Combination of sustainability and driving enjoyment.

The Electric Driving Experience participants show a lot of interest in a sustainable driving style.

Traudl Klink and her team are fully aware of how much fun efficient driving can be. Malmedie sang her praises: “Traudl knows a lot about electric driving dynamics. She showed me today how agile the EQC can be.”

It is this combination of sustainability and driving enjoyment that is the hallmark of the Electric Driving Experience from Mercedes-Benz. And when Matthias Malmedie, nicknamed “Qualmedie” (after the German word for “smoking” tyres), says goodbye to the EQC with a heavy heart, one thing is certain: the time spent on the race track is a truly unique experience.

Do you want to learn more?

Then our Electric Driving Experience is the right place for you! You will learn everything about purely electric vehicles and the latest generation of plug-in hybrid technology from and with our experts, both in theory and during practical driving exercises. We answer all your questions about technology, charging management and infrastructure as well as recuperation during theory workshops. You will get to know the current generation of assistance systems in detail and put them to the test.

And no, we don’t leave driving dynamics by the side of the road: you and the EQC will be put through your paces, and our instructors will demonstrate the various driving modes on a test drive to show how to make particularly effective use of the available battery capacity. 

More and more electric models are intermingling with combustion engines. This doesn’t keep driving pleasure from being at the forefront for participants, as is the case for TV presenter Matthias Malmedie.

More and more electric models are intermingling with combustion engines. This doesn’t keep driving pleasure from being at the forefront for participants, as is the case for TV presenter Matthias Malmedie.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 11.03.2021.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.