Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled its new flagship all-electric sedan, the EQS. First previewed by the Vision EQS way back in September 2019, the EQS is the first model to be built on the company’s modular Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) platform, which is set to underpin other models such as the EQS SUV, EQE and EQE SUV.
The EQS, essentially the S-Class of electric vehicles, measures in at 5,216 mm long, 1,926 mm wide and 1,512 mm tall, which sits it between the standard and long-wheel base versions of the S-Class in terms of size.
At point of introduction, two variant forms will be available, the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ and the EQS 580 4Matic, the latter coming in all-wheel drive guise. Further down the road, the automaker has now confirmed that at least one high-performance Mercedes-AMG version is coming later in the year.
In terms of performance specifications, the EQS 450+, which features a single rear motor electric powertrain (eATS), has 245 kW (333 PS) and 568 Nm of torque, and this is good enough to get it to 100 km/h from standstill in 6.2 seconds, all the way to an electronically-limited 210 km/h top speed.
Meanwhile, the twin motor EQS 580 has 385 kW (523 PS) and 855 Nm in the way of output, and as expected, the 0-100 km/h sprint time is much quicker, at 4.3 seconds, although it’s top speed is capped identically to the lower variant. While the automaker didn’t provide any info on the AMG variant that is in the pipeline, it did provide an intimation of how much power it would have, and that’s 560 kW (761 PS).
Operating range on a single charge is touted as being up to 770 km, based on a WLTP cycle, but it isn’t stated if both variants will achieve the same range. There are two battery sizes, 90 kWh and 107.8 kWh, with either ten or 12 cell modules depending on the capacity, and electrical consumption is rated at 16 to 19.1 kWh per 100 km for the EQS 450+ and 16.9 to 20 kWh per 100 km on the EQS 580 (both NEDC).
The lithium-ion battery, which sits under the floor of the car in a a crash-protected area embedded in the body shell structure, is built on a 400-volt architecture and is claimed to offer higher energy density and better charging performance, the latter through intelligent thermal management.
Highlights include a low cobalt content for the unit as well as management software that can be updated over the air (OTA) to ensure the energy management system remains up to date throughout the life cycle. The unit itself is covered with a 10-year/250,000 km warranty.
As for charging, the EQS ships as standard with an 11 kW onboard AC charger, but can be specced with a 22 kW unit. The car is also compatible with up to 200 kW of DC fast charging, which can provide up to 300 km of range in just 15 minutes.
Cars sold in Europe and the US will receive the CCS system (Combined Charging System), which allows charging with direct and alternating current via the same connection. Vehicles intended for China (GB/T plug standard) will also have a separate charging socket for DC charging, as will Japan (CHAdeMO standard), with a twin charging socket combining the separate AC and DC charging sockets under one charging flap.
For the Japanese market, the EQS will also feature bidirectional charging (charging in both directions), and the car also gets a new Plug & Charge function, which automates the charging and billing process the instant you plug your car in, a feature that will be available in Europe via the Ionity network at launch.With Ionity Unlimited, all European Mercedes me Charge customers will be able to use the fast charging network free of charge for one year.
The EQS will also offer a Navigation with Electric Intelligence function, which plots the fastest and most convenient route with charging stops. The latest version takes into account the energy demand of the route, including the topography and even the ambient temperature, along with live traffic information and changes in the driving style.
Also new is an indicator of whether a drive to the destination and back is possible without charging, preference for manually-added charging stations, the ability to exclude charging stations, calculation of expected charging costs and a prompt to activate Eco driving functions if there is a risk of not making the destination or the charging station with the remaining range.
Elsewhere, the battery can be topped up on the move through kinetic energy recuperation, which is adjustable via the steering wheel paddles and optimised via an EQ Assistant. In regular drive mode, the car will decelerate at a rate of 5 m/s2 when lifting off the throttle (2 m/s2 through the mechanical brakes) until it comes to a complete stop, feeding up to 290 kW back to the battery.
The all-wheel drive model features a Torque Shift function that provides variable torque distribution with a quicker response compared to a mechanical system, monitoring the torque split 10,000 times a minute, ensuring that the most efficient motor is used at any given moment, improving range.
Design highlights for the highly aerodynamic exterior – which has the world’s lowest drag coefficient of as low as 0.20 – include a one-bow, cab-forward shape with a high-arched beltline and fastback styling, with plenty of generously sculpted surfaces, reduced joints and seamless transitions, reducing the number of visible panel gaps on the car.
