The brand's first fully-electric offering conceals a sumptuous interior behind ostentatious styling.
The Mercedes-Maybach family has grown to accommodate the all-electric EQS 680 SUV, the first-ever all-electric vehicle from the luxury sub-brand. Based on the regular EQS SUV, already a plush electric vehicle, the Maybach variant has been enhanced for even greater comfort, performance, luxury, and status.
This bastion of electrified excess gains motivation from a seriously impressive setup. Two permanently excited synchronous motors produce a total of 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque, which is considerably more than the current range-topping 580 derivative. Mercedes-Maybach claims this leather-lined leviathan can hit 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and slink silently to a top speed of 130 mph.
Monied customers can expect to travel up to 373 miles between charges. This figure is based on WLTP tests, so EPA estimates will likely be closer to the 332-mile mark. If that's the case, the EQS 680 would surge ahead of the BMW iX and get very close to the Tesla Model X Plaid in terms of range.
The aforementioned vehicles aren't rivals, but then again, the Maybach EQS 680 SUV is currently in a class of its own.
Mercedes says the all-electric Maybach can charge at a peak speed of 200 kW when plugged into a DC charger. That's good enough to replenish the battery in 31 minutes or recover 137 miles of range (WLTP) in just 15 minutes. If your chauffeur is nowhere near a fast charger, the EQS can also be plugged into an AC charger but will require 12.75 hours to fill the proverbial tank.
But that's enough of the facts and figures. This is a Maybach, after all, and customers are most interested in exterior design, luxury, and gadgets. Let's kick off with the exterior, which is best described as polarizing. The overall shape remains unchanged, but Maybach has bestowed the EQS with several distinctive features.
At the front, the traditional Mercedes star and faux radiator grille replace the centrally-mounted badge for a more luxurious and prestigious look. The front panel now features vertical, chrome-plated strips that add plenty of presence, bringing the EQS in line with other Maybach-badged offerings. A plus point of this setup is that the radar sensors are fully integrated, resulting in an uncluttered look without poorly concealed sensors.
The Maybach name on the grille forms part of the light strip and works in conjunction with the standard Digital Light headlights. On the front bumper, you'll note the trim parts have been decorated with smaller Maybach badges, which may be a touch nouveau riche for some.
This pattern is repeated in an animated projection, displayed when the doors are open. Other model-specific touches include the chrome-plated B-pillar, exclusive to Maybach. Further back, on the D-Pillar, you'll find yet another Maybach emblem.
High-gloss black wheel arch trim highlights the standard 21-inch wheels, which are available in standard alloy or forged finishes. 22-inch rims will be offered soon after the vehicle is launched in the USA.
Finished in anodized aluminum, the running boards are illuminated and again include the Maybach badge. The rear doesn't differ much from the regular EQS, with additional chrome trimmings working hard to distinguish the two vehicles.
When it arrives, customers will be able to choose from a number of paint colors, including five two-tone combinations: Cirrus Silver/Obsidian Black, Cirrus Silver/Nautical Blue, Obsidian Black/Selenite Grey, Obsidian Black/Manufaktur Kalahari Gold and Sonoran Brown/Onyx Black.
The exterior will undoubtedly impress the brand's target market (those who are comfortable flaunting their wealth), but it's of little importance if the interior doesn't deliver.
Thankfully, the cabin does not disappoint. Again, the EQS 680 shares its dashboard architecture with the regular EQS, but Maybach has worked hard to set it apart from lesser models. The MBUX Hyperscreen is standard and receives Maybach-specific animations across all three displays: Maybach, Sport, and Understated.
Many owners won't ever sit behind the wheel, choosing to be chauffeured around instead. That means the rear seats are the true highlight of the package, with occupants ensconced in the finest materials and surrounded by technology. The same infotainment and comfort features in the first row are available at the rear, thanks to the standard MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment system, which comprises two 11.6-inch displays and a rear tablet, the latter of which can be operated outside of the vehicle.
There's even a butler disguised as the MBUX Interior Assist. By using cameras, the system can predict what the passenger needs (based on hand and body movements) and carry out the desired task.
