After a prolonged development period, Mercedes-Benz officially unveiled the EQS as its first dedicated all-electric luxury sedan, days before introducing the EQB-based on the GLB.
The effective alternative to the S-Class and rival for BMW’s incoming i7, the production version of the Vision EQS concept shown in Frankfurt two years ago retains a number of styling cues, albeit ramped up and, in some cases, dropped completely for the mass production version.
Designed as an electric car from the outset, the EQS is based on a new electric vehicle platform and like the concept, features a coupe-like design with the same distinct EQ full width rear lights as the EQA, EQB and EQC.
Sporting a sloping rear end and a rounded roof, a design trait Mercedes-Benz refers to as a one-bow line, with the front conforming to the cab forward principle, the EQS not only comes with new Matrix 3D helix headlights, but with the option of having the sealed grille, simply called a panel by Benz, painted black.
Measuring 5,216mm in overall length with the wheelbase coming to 3 210 mm, the height to 1 512 mm and width to 2 125 mm, the EQS, depending on the trim level, offers a choice of 19, 20 or 21-inch alloy wheels designed specifically for to reduce drag.
Said to have undergone significant fine-tuning in order to reduce in-car noise intrusion at speed, the EQS’ interior places not only an emphasis on luxury as in the case of the S-Class, but also tech with a number of features debuting for the first time.
Aside from the optional automatic opening doors, the main highlight is the new MBUX Hyperscreen that stretches across the dashboard in a digital three screen design for the instrument cluster (12.3-inches), the infotainment system (17.7-inches) and a display on the passenger side (12.3-inches).
Displacing a combined 56-inches, the Hyperscreen boasts OLED technology and is placed underneath a cover made out of silicate aluminium glass the three-pointed star claims makes it easier to get rid of fingerprints. It is however an optional extra as the standard setup consists of the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the tablet-like 12.8-inch MBUX that debuted on the S-Class and carried over to the new C-Class.
Along with the display, the EQS also receives Artificial Intelligence that learns about and adapts to the driver’s preferences, in addition to a new pre-entry climate control system that can be adjusted from the Mercedes.me smartphone app.
Also starring is a 190 light LED mood lighting setup called Active Ambient Lighting, illuminated seat piping, an optional rear seat entertainment system with dual 11.6-inch displays and an optional 15-speaker, 710-watt Burmester 3D surround sound system.
With its platform seeing the inclusion of rear wheel steering plus the Airmatic air suspension with optional adaptive dampers, the EQS’ safety and driver assistance sheet is extensive with new and, in some instances, updated versions of existing features.
These include the following:
- Active Steering Assist;
- Active Distance Assist Distronic;
- Active Lane Keeping Assist;
- Traffic Sign Assist;
- Active Lane Change Assist;
- Active Blind Spot Assist with Exit Warning;
- Active Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Alert;
- Attention Assist;
- Active Emergency Stop Assist;
- Evasive Steering Assist;
- Remote Park Assist in addition to the driverless Parking Pilot
Set to debut next year, the EQS will come with Benz’s Drive Pilot system and LiDAR which will allow for fully autonomous driving where allowed at up to 60km/h.
In terms of power, the EQS will initially offer a choice of two models; the 450+ whose single 90-kWh electric motor produces 245kW/550Nm and the 580 that makes use of a 107.8-kWh pack thanks to the inclusion of a second on the rear axle that makes it all-wheel-drive. Output is rated at 385kW/828Nm with a more powerful variant, likely to be an AMG, coming later with the same 560kW as the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
Performance-wise, the 450+, despite weighing 2 480 kg, will get from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and the all-wheel gripping 2 585 kg 580 in 4.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 210 km/h with the claimed range being 77 0km.
Plugged in to a 200 kW fast charger for 15 minutes provides a range of 300 km with 10% to 80% taking 35 minutes using a 110 kW DC charger. Inserted into a standard home wall unit, the overall waiting time increases to 11 hours.
Going on sale in Europe and the US later this year, the EQS will have a reported price tag of more than the S-Class, despite no exact figure being confirmed. What is known, though, is that it won’t be offered in South Africa for now, though this could change within the coming years.