Instead of a Model S Plaid.
Mercedes-Benz has a big week coming up. This Thursday, the 2022 Mercedes EQS all-electric luxury flagship sedan will be unveiled as it looks to take the fight to theTesla Model S Plaid. Not only is it the German automaker's first-ever battery-electric model from the ground-up, but it's the inaugural model to ride on a new dedicated EV platform that'll underpin a range of upcoming Mercedes EVs, among them the EQE and an SUV variant.
Up until now, Mercedes' EVs are modified versions of conventionally-powered models. This new platform marks a significant milestone that many claim is overdue. Luxury and technology-focused Mercedes typically leads the pack in both realms but has been upstaged by a certain California-based rival. But it shouldn't feel too bad; BMW isn't set to reveal its own EV-only architecture until 2025.
When it comes to flagships and halo models, automakers don't always find it easy to turn a profit. These so-called "image" models aren't necessarily money makers, but rather used to attract customers to the brand as a whole. Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius, however, is confident the new EQS will produce "reasonable" returns immediately. Per Bloomberg, Kallenius is confident the EQS will be profitable, but not quite as much as the gasoline-engined Mercedes S-Class.
"The logic remains the same: the top segment promises the best profit margin," he said. For the time being, the S-Class will remain the more profitable of the two, but this is expected to change at some point.
It's hard to predict when, though the rapid pace of electrification adaptation and promises from numerous brands to phase out century-old tailpipe tech could potentially eliminate the need for the S-Class entirely one day. The EQS will feature a driving range of up to 478 miles on a single charge and fast-charging capability, among its long list of advanced technologies.
But unless it makes money the way Kallenius claims it will, Mercedes could have a problem on its hands. If wealthy buyers aren't interested in the six-figure EQS, then will they care about those other upcoming EVs? The Porsche Taycan, for example, has had an excellent first year of sales and Mercedes is betting the EQS will share the same fate.