The front and Executive rear seats are not only ventilated but boast a massage function, along with shoulder and neck heating. Other nice-to-haves include a calf massage function, which highlights the sheer opulence on offer.
Should you feel the need to enhance the already sumptuous innards, the Maybach is available with a First-Class Rear equipment package. Selecting this option introduces an extended center console with an uninterrupted panel flowing to the rear quarters. The wood-trimmed fascia is truly elegant and matches the veneer found on the dashboard and front seatbacks. Should you feel the need to celebrate your healthy bank account, the available refrigerator, folding tables, and silver-plated champagne flutes are a must-have.
As with the Maybach S-Class, the EQS 680 SUV ships standard with two thermal cup holders, two HDMI interfaces, and four fast-charging USB-C ports for your various electronic goodies.
And if you want to seclude yourself from the outside world, the standard Burmester 4D Surround Sound System will certainly come in handy. A total of 15 speakers - including two 3D speakers in the headliner - create an engrossing experience that will be appreciated by any audiophile. Dolby Atmos is included too, and Mercedes claims passengers can "hear their music with a clarity equal to the artist's original studio composition."
If you feel like listening to something else, the all-electric Maybach offers an acoustic experience called "Aerial Grace," which was designed exclusively for the EQS 680 SUV. The automaker claims the system reacts to several parameters, including speed, recuperation, and pedal position.
But it's not sound generation that the Maybach excels at. In fact, it's the opposite. The EQS 680 retains all the refinement-enhancing features of the regular EQS SUV but builds on this with several exclusive additions.
Take the luggage compartment cover, for example. The component is actually a transverse bulkhead and is fixed to the body, much like you'd find in a traditional sedan car. The cover seals off the trunk and attaches to the rear seat backrest, resulting in "very effective noise suppression."
Other features include laminated glass panes, as well as improved wind deflectors, covers, and seals for the panoramic sunroof. Rear occupants are also treated to power-operated rear blinds that keep all the stresses of the outside world out of sight. Mercedes-Maybach claims this Disconnect Unit (DCU) also contributes to the impressive noise suppression. If the driving situation allows for it, the Maybach can decouple its front axle-mounted electric motor, which also benefits the range.
As an electric vehicle, Mercedes has put a great emphasis on sustainability. The Maybach EQS SUV is the first model from the Stuttgart-based brand to use vegetable-tanned leather. By using coffee bean shells and plant-based fat liquoring agents - along with a sustainable water source - Mercedes says it's not only saving resources but generating more income for coffee farmers.
If you're driving through smog or a highly polluted city, Maybach's Energizing Air Control Plus system (with a high-efficiency particulate air filter) will certainly come in handy. The system is capable of removing odors, nitrogen dioxides, and sulfur dioxide, as well as fine dust and pollen. Of course, the SUV can also pump high-end fragrances through the cabin. A new aroma, No. 12 Mood Ebony, was created specifically for this car.
It's no off-roader, but the EQS 680 comes equipped with air suspension that allows the driver to increase the ground clearance by 1.4 inches. Aside from the Sport, Off-Road, Eco, and Individual modes, the ultra-luxury EQS SUV has a new Maybach drive program. This supplants the Comfort setting and aims to deliver the very best ride quality. Beneath the rear seats is an oscillation node that keeps amplitudes to a minimum, so it's more than just retuning.
"Mercedes-Maybach customers expect the extraordinary, and we aim to exceed their high expectations," said Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius. "The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric with our focus on the luxury segment. The very first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Maybach complements the best technologies from Mercedes-Benz with the extra comfort and individual details that are only available from Mercedes-Maybach."
The EQS 680 SUV is the first-ever electric Maybach and shows us where the brand is heading. Recently, the sub-brand introduced the S580e, a plug-in hybrid S-Class equipped with an electric motor and smooth inline-six engine. Mercedes believes that high-end, electrified vehicles hold the key to even stronger profits in the future.
As for pricing, Mercedes is yet to make any announcements, but we expect the EQS 680 SUV to command a princely sum over the most expensive regular Mercedes EQS ($125,950) when it arrives. It should undercut rivals like the Bentayga Hybrid by some margin, though. The electric Maybach SUV will be produced in Alabama alongside the regular model and should arrive before the end of the year.
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