Business as Usual
Well, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class of electric vehicles has finally arrived. It’s the Mercedes-Benzes EQS, and it’s much more than just a leather-clad luxury plug-in flagship sedan. It’s more like a whole new means of transportation that may or may not require a pilot’s license. So, come fly with us.
There’s no denying it, the electric future is getting very real in a real hurry. Now, the percentage of EV sales may still be relatively low in comparison to ICE vehicles; but sheer numbers are growing rapidly, new EVs are arriving at a furious pace. And, then there’s Mercedes-Benz showing the world what the future of luxury sedan transportation will look like with this 2022 EQS.
This is the first of many all-electric models to come from the new Mercedes-EQ sub-brand, built on their unique modular EV architecture.
For the EQS, that means a sedan in 2 versions; base 450+ which features a single 245-kW rear motor powering the rear wheels, delivering 329-horsepower for up to 350-miles of range. And this 580 4MATIC, which adds an additional motor to the front for a total output of 516-horsepower and 631 lb-ft. of torque, losing only 10-miles of range in the all-wheel-drive transformation.
That’s plenty to alleviate range anxiety for most and even allow for weekend getaways, which we did; and after almost fully draining the battery, were on pace to get 359-miles out of its virtual tank. And, at 35.5 kWh per 100 miles, it rates “good” on efficiency, too, despite weighing close to 6,000-lbs.
There are the usual drive modes to tailor the experience, and Comfort truly lives up to its name; and not just for the driver-- first class treatment for all people involved here. Now, as spectacular as it is to drive, well… it’s not the most handsome vehicle on the road for sure. With a new chassis that no longer revolves around a front-mounted internal-combustion engine, Mercedes took a whole new approach to this sedan’s design, highlighting interior packaging and pursuing record-breaking aerodynamics.That results in a jellybean-looking cab-forward profile, accompanied by not particularly great-looking flush-mounted aero-optimized 21-inch wheels.
Now, the interior on the other hand, is both stunning and borderline overwhelming! The sweeping 56-inch curved dash display is, naturally, the highlight. It’s made up of 3 individual OLED screens, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, plus central and passenger touchscreens for a true User Experience. It looks intimidating, but Benz has gone to great lengths to make common tasks very easy to get to without requiring menu diving. Materials are just as exquisite as you’d expect, but most controls are unique. Seemingly inspired by aircraft more than other vehicles; and the all-encompassing ambient lighting along with Mercedes Soundscapes to set the scene for whatever mood you’re in.
The rear seat is plenty roomy for 3 adults, and top Pinnacle trim adds power adjusting plush seats that are both heated and cooled. Front seats are every bit as comfortable, with rapid heating and cooling, plus lots of storage space around for small items.
While Mercedes loves to call 4-doors coupes, this sedan is actually a hatchback, with a wide opening and 22.0 cubic-ft. of cargo space, expanding to 63.0 with seatbacks folded. There’s no additional storage under the hood like some EVs, but you can see some actual mechanicals, which we still appreciate. We put those mechanicals to the test at Mason Dixon Dragway.
And were happy to find the instantaneous power we’ve come to love from EVs. The EQ’s soft suspension allows for a nice squat and pounce off the line, for a quick trip to 60 in only 3.7-seconds. And unlike some other EVs, there didn’t seem to be any drop off in power delivery as we worked our way down the track, clearing the ¼ in 12.1-seconds at 117 miles-per-hour.
While Sport mode does tighten up the adaptive air suspension and steering, there was still a good amount of body roll through our cone course. But you’d never know this thing is over 17-feet long, as its standard rear axle steering helps to give it a precise feel, with quick and accurate turn ins. Braking was quite impressive too; panic stops from 60 averaged just 105-feet, with a nice firm pedal and stops that were solid and smooth without too much nosedive.
This is Mercedes-