Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to launch their new electric vehicle, a luxury sedan named EQS. It will be a flagship sedan at the level of the S-Class and will take on Tesla Model S and Lucid Motors’ upcoming Air sedan. The launch will take place on 15th April and one can most probably expect deliveries by August this year.
One of the most exciting things about the emergence of electric mobility is the competition. With companies like Tesla and Lucid, it is about the technological rat-race – one which Apple hopes to enter. But the legacy brands are also taking on electrification quickly. They may have been slow to get off the blocks, but the wealth of experience sitting in their ranks is unmatchable. This is what makes this electrification race compelling.
Mercedes-Benz EQS Specs
In simple words, the EQS is an electric S-Class. And the first word synonymous with S-Class is luxury. But just luxury doesn’t make an electric vehicle appealing – it’s the drive and performance that does.
Mercedes-Benz recently updated the expected range for the EQS and it is now 479 miles (770 km). With a 108-kWh battery pack, it gives the EQS a battery efficiency of 4.43 miles/kWh. In comparison, Model S gives 3.97 miles/kWh. Of course, we don’t yet know if the entire 108 kWh is usable or not. This figure is also estimated using the European WLTP cycle. The EPA rating may bring it down close to Model S’s 412 miles (663 km).
This range is mainly achieved thanks to the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle. This shape has a drag coefficient of just 0.20, which is extremely impressive. The powertrain comes in two options, based on the number of motors you want. The real-wheel-drive gives an output of 329 hp, while the all-wheel-drive (AWD) churns out 516 hp. The torque stands at 550 N-m, and you can get it all from a speed of zero.
The charging specs consist of a 200-kW system which will add 186 miles (300 km) in just 15 minutes.
Interior and Exterior Design
The exterior shape is already optimized for obtaining maximum aerodynamic performance. The overall look is quite unlike the S-Class though. The sweeping A-pillar and C-pillar give an impression of the vehicle being a coupe more than a flagship sedan. And it’s quite long too, spanning more than 5 metres. Out of these, 3 metres go into the wheelbase, creating a lot of space on the inside. And with the dedicated electric vehicle platform (Electric Vehicle Architecture, or EVA) debuting through this car, Mercedes can push the wheels to the extreme ends and create more space in between.
The interior is everything you expect from a luxurious Mercedes sedan, and more. And the most stunning part of the interior is the Hyperscreen system. It consists of a total of three screens, one each in front of the driver and front-row passenger, and one in the centre. But the seamless integration of each screen with the next makes it feel like a single, floating, 56-inch touchscreen. With an OLED dashboard flanked by 15 speakers from Burmester, Mercedes has paid a lot of attention to user experience. The Hyperscreen also features eight CPU core, 24-gigabyte RAM and 46.4 GB per second RAM memory. This, Mercedes says, is the stand-out thing in the EQS, creating the “wow effect”.
The EQS is a Mercedes car at its heart, which means you can expect a very good and comfortable drive. This is supported by a number of features. The EQS may be longer than the S-Class, but rear-wheel steering allows it to turn sharper than a C-Class. Then there is the torque shifting, which allows the computer to decide how to split the power that needs to be sent to the motors on each axle. This can be very handy in wet conditions, or while through the snow.
Sound engineering is a segment where Mercedes has worked a lot on in this vehicle. There are three different soundscapes for the powertrain for every different expectation. Silver Waves is “sensuous and clean,” while Vivid Flux is “crystalline, synthetic yet humanly warm.” A third one, called Roaring Pulse is “reminiscent of powerful machines, creating a sonorous and extroverted feel”. And Mercedes will also offer more soundscapes in the future through OTA updates. Or if you’re like many electric vehicle fans, you’ll prefer simply to turn the supplemental sounds off.
The EQS will also contain basic driver-assist features, which will get updated as and how Mercedes comes with better software capabilities. There is also a three-step energy recuperation system controlled by shift paddles on the steering wheel. An Eco Assistant can predict the drive based on driver habits and optimise the potential of the vehicle.
The New EV Platform
This is the first vehicle built on a dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, and will also be the foundation for 8 more models in the coming 2-3 years for the German company. Timo Hartstock, the project leader behind the new electric vehicle platform, says that the EVA is scaleable in every aspect.
This means that you can play around with the wheelbase, trackwidth and other system components such as the batteries. The modular design allows you to do this. It is aluminium-intensive and the flat floor allows a luxurious feel for the car’s interior.
The fact that the platform can be modified according to needs works out very nicely for Mercedes. According to sources, there is an EQS SUV, a smaller EQE saloon and an off-road sibling in the works. Not to mention an even more powerful AMG version of the current EQS. Yes Model S Plaid+ and Lucid Air Dream Edition, you have company.
Many of these performance figures are estimates and things will be clearer after the 15th April launch. But it doesn’t take away the appreciation Mercedes deserves for this mighty vehicle. It is definitely interesting to see Mercedes focus more on luxury than performance, unlike other luxury electric sedans.
If there is one thing that Mercedes knows, it is luxury. If there is one thing electric vehicles demand, it is energy efficiency. The EQS combines these two aspects and puts in sporty specs and cool tidbits to make it even more desirable. It won’t be bold to say that the EQS may be the full package that the flagship electric sedan segment demands. Cost estimates are very approximate right now, but one can expect it to start between $80,000 and $100,000. The AWD option will go higher, while any future AMG version may go as high as $140,000+, just as the others in that segment do.