Mercedes-EQ has revealed its EQS luxury electric saloon; the first car from the manufacturer to be based on its all-new, bespoke EV 'Modular Electrical Architecture' (EVA) platform. It joins the EQA electric crossover and the EQC electric SUV - the marque's first EV - which Mercedes-EQ driver Stoffel Vandoorne toured around Bern back in 2019.
The EQS is set to arrive in the second half of 2021, and prices are thought to be in the same ballpark as the car it's eventually set to replace; the legendary S-Class - which has long been the standard bearer for Mercedes' technological and engineering nous. The Stuttgart firm has a fresh flagship for luxury, and a showcase not just of the culmination of everything it's learned over more than a century as an automaker but of its new era - a springboard for its electric generation.
“The EQS is designed to exceed the expectations of even our most demanding customers," says Mercedes-Benz chairman Ola Kallenius. "That's exactly what a Mercedes has to do to earn the letter ’S’ in its name because we don't award that letter lightly.”
Chassis, powertrain and performance
The EQS marks the first outing for Mercedes' bespoke modular EVA platform, which houses a modular battery with far higher energy density than has been seen before across the rest of its line-up.
That combination of clever modular design and bespoke EV platform enables the car to house either 90 or 107.8kWh of usable energy inside the two variants set for launch; the single motor, rear-drive, 328bhp EQS 450+ and dual motor, all-wheel drive, 516bhp EQS 580 4MATIC. Both models offer the larger capacity lithium-ion unit as an option, with up to 478 miles (769km) of range.
The car offers up to 200kW DC rapid charging with its 400-volt architecture, which will see the higher capacity battery charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 31 minutes. Fifteen minutes of charging yields 173 miles (278km) of range on the EQS 580 4MATIC, rising to 186 miles (299km) on the EQS 450+ and there's battery pre-heating and cooling too, for maximum efficiency and performance.
The EQS 450+ will launch from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 6.2 seconds whilst the EQS 580 4MATIC will manage the same sprint in 4.3 seconds. Both models will reach a limited top speed of 126mph (203km/h).
The battery pack is set low and flat to lower the car's centre of gravity and improve handling. The EQS is 37mm longer than the S-Class, a bit narrower and a hair taller. Given it doesn't need to make room for a big combustion power unit and drivetrain, the cabin is much larger - meaning there's no need for a specific long wheelbase variant as with the S-Class.
With the car weighing around 2.5 tons, getting the suspension right is obviously key to ensuring it the car rides and handles as expected. If it ain't broke is the mantra, with the four-link front and multi-link rear suspension and air springs, with adaptive dampers - derived from the S-Class. It shares a four-wheel steering system with the new S-Class as well, which can turn the rear wheels up to 4.5 degrees, or 10 degrees as an option.
The EQS retains the look of the 2019 EQS vision concept for the most part, with the car's "one-bow roofline" a key design feature, as well as the truncated bonnet and extended, roomy cabin profile. It strikes a real pose. An all-new chassis under that sleek bodywork explains exactly why it looks so unique - form meeting functional EV design.
It's super slippery through the air, too. At a drag coefficient of just 0.20, it's one of the slipperiest production cars in history, in fact. Mercedes' engineers reckon they've shaved enough off the car's drag by streamlining its shape to yield a bonus four to five percent of driving range.
Interior and tech
As standard inside there's Mercedes' dashboard and portrait touchscreen from the S-Class but an upgrade well worth looking at is the dash-swaddling MBUX Hyperscreen - three gorgeous OLED screens across the width of the car with an eight-core CPU and 24 gigabytes of RAM.
There's a 17.7" centre screen and two 12.3" screens for driver and passenger with haptic and force feedback, and the whole lot is encased behind a single pane of curved, glare and scratch resistant glass. The system uses voice control and AI to put the most relevant settings front-and-centre, so there's no need to go swiping through endless menus.
The steering wheel gets a special 'Energising Comfort' system that can link up to smartwatches to help chill drivers out or keep them alert. Rounding off the headlines in terms of tech is a fighter-jet like heads-up display with realtime messages and warnings on the road ahead, as well as animated directions that tie into the car's navigation and driver assistance systems - which can fully take over in certain situations if need be.
Focussed on sustainability
Minimising and eliminating carbon emissions and air pollution is at the core of Formula E's reason for being, with the drive to advance the development of electric cars central to its ambitions. Mercedes-EQ are charging towards that same goal, and the EQS is the latest evidence of that.
Every EQS and its battery pack will be manufactured in-house by Mercedes-EQ in carbon-neutral factories, and the lithium-ion units are less reliant on the use of heavy metals. In the EQS, elements like cobalt account for just 10 per cent of the battery's total mass - and the packs also comply with ISO TR 14062:2002 for environmental management.
Additionally, owners will get three years' access to Mercedes me Charge, which guarantees the use of green energy at its network of public charging stations.
The EQS is the first giant leap for Mercedes-EQ with the introduction of its ground-up EV platform and come 2022, the Stuttgart firm will count eight EVs in its range. Rapid progress, and we can't wait to see what's coming next...