The introduction and adoption of electric vehicles (EV) have brought new life to the market. It introduced new startups like Tesla and Rivian to the field that would never have made such impressive inroads in an internal combustion market. With it, they have brought impressive engineering feats like Tesla’s ultra-quick acceleration or Lucid’s 500-mile battery range. Yet strangely, except for one or two companies, many major automotive players have decided not to produce any hair-raising engineering feats, opting instead for attractive, reliable, market-ready electric vehicles.
However, with the introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s first EV, they managed to release a car that straddles the best of both worlds.
The Mercedes EQS, based after their limousine level S-Class line, is a sleek, powerful, first EV release that quietly sports some of the most cutting edge automotive designs on the market.
In opposition to the old design language of their internal combustion lineup, the EQS sets the tone for their new EQ electric line with an ultra-smooth body and cab-forward “one-bow” design. The streamlined teardrop silhouette replaces the traditional Towncar shape of the original S-Class. In addition, they have swapped out the boxy front end of the original S-Class for a sleek, rounded grille panel with lights that are seamlessly integrated into the rounded shape. The traditional door handles were also replaced with slicker pop-out door handles that are flush with the door while the car is in motion. These sleek features aren’t just a beautiful aesthetic choice, as you may have guessed. They were all developed in service of becoming the most aerodynamic car on the market. With a coefficient of drag of 0.2 flat, it easily takes the title over the Tesla Model S or the Lucid Air Dream and with plenty of style to boot.
However, unlike other cars pushing for record-breaking aerodynamics, Mercedes isn’t looking for super speed. Yet, despite being a car built for luxury and comfort, Mercedes made sure not to skimp on the performance aspects with the current quickest model, the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive EQS580 4Matic, doing 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds. On top of that, the dual-motor setup produces a generous 516 horsepower with 611 lb-ft of torque. For the quicker models, Mercedes estimates about 340 miles of range. However, for those looking for more range while sacrificing a little speed, the single-engine, rear-wheel-drive EQS450 base model enjoys around 350 miles of range but, when properly equipped, can last up to 478 miles on a single charge.
While the gentle cruising speed and generous speeds provide a baseline level of logistical comfort, the real luxury is the interior. With gentle cobalt blue mood lighting illuminating either blue or white interior, the entire cockpit has the feel of a spaceship. Yet, the setup is incredibly organized thanks to its sprawling touchscreen that stretches continuously from the dashboard to the passenger side. The Hyperscreen, as Mercedes calls it, is a state-of-the-art control center that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure a “zero-layer interface.” This means that the screen is optimized so that users can reach features without having to scroll through pages of apps or use voice commands. In tandem with this, the Mercedes AI system also generates a context-based application prediction technology that takes into account variables like time, location, temperature, day of the week to learn the user’s behavior and suggest options based on the features they use in similar situations.
Unsurprisingly, Mercedes continues the theme of ultra-high-tech within its safety features. In addition to standard safety features like airbags, the EQS comes packed with driver assistance features like self-parking, emergency brake systems, adaptive cruise control, and active steering assistance.
Given that the EQS is the first electric release from the German luxury brand, it’s priced at a premium. For the rear-wheel-drive EQS450, prices start at $106,360 and just over $120,000 for the all-wheel-drive EQS580. While it is not yet ready for purchase, it is expected to be available sometime this year.
At its core, the EQS is a statement piece for the future of the German automaker’s EQ brand. It combines sleek, sophisticated design language with high caliber engineering to produce one of the most luxurious electric vehicles on the market. Yet, this is just the start. Expect the brand to continue to release stunning engineering in the coming installations of the EQ line. However, one thing is clear: Mercedes are already making their mark on the rapidly expanding EV industry.