2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS details revealed

3 Mins read

You rarely see a car maker’s flagship sunk by friendly fire. But that’s exactly what’s happening at Mercedes. For decades the big S-Class sedan has been the company’s leader in comfort, quietness, luxury, and safety, almost always first with every kind of advanced technology the company develops. And it’s about to be blown out of the water by the new EQS, the electric-powered S-Class equivalent that wears the badge of the company’s EV-only sub-brand, Mercedes-EQ. The EQS beats the similar-size S-Class for smoothness and silence. It has a more beautiful interior and is all-around better to drive.

Even though it’s an EV, the driving range of the EQS is better than many an internal-combustion engine car. Although recharging is slower than refueling, when connected to a powerful DC fast charger, the EQS can add 300km of driving range in just 15 minutes. Finally – and this is the killer blow – Mercedes-Benz says the EQS line-up will be priced similarly to equivalent S-Class models. There should be no price penalty, in other words, for choosing the electric luxury limo instead of the fuel burner. Mercedes-Benz’s most advanced Stuttgart factory is ramping up to full-scale production of the EQS. Deliveries to customers in Germany and the rest of Europe begin in September this year, and it’s scheduled to arrive in Australia around March or April next year.

Though the line-up is sure to grow before the car goes on sale here, the first variants off the assembly line are the EQS450+ and the EQS580. Wearing 19-inch aero wheels, the single-motor 450+ has a driving range of 780km, measured according to the realistic WLTP standard. Even with larger wheels, it’s a 700km-plus car. The official WLTP range for the more powerful and faster dual-motor 580 isn’t much less; than 676km. Both have the same 108kWh lithium-ion battery. Mercedes has said it will also produce variants of the EQS with a smaller 90kWh battery sometime. Whatever the size of its battery pack, the aerodynamic shape of the EQS means it drives further on every kWh. No other car in production today slices through the air better than this Mercedes-EQ with its world record 0.20 drag coefficient.

Behind the wheel, you can sense this is a slippery car. With regenerative braking deactivated – all it takes is a tap on one of the steering wheel paddles–the EQSrolls when the accelerator pedal is released. That’s on the flat; if the road is even slightly downhill, it gathers speed. The aero profile of the EQS made it natural to give the car a hatch instead of a boot lid. There’s a huge cargo compartment beneath it. The one obvious negative of the car’s aerodynamic side profile is that it squeezes rear-seat headroom. Although roomy enough, the rear of the EQS lacks the sheer sprawling spaciousness of an S-Class. The dual-motor EQS580 is an all-wheel drive, and it launches from a standstill with effortless urgency. IIts hybrid-boosted turbo six-cylinder engine isa fraction faster than the S580.

The EQS, despite its size and weight, is a good drive. The EQS450+, with a single motor driving only the rear wheels, takes almost two seconds longer to reach 100km/h from sa standstill; once rolling, it has the lively feel typical of EVs. One of these cars seems smaller from the driver’s seat than it does from the outside. A standard rear-wheel steering system increases its agility, making the EQS corner like a much shorter car. But the best thing about being inside the EQS is the Hyperscreen. This single piece of slightly curved glass is the entire instrument panel. It houses up to three displays, including the large, luscious center touchscreen and optional passenger-side collection. It’s stunning to look at … and simple to use. While the Hyperscreen is the centerpiece, the entire cabin of the EQS is elegantly designed. This is a better interior than the S-Class for beauty and wow factors.

As well as luxury and loveliness, the EQS is equipped, like the S-Class, with Mercedes’ latest and most advanced driver assistance and safety tech. It has auto emergency braking that works forward and backward, adaptive cruise with predictive speed limit regulation, steering, lane-keeping, lane-change assist systems, and much more. With the arrival of the EQS still many months away, Mercedes-Benz Australia is yet to announce the local model line-up and prices. But the new S450 (from $240,000) and S580 ($330,000) guide what to expect. Similar prices are promised for equivalent versions of the EQS, remember.

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