As we see luxury car makers like Audi, BMW, Lucid Air, Porsche and Tesla compete in the high-end electric vehicle market, Mercedes-Benz has been noticeably absent. That is, up until now. Not only are they making a grand entrance into the world of EVs, but they are doing so with a vehicle that could easily be labeled as the most technologically advanced luxury sedan ever.
Mercedes enters the U.S. EV market with the EQS, and in doing so it launches its new all-electric EQ sub-brand. Prefixed with the ‘EQ’ moniker, within a few years they should have at least five EQ vehicles. This week we look at the EQS – the brands first EV.
The EQS is equivalent to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, which has set the luxury standard for decades. And like the S-Class, the EQS features all of Mercedes’ latest luxury features, technology, gadgets and driver aids.
Mercedes offers three versions of the EQS. There’s the 450+, which has a single electric motor and is rear-wheel drive. It makes 329 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque. Moving up to the 580 4Matic adds an additional motor along with all-wheel drive and makes a combined 516 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. Topping the lineup is the AMG EQS, which still uses two motors but greatly increases the output from them and can make 649 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque (which can increase to an electrifying 751 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque when the AMG EQS is put into Race mode).
While power is important, the big concern with EVs is range, and in the case of the EQS, it’s excellent. The EPA estimates the 450+ to have 350 miles of range while the 580 4Matic can go 340 miles. The AMG EQS has an estimated range of 277 miles.
With impressive power and range numbers from a brand like Mercedes-Benz, you can expect the EQS to have high price tag, which it does. The EQS 450+ starts at $103,360, with the EQS 580 4Matic coming in at $120,160. The AMG EQS starts at $148,550. The tester, an AMG EQS, carries an MSRP of $156,680.
If the power and range of the EQS hasn’t impressed you yet, the interior sure will. Inside, Mercedes-Benz offers the latest and greatest gadgetry-including a giant Hyperscreen touchscreen, driver profiles based on fingerprint scans, headrest pillows, massage functions and neck-and-shoulder heating.
The driver and passenger are treated best with high-quality, ultra-soft leather front buckets, which contour perfectly to the body. The massive Hyperscreen is the focal point, which houses three individual displays under a single, continuous piece of glass that extends the width of the dash. The entire cabin is done with tons of wood and fancy aluminum all around, touched off with adjustable ambient lighting.
The backseat doesn’t quite have the space you would expect from a regular S-Class, but it’s still impressive. Rear legroom is fine, but headroom could be an issue if you’re over 6 feet tall. Behind the backseats, which folds flat in a 40/20/40-split configuration, there is a large cargo hatch (yes, I suppose you can refer the EQS as hatchback) that has 22 cubic feet of storage. Unlike most other EVs the EQS does not have a frunk (front trunk).
Driving the AMG EQS is an experience. The four-corner air suspension soaks up imperfections in the pavement like a sponge and the cabin is whisper quiet thanks to the lack of an internal combustion engine and the ultra-sleek, air-cheating bodywork (the EQS has a drag coefficient of just 0.20 making it one off the most aerodynamic cars on the road). But change the drive mode from the default Comfort setting to Sport or Sport+ and the EQS wakes up as if it has been by hit by a bolt of lightning. Power is not only endless, but what was once whisper-quiet now sounds like a jet plane racing down a runway by way of sounds being piped into the cabin. Ok – so the sounds may be fake, but the speed is not. The AMG EQS hustles to 60 mph in just 3 seconds flat.
In corners, the big and heavy AMG EQS is stable and planted, with good body control. Although AMG does tweak the suspension and makes the EQS handle well, I wouldn’t call it a sports sedan, but rather a sedan that can go very fast.
We all knew the day that Mercedes-Benz would enter the EV market would come – and it has, with proof being the EQS – a very impressive EV. A bigger question, I think, was the role AMG, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, would play in the world of EVs. Let’s face it, AMG is known for their engines making gobs of power by way of either displacement, turbos or superchargers – all useless in the world of EVs. But with the AMG EQS, both Mercedes-Benz and AMG are showing that they are able to combine luxury and performance in an all-electric package.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS
Base Price: $147,500.00
Price as Tested: $156,680.00
Layout: dual-engine / all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 649 hp
Torque: 700 lb-ft
Fuel Economy: 76 MPGe city / 78 MPGe highway
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