We’ve already seen the incredible 56-inch, triple-display, Hyperscreen dashboard inside the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, and today we finally get to see if the rest of the package has the wow factor to match it.
And while the production EQS doesn’t look quite as sexy as 2019’s voluptuous Vision EQS concept, this EV alternative to the traditional S-class looks nothing like your usual Benz luxury car.
An S-Class From The Future
It’s different under the skin, too. The EQS rides on a brand new dedicated EV platform that we’ll see more of next year when the smaller EQE is launched. At 207.3 inches (5265mm) from its stylish black nose to its smooth tail in US spec, the EQS is closer in length to the long-wheelbase S-class about to launch in North America than it is the short-wheelbase version offered elsewhere. But visually, it looks surprisingly compact, while the sloping lift-back rear gives it a sportier look than any S-class ever had.
Benz says its working on a crazy 715 hp version for release later, presumably wearing an AMG badge, but at launch this fall, buyers will get to choose between the rear-wheel drive EQS 450 and all-wheel drive EQS 580 4Matic.
The EQS 450’s single PSM motor develops 329 hp and 419 lb ft of torque, which is enough for zero to 62mph in 6.2 seconds. Step up to the bi-motor 580 and you get 516 hp and a more wholesome 630 lb ft. Weight climbs, too, from 5468 to 5699 lb (2480 to 2585 kg) but the 62mph time is slashed to 4.3 seconds.
No Range Anxiety Here
Both cars are limited to 130mph in the interests of driving range, which is an impressive 479 miles WLTP, partly thanks to the cab-forward body’s incredible 0.20 Cd factor, and a new generation of battery pack. Mercedes‘ launch figures relate to a 107.8 kWh battery, but the company says a smaller 90 kWh version will also be available.
The EQS can’t match the 350 kW max charging rate of a Porsche Taycan (or Hyundai Ioniq 5/Kia EV6), but make use of its 200 kW capability and Mercedes says you can add 186 miles of range in 15 minutes. The intelligent navigation system will even calculate if you’re better off stopping twice at quick chargers rather than taking a more direct route to your destination and being forced to sit around for hours waiting at a slow one. And thanks to its Plug & Charge facility (where available, which, in the US, is limited), you simply plug the cable into the EQS and it sorts out the digital paperwork.
S-Class Technology And More
And as you’ve probably guessed, that’s not the end of the clever stuff. This is a Mercedes-Benz flagship, after all. So you get the tech we were introduced to on the S-class last year, including an optional head-up display with augmented reality instructions, and four-wheel steering with an extreme 10-degrees of swivel available on the optional version, giving the EQS the turning circle of an A-class hatch.
There’s also Merc’s Drive Pilot autonomous tech, which allows you to take your hands off the wheel indefinitely at speeds of up to 37mph in highway traffic, although currently only in Germany until legal hoops are jumped through in other markets. And the doors will actually open when you approach them – if their sensors consider it safe – and close again when you push your foot on the brake pedal.
Hyperscreen, But Still Hyperfocused
And then there’s that Hyperscreen dashboard with its 8 CPUs, 24GB of RAM and latest MBUX software. Technically, it’s an option. As standard, the EQS comes with the 12.8-inch portrait display from the S-class. Tick the Hyperscreen box and you get three displays with haptic feedback and a “zero layer” design that keeps all the applications on display so you spend less time scrolling through menus. Your passenger can even kick back and watch a movie. But don’t think you can too, unless Drive Pilot is engaged: if a camera senses the driver is glancing over to catch a peek, it dims the passenger screen. Technology giveth, and it taketh away.
The EQS goes on sale this fall, one of 10 EVs Mercedes will launch before 2022. Prices are TBC, but should start around $110,000 in the US, and £80,000 in the UK.