The date marks an important milestone for Mercedes-Benz as it prepares to introduce its sub-brand EQ to the world. Under EQ, the German automaker will exclusively make and sell electric cars. To announce its entry into the EV space, Mercedes is also bringing along a halo product from the EQ brand to Monterey Car Week to kick off its electric vehicle initiative in style.

The car in question looks like an amalgamation of Mercedes’ past and future. The company is calling it Aesthetics Progressive Luxury and had teased the car through a life-size sculpture revealed in July. The concept blends the features of a modern Formula racecar and Mercedes’ W125 Silver Arrow ‘Rekordwagen’ that hit an average speed of 432.59 kph over a stretch of Autobahn almost 80 years ago.

The new Rekordwagen might not be as blazing fast as its aesthetic predecessor, but it is indeed the halo product for the EQ sub-brand. In fact, Mercedes is calling it ‘EQ Silver Arrow’. After the German automaker formally inaugurates its electric sub-brand at Monterey Car Week, the first product will be unveiled on September 4 in Stockholm, Sweden. Owing to current global market demands, it is confirmed that the first EV coming out of Stuttgart will be the EQC compact SUV. The model onslaught will continue in the years to come with EQ already working on an electric hatchback as well as a full-size sedan.

The first product of the EQ brand will be the EQC small SUV.

EQ is not just about differentiating futuristic products from Mercedes’ own range of models, each with its own legacy going back many years. The company is pushing EQ to be an independent automaker in its approach and not an off-shoot of the German giant. As such, EQ will participate in the inaugural Formula E championship scheduled to be conducted in 2019/2020 season. The full might of Stuttgart shall be racing under the EQ banner come 2019.

While rival automakers like Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen Group are creating EVs based on their current vehicle lineup and selling them as an alternative to their gasoline-powered siblings, Mercedes-Benz took its own sweet time to tackle the EV game. The creation of the EQ brand is a masterstroke in that the EVs don’t appear in Mercedes-Benz’s model lineup, blurring the differences between their conventional alternatives or even between segments. Branding the EVs as a separate entity also frees the company to take the sub-brand forward in its own way without having to conform to the century-old automaker’s legacy in terms of design and perception.