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.