But it won't be an electric S-Class.
Mercedes plans to unveil its own zero-emission luxury saloon in 2020, rivaling Jaguar's upcoming all-electric XJ, and the similar next-generation Audi A8. However, unlike the Jag and the Audi, Mercedes' offering won't be an electrified version of its own large sedan, the S-Class, but will instead be its own entity. The luxury saloon will sit atop the new EQ electric range alongside models already revealed in concept form, like the EQ A hatchback and the EQ C SUV.
Word comes straight from the mouth of Mercedes' large-cars project boss Michael Kelz. "We will have an electric vehicle at the level of the S-Class, no doubt, but it will not be the S-Class," Kelz told Autocar. Instead of being directly based on the S-Class, the EQ S will make use of Mercedes' new modular architecture called MEA. This is mostly due to the fact that S-Class' current platform, MRA, can't accommodate pure electric drivetrain components, only plug-in hybrid gear. Kelz also added future overhangs would get shorter and wheelbases would get longer in order to make the sleek low-riding bodies of passenger sedans more capable of accepting electric powertrains.
Details on the EQ S' electric powertrain are totally unconfirmed at this point. However, the EQ C will use a 70-kilowatt-hourbattery pack paired with two electric motors, which should be good for 400 horsepower and at least 300 miles of range. Lastly, Kelz said a concept of the zero-emissions large saloon already exists and he envisioned the project could roll out in 2020-2022 at the latest. Mercedes has already confirmed it intends to have 20 electrified models in its range by then.