In 2019, Mercedes Benz unveiled the EQS Vision Concept which highlighted briefly on the production version in terms of the design language, the tech it will carry and the expected performance. Fast forward to 2021 and we have the retail product revealed which hasn’t compromised anything because they say that this is the most high-tech Mercedes Benz model to date. You can look at it as an S-Class on steroids because everything has been turned up to eleven. This is much sleeker, the interior design is dominated by the wide screen displays and the range is absurd compared to the competition, we mean that in a good way.
This is the first sedan to be launched under the EQ brand and it joins the EQA, EQC and EQV in the line-up. They have also stated on the launch that EQ models are produced in a carbon neutral manner and that includes using resource saving material to produce them, and that is evidently seen on the seats and dash material which are 100% recycled. Furthermore, the case of this brand existing is also that half of the Mercedes Benz vehicles sold will be electric cars and plug-in EVs by the year 2030. That gives them plenty of time to be innovative but maybe they don’t actually require that period because the new EQS already has 40 new inventions which will be applied to the brand’s future cars.
On the topic of looks, this is where the focus was on during the creation process and the main aim with EVs is to make them as aerodynamic as possible. This is what they were chasing and have ended up making the EQS the most aerodynamic car on the market. The car’s shape, the aero purpose wheels, the continuous seals on the front, underbody panelling, and streamlined design of the A-pillar all add on to the aerodynamics and this reduces resistance whilst improving range and quietness in the cabin.
This gives the EQS a 0.20 drag coefficient which is class leading and better than the Tesla Model S Plaid. So, the seamless design and the smooth surfaces have granted the EQS a record-breaking drag coefficient.
Now we may talk about the looks and straight away we can happily say that they have managed to balance both of the design aspects. The front is eye-catching with its Black Panel radiator grille which is flush and houses various sensors including the camera, ultrasound, radar and lidar (laser). The headlights feature three LED dots with a light eyebrow and they come as standard with LED high performance headlamps with the Digital Lights as options. The headlights are connected by a strip light and on the centre sits the three-pointed star.
The length of the EQS is almost the same as the S-Class but it looks as if it is marginally smaller. The bit they did was to stretch the A-pillar forward and extend the distance between the front and the rear wheels to improve rear passenger legroom. The door handles are retractable and pop out automatically as you approach the vehicle. The roofline slopes beautifully with the optional large panoramic sunroof.
The tailgate opens with the windshield giving it a hatchback-like form and that helps with loading luggage in the 610 litres boot capacity. The light strip on the taillights has a design influence which they call a 3D helix design and it looks pretty cool.
There are three exterior trims to choose from: Standard, AMG-Line and Electric Art. The AMG-Line spec adds front and rear specific AMG bumper designs and 19 or 20-inch five spoke AMG wheels. The Electric Arts adds wheels with an aero-purpose design to improve efficiency. There is an option to paint the car with a two-tone colour scheme like on Mercedes-Maybach cars.
Powertrain and Suspension
The engineers did not hold back and they have gone all out to give the EQS the maximum drive, efficiency and performance to outmatch the competition. It comes with a 107.8 usable kWh battery which sits on the EVA platform. As standard, it comes with an 11 kW DC charger which takes 10 hours to charge to 100% but the optional 22 kW DC charger halves it to only 5 hours and if you ever encounter a Supercharger dock, it can do it in only 30 minutes as it can manage up to 200 kW of charging capacity.
The range is said to be 770 km and that is according to WLTP standards which is very impressive considering that is the same range you can get from most petrol-powered cars. This is ideal if ever you’ll be doing interprovincial travelling and for going further distances without worrying about running out of battery power. Also, this ensures that customers won’t see the need to have a second vehicle when they already own the EQS because this is the perfect all-rounder to go to work and travelling long distances.
There are two models to choose from and each have different power outputs. The entry-level EQS 450+ is rear wheel drive with an electric motor that produces 329 hp (245 kW) and 568 Nm of torque. 0-100 km/h sprint time is rated at 6.2 seconds with a top speed of 210 km/h. The top spec EQS 580 4Matic is four-wheel drive and produces more power, 516 hp (385 kW) and 855 Nm of torque. It can do 0-100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds and it has a top speed of 210 km/h as well. A performance version is in works and they say it will produce up to 750 hp (560 kW), now that is rapid.
The EQS has a recuperation system that allows deceleration to a standstill without using the brake pedal. This increases range with a high recuperation power of up to 290 kW. The ride quality surely was on top of the list because as standard it comes with Airmatic air suspension which adjusts the damping continuously to provide a cushioned ride. It also lowers the car at speeds of 120 km/h to reduce air resistance and underbody airflow. The rear-axle steering is standard but can only turn up to 4.5-degrees whereas the 10-degree maximum turn is on the options list.
They have improved the Drive Pilot system which is now rated at level 4 autonomous driving and this enables it to do more. The car can drive itself at speeds of up to 60 km/h in traffic conditions, meaning it will stop and go without the driver’s input. It also has Intelligent park pilot which allows the car to park and unpark itself in parking areas. This includes the car driving alone and finding a parking spot. Parking can still be done remotely via a smartphone app if ever the latter method is a bit uncomfortable for the owner.
You can clearly see on the pictures that the one thing that stands out is the 56-inch wide pane glass that houses three individual OLED displays. The first screen which sits in front of the driver is the digital instrument cluster which is 12.3-inches in size and features Augmented Reality navigation as standard. The 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen has the latest MBUX system and haptic feedback whenever you touch to select functions on the screen. The third 12.3-inch passenger display allows them to activate various functions like the seat heating, adjusting the climate control, change the ambient lighting and more.
The Augmented Reality on the head-up display is optional and it doesn’t serve as a gimmick but rather guides the driver with the navigation and they don’t have to take their eyes off the road. The Burmester surround sound system can play different acoustic sounds that respond to the throttle input and they are named Silver Waves, Vivid Flux and Roaring Pulse. The inside is said to be very quiet given the fact that it is an electric car, so the windows and the inside of the wheel arches have been double glazed to reduce the road noise.
The Pre-Safe system raises the car by 8 centimetres at the moment of a side impact as the lower part of the body will absorb the impact and keep the occupants safe. There are various safety features included such as Traffic Sign Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning function and Active Brake Assist with cross traffic function.
The Mercedes Benz EQS is expected to be sold later this year and might probably come to South Africa early 2022 if ever the demand is there.
Source: Mercedes Benz EQS Press Release