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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Mercedes-Benz EQS morphs into all-electric SUV

The plugged-in equivalent of the GLS offers seven seats and more power than its namesake sedan.

Mercedes-Benz has expanded its EQ SUV range from three to four with the unveiling of the new EQS that slots in above the EQA, EQB and EQC as the line-up’s flagship model.

The all-electric equivalent of the GLS, the EQS, despite sharing its nomenclature with the EQS sedan revealed last year, is stockier and less bulky than its petrol sibling, while still providing seating for five or seven.

As with the EQC, the EQS SUV has been designed from the ground up as an EV instead of being adapted from conventional models like the EQA based on the GLA and the EQB spun-off of the GLB.

Conforming to the EQ brand’s take on three-pointed star’s Sensual Purity styling language, the EQS SUV measures 5 125 mm in overall length with the wheelbase stretching 3 210 mm and width 1 959 mm.

Standing 1 718 mm tall, the EQS is both longer and higher than the sedan, but surprisingly not as wide in spite of being an SUV.

Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV revealed
EQ rear facia another hint.

Claimed boot space is naturally up with 198-litres available in seven-seat configuration, 878-litres with the electrically folding third row lowered and 2 095-litres with the second row folded down as well.   

Sporting the same black panel and Matrix 3D helix LED headlights as the EQS sedan, the SUV rides as standard on 20-inch alloy wheels but can be specified with 21 or 22-inches wheels, as well as the Electric Art Line or AMG Line exterior packages.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz EQS revealed as all-electric future S-Class

The rear facia design is a further representation of the EQ line as it mirrors that of not only the mentioned SUVs and EQS sedan, but also the smaller EQE, the interior of the EQS SUV follows the same path as that of the sedan in look and design.

As standard, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is complemented by the 12.8-inch tablet-like MBUX infotainment system, as well as different materials and veneers that range from faux leather and assorted woods to aluminium inserts and the laser engraved three-pointed star patterns on the centre console.

Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV revealed
Optional Hyperscreen display has been carried over from the EQS sedan.

The optional infotainment system though is the expansive Hyperscreen display that runs the length of the dashboard and combines the mentioned instrument cluster with a 17.7-inch MBUX infotainment system and a 12.3-inch display on the passenger side under a single piece of silicate aluminium glass.

Incorporating OLED technology, the combined 56-inch setup features Artificial Intelligence that learns about and adapts to the driver’s preferences and changes colour depending on the selected driving mode.

In addition to boasting the same 190 light LED mood lighting system as the EQS sedan, the SUV can be equipped with the optional rear-seat entertainment system that comprises two 11.6-inch displays a pair of wireless headphones and a 15-speaker, 710-watt Burmester 3D surround sound system, the latter with Dolby Atmos surround system technology.

On the safety front, the EQS SUV, like with the sedan, comes with the following as standard;

  • Blind Spot Assist with Exit Warning;
  • Active Distance Assist Distronic;
  • Active Lane Keep Assist;
  • Active Steering and Evasive Steering Assist;
  • Active Brake Cross Traffic Assist;
  • Pre-Safe with Autonomous Emergency Braking;
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist;
  • Remote Park Assist with the driverless Parking Pilot
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV revealed
As an option, the EQS SUV has be had with seven seats.

Underneath its SUV skin, Mercedes-Benz has revised the EQS SUV’s chassis with the most prominent departure from the sedan being the off-road mode integrated into the Dynamic Select system.

While the usual Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual settings remain, the Offroad mode, once engaged, raises the standard Airmatic air suspension by up to 25 mm at speeds not exceeding 80 km/h, while allowing the complete deactivation of the Electronic Stability Control in the process.

Like with the sedan, the EQS SUV is fitted from the off with the rear-axle steering system, but won’t, for now, be offered with the Drive Pilot system that will allow for autonomous driving.

On the model side, the EQS will have two derivatives with the same nomenclatures as the sedan, albeit with revised outputs.

Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV revealed
Dual 11.6-inch displays part of the optional rear seat entertainment package.

In the case of the entry-level 450+, the single rear axle-mounted electric motor, driven by a 107.8-kWh lithium-ion battery, produces 265kW/568Nm, an increase of 20kW/18Nm over the 90-kWh unit used in the 450+ sedan.

Equipped as standard with a 9.6 kW charger, the EQS supports fast-charging up to 200 kW, which will result in a waiting time of 31 minutes from 0-80%. The claimed range is 660 km.

At the range’s sharp end, the 580 keeps its sibling’s battery but adds a front-mounted electric motor to complete the electric 4Matic all-wheel-drive setup. Outputs, therefore, increase to 400kW/858Nm, an improvement of 15kW/30Nm over the 580 sedans.

Despite the uptakes, the 580’s charging time is identical to the 450+ with its range being unknown. Both models are however limited to 210 km/h with the respective 0-100 km/h sprints times being unannounced.

Going on sale in select markets towards the end of this year, the EQS SUV, for now, doesn’t form part of Benz’s EQ South Africa rollout destined to start towards the end of this. If approved though, expect it to only become available in 2023.

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