We knew it was coming, people. Mercedes-AMG, an iconic purveyor of big, unapologetic V8s, has finally gone electric. This is the 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS, a high-performance version of Benz’s flagship EQS electric sedan and the first AMG model to operate without burning an ounce of fuel.
Here are the headline figures: two AMG-specific electric motors—one powering the rear axle and the other hooked up to the front—deliver 649 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque but feature a boost function that can amp things up to 751 hp and 752 pound-feet temporarily. Top speed is an appropriately German 155 miles per hour while 60 mph arrives in 3.4 seconds with launch control, 0.7 seconds quicker than the EQS 580. It’s also quicker than the Porsche Taycan 4S, which will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, but slower than the Taycan Turbo which will do it in three Mississippis flat.
And because it knows the internet is a skeptical place, Mercedes assures us that this car isn’t just an EQS that the Mercedes-EQ team has simply cranked up to 11 but a product that’s actually been developed and tuned by the AMG team in Affalterbach proper. The rear axle beam, for example, was completely redone by AMG as were the subframe and motor mounts. The Benz EV’s transverse stabilizers were revised while wheel carriers and control arms were taken from other, existing AMG cars. Six-piston front and single-piston rear AMG brakes are standard while red calipers and bigger ceramic discs can be fitted. Standard air suspension is bundled with adaptive damping and rear steer, and uses two pressure relief valves, one for compression and another for rebound for simultaneous comfort and athleticism.
It’s all kept running by a 107.8-kilowatt-hour, 400-volt, lithium-ion battery with bespoke high-performance wiring, tweaked battery management software, and support for fast-charging up to 200 kW. Mercedes hasn’t specified overall charge times or range figures but says the AMG EQS will be able to recuperate 186 miles of WLTP range in as little as 15 minutes, a claim mirrored by the regular EQS 450+.
Naturally, the AMG EQS also looks a bit sportier than its non-AMG counterpart with a black grille with vertical Panamericana-style chrome struts and a subtly more racy rear diffuser but can we be real here? The visual differences between this and the regular EQS are light at best and, at first inspection, I had to pull up pictures of the vanilla EQS to actually spot ’em. In any case, wheels are either 21 or 22 inches in diameter while the interior receives red stitching, a flat-bottom AMG steering wheel, and sport pedals. Like the MBUX systems on existing AMGs, the Hyperscreen system here features AMG-specific graphics and an optional AMG Track Pace function that encompasses a lap timer. Five drive modes—Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and the customizable Individual—alter power, suspension, steering, cooling, and, of course, sound.
Big speed and athletic looks are key ingredients to the AMG recipe but the real appeal of a fast Merc has arguably, up until this point, been the noise. Despite a lack of noise being one of the most noticeable aspects of an EV, Mercedes-AMG will attempt to keep sound a huge part of the AMG EQS’s appeal using—you guessed it—speakers. Two artificial sound modes are available: Performance and the ironically named Authentic, which will generate noise both inside and outside of the vehicle to hopefully make driving the AMG EQS more aurally exciting than driving other EVs.
Less than thrilled about an engine-less AMG? Well, get used to it bub because Mercedes says the AMG EQS is just the first in a whole batch of future AMG EVs due out in the “not too distant future.” Case in point, you might’ve noticed the little “53” badge on the back of the car in the pictures. Merc curiously never acknowledges this or refers to this car as an “EQS 53” anywhere in its written press materials but we’re gonna go out on a limb and say that a faster EQS 63 is likely in the pipeline.
Official pricing has yet to be announced but the Mercedes-AMG EQS will arrive in U.S. dealers early next year.
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