It's the S-Class of electric vehicles.
Two years after the Vision EQS Concept debuted in Geneva, the production Mercedes EQS has finally arrived to shake up the luxury EV segment and challenge the Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT, and Porsche Taycan. But comparing the EQS to other existing electric luxury sedans is futile: this is in a class of its own. Welcome to a new era of electric luxury.
Since the EQC SUV has been delayed in the US, the EQS is the first electric Mercedes-EQ to arrive in the US. But while the EQC shares the same platform as the combustion-powered GLC, the EQS is Mercedes' first model built on the new dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture platform, allowing for a distinctive design that sets the EQS apart from the S-Class.
Thanks to its "one-bow," cab-forward design, the EQS has a sleek, coupe-style silhouette, coupled with a long, low front end, a curved beltline, and frameless doors. A lack of body creases and the addition of flush door handles also contribute to the clean design, while the front hood overlaps the fenders, reducing the number of visible panel gaps. A full-width light bar connects the LED headlights, which feature a striking daytime running light signature with three light dots.
Its curvaceous, flowing shape not only looks sleek and stylish, but it also gives the EQS an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.20, making it the most aerodynamic production car in the world. In total, there are seven dual-tone wheel designs to choose from, with sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches.
In the US, the EQS will initially be available in two trims: the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC. The EQS 450+ utilizes a rear electric motor generating 329 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, whereas the all-wheel-drive EQS 580 4MATIC has two asynchronous motors generating a combined 516 hp and 611 lb-ft. 0-60 mph in the EQS 450+ takes 5.5 seconds, while the AWD EQS 580 4MATIC will do the same sprint in 4.1 seconds. Both models top out at 130 mph. A performance version with up to 630 hp will also join the lineup, which may or may not wear an AMG badge.
Thanks to its optimized aerodynamics and a high-capacity 107.8 kWh battery, the EQS will last up to 478 miles on a single charge according to WLTP estimates. In the US, we're expecting the EPA range to be around 335 miles. Using a 200 kW public fast charger, it takes just 15 minutes to add an extra 186 miles of range and 31 minutes to charge from 10-80 percent. A standard 240V wall box takes 11.25 hours to charge from 10-100 percent based on WLTP estimations.
Inside, the Mercedes EQS is a technological tour de force. The clear highlight of the cabin is the new MBUX Hyperscreen, a massive curved 55-inch screen that stretches almost the entire width of the cabin. Three screens appear to merge seamlessly under a glass cover, combining a central 17.7-inch screen for the infotainment system with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch screen for the front passenger. The Hyperscreen is optional for the entry-level EQS 450+ and standard in the EQS 580 4MATIC. As standard, the EQS 450+ is equipped with a 12.8-inch central OLED portrait display. Standard luxuries include heated leather seats, rear headrest pillows, a 3D sound system, and a panoramic sunroof.
Thanks to its new "zero layer" design, the interface is more intuitive than ever, with the most important applications always accessible on the top level within sight. Like the S-Class, the EQS is also available with an optional head-up display featuring augmented reality technology that superimposes navigation elements onto the windshield in the driver's field of vision.
There are up to 350 sensors that monitor everything from distances, speeds, and acceleration, to lighting conditions, speech, and even the driver's blink of an eye. This enables the AI system to learn the occupant's habits and make personalized suggestions for infotainment and comfort functions.
For added convenience, optional automatic comfort doors at the front and rear extend the door handles when the driver approaches the car and open automatically when you get closer.
While passengers will benefit from the abundance of onboard luxuries and tech, the EQS is still satisfying to drive thanks to its optional new rear-wheel steering system that can turn the wheels up to 10 degrees for increased agility. This provides a turning circle of 35.7 feet, which is comparable to compact class cars. The standard rear-wheel steering system can turn up to 4.5 degrees.
As you would expect for a Mercedes, the EQS is loaded with advanced driver assists, including adaptive cruise control, that use map data to anticipate corners and intersections and reduce the speed accordingly, as well as lane-keeping assist, steering, braking, parking, and blind-spot assists.
The Mercedes EQS will arrive in US dealerships in fall 2021, with pricing to be confirmed closer to the on-sale date.