The all-new Mercedes EQS combines S-Class levels of luxury and tech with electric propulsion.
Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled their new all-electric flagship sedan, the EQS, and the car marks an important and tantalizing turning point for the German luxury carmaker. Like its internal combustion sibling, the S-Class, the Mercedes EQS is chock full of the latest and greatest in automotive tech and sits at the cutting edge of modern design. It’s the first major vehicle in Mercedes new EQ line of electric vehicles.
In true Mercedes-Benz fashion, the EQS isn’t attempting to outdo its electric rivals, like the Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan, in terms of raw performance (at least not until the eventual AMG version). Instead, the EQS sets a new benchmark for refinement and luxury in an EV. And yet, flashy as it is, the EQS’s raison d’être is as Mercedes’s premiere electric car. To that end, the EQS is a compelling introduction to the brand’s electric future.
The Mercedes EQS is somewhat conservative when it comes to its looks. Yes, there are plenty of cues to let you know this is an electric car, like the new EQ-line light bar that spreads across the front of the car, and yet, the design is less radical than it could have been (this is no Cybertruck to be sure). In fact, from a distance, you couldn’t be faulted for mistaking the new EQS’s silhouette for that of a second-gen Ford Fusion with big fancy wheels.
That jelly-bean shape is of course intended to reduce drag and improve efficiency. Mercedes says with the EQS they’ve achieved the lowest drag coefficient of any production car at 0.20. Along with it’s 107.8 kWh battery pack, this allows the EQS to achieve a top range of 480 miles, within spitting distance of the Tesla Model S Plaid + at 520 miles.
Again, the Mercedes EQS aims to supplant the Tesla Model S as the go-to luxury EV not by bragging about 0-60 times but by being the better luxury vehicle first and foremost. But that doesn’t mean the drivetrain isn’t important. Like many of the latest, Tesla-contending EVs, the EQS won’t be slow by any means. The EQS 450 will offer 329 horsepower and a healthy 401 lb-ft. of torque sent to the rear wheels. The EQS 580 ups those numbers to 516 horsepower and 716 lb.-ft. of torque and a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds. That’s plenty fast, and remember, this is before the guys over at AMG have had a go at the EQS.
Other features of note for drivers include the standard air-suspension comes will memorize the location via GPS and adjust automatically (just like the new Porsche 911 GT3). There’s also rear-wheel steering for better maneuverability at low speeds and improved handling at higher speeds. The only hitch is this: to get the full 10° of play you’ll have to pay extra versus the standard 4.5°. The EQS will also feature Mercedes latest version of their heads-up display system, complete with turn-by-turn navigation.
Since the EQS is by its nature as an electric car very quiet, Mercedes equipped the car with three selectable running sounds to add a little aural excitement to the driving experience. They are: Silver Waves, Vivid Flux, and Roaring Pulse. You’ll have to judge for yourself whether these are better or worse than Ford’s choice for an electric rumble in the Mustang Mach-E.
Though it’s only optional, we can’t imagine anyone really wanting to settle for a new Mercedes EQS without its massive “Hyperscreen” which stretches nearly the entire length of the dash. The gargantuan screen actually houses three separate screens, a digital dash display, a central infotainment screen housing the MBUX system, and then a third passenger screen.
That last screen gets a few unique options in the EQS. First, there’s a separate “Hey, Mercedes…” audio assistant for the front seat passenger so they too can inadvertently turn on the system while discussing the car they are riding in. The second screen controls allow the passenger to adjust things like both front seats as well as settings for the HVAC system, stereo, and other infotainment features. In an effort to cut down on distracted driving, Mercedes has programmed the driver attention monitor to flash a warning if it detects the driver is looking over at the passenger’s screen. If it finds that warning insufficient, it actually turns the passenger screen off.
The 190 colors available for the ambient lighting feels simultaneously like overkill and perfectly logical given the rest of the car’s blend of high tech and high fashion. A nice added effect is the blue or red pulse you get from the ambient lights when you turn on the heat or AC.
Though the Mercedes EQS may look a little more like a Ford Fusion than I’d like, it’s still a jaw-droppingly gorgeous car by any measure. The new front grille/panel features an array that, on closer inspection, is made up of hundreds of Mercedes tri-stars. The aforementioned EQ-line lightbar is mirrored in the rear of the car. Other items of note include the frameless windows, the pop-out door handles, and the optional 22-inch wheels with a beautiful half spoke design that neatly hides the brake calipers.
There are so many impressive features in the EQS that it becomes tedious to list them all (Mercedes’ own press release for the car is 62 pages!). The sheer amount of tech deployed in the car and the level of thought and detail that they represent is staggering even to the most jaded of car reviewers.
Indeed, by all indications, the Mercedes EQS is poised to make a major splash with luxury car buyers looking to go electric. It makes us all the more excited to see the rest of Mercedes upcoming electric lineup.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS is slated for a fall release.