The front end is shaped by Digital Light headlights connected by a light band and a Black Panel radiator grille, which can further be dressed with a three-dimensional star pattern as an option. Other unique visual cues include frameless doors, retractable door handles and a distinctive rear light cluster, with its lighting element shaped in the form of a 3D helix.
Much attention has been paid to NVH refinement with the inclusion of optimised door structures and seals for the doors and the six side windows. The EQS is also fitted with acoustic glass windows, a specially-shaped A-pillar trim strip, a triple-layer inverter cover, elastomer bearings on the front and rear axles, acoustic tailgate dividers and acoustic foam on the body-in-white.
Three exterior trim levels are available, a standard, an AMG Line Exterior and an Electric Art Exterior. The AMG Line route adds on a specific front bumper and a rear apron, while the Electric Art path offers plenty of graphite grey metallic cues.
As standard, the EQS rides on 19-inch aerodynamically-optimised multi-spoke black wheels, and the AMG Line specification changes this to an AMG five-spoke unit, available in 19- or 20-inch versions. Meanwhile, the Electric Art spec comes equipped with a 20-inch five-spoke unit, finished in black. As is the case with its high-end models, the EQS will be offered in Edition 1 guise in its first year of production, with limited examples coming dressed in a two-tone silver/black finish, as seen in the photos here.
Besides Airmatic air suspension with continuously adjustable damping ADS+, the EQS comes fitted with a rear-axle steering as standard. This offers a steering angle of up to 4.5 degrees, but a steering angle of up to ten degrees can be ordered or subsequently activated – at cost – by an OTA upgrade. The latter enables a turning circle of 10.9 metres for the EQS, giving the five metre-long vehicle a turning circle of a compact class car.
Moving on to the EQS’ interior, which was revealed earlier, there are eight colour coordinated trim schemes available for the car, and all digital graphics are now presented in a new colourway of blue/orange throughout. In terms of seating, the Electric Art design and equipment line includes comfort seats, while the AMG Line interior sees sports front seats being fitted.
Visual highlights are of course led by the new MBUX Hyperscreen display, which measures 141 cm wide and consists of a 12.3-inch instrument display, a 17.7-inch central OLED touchscreen and another 12.3-inch OLED screen for the passenger, which can offer viewing independent of the main screen.
The dominating screen is not actually standard fit, as it turns out – the base model comes without a MBUX Hyperscreen, and as such has a slightly different centre console, which features a soft armrest in the rear section and is visually interrupted before being transitioned into the floating central display.
Also available aside from the MBUX system, which has eight CPU cores and 24 GB of RAM, are two 11.6-inch rear displays and a full-fledged rear tablet, which can also be used outside the vehicle, with Android apps installed.
Audio aspects are handled by a 15-speaker, 710-watt Burmester surround sound system, which also provides the avenue for interior driving sound programmes to be presented, seeing as electric drive is inherently quiet. Two soundscapes, Silver Waves and Vivid Flux, are available. The first is said to be sensuous and clean sound aimed at EV enthusiasts, while the latter is crystalline and synthetic. These can be switched on or off via the central display.
Optional equipment available for the car includes a larger, augmented reality high-res head-up display. a panoramic sunroof and electrically-powered automatic opening and closing front/rear doors. The latter can, among other things, fully open the driver’s door automatically when the driver approaches the car and closes it when the brake pedal is depressed. Obstacle detection prevents any unnecessary mishaps.
There’s also Active Ambient Lighting, which allows the driver to experience which electric driving mode the EQS is currently in, staged with the assistance of around 190 LED lighting units. Also on, a HEPA filter, which comes as part of the optional Energizing Air Control Plus plackage.
The air filtration system offers a volume of nearly 10 litres, cleaning the incoming outside air at a very high filtration level, removing up to 99.65% of particulate matter. The unit also has around 600 grams of activated charcoal to neutralise odours, and the adsorption area is equivalent to about 150 football fields.
As is to be expected, the EQS comes equipped with the latest generation of driver assistance systems, including numerous driver support functions. The kit list includes Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Change Assist, and there’s even a microsleep warning feature now for Attention Assist. This is done by analysing the driver’s eyelid movements through a camera on the driver’s display via the MBUX Hyperscreen and calls attention if it detects anomalies.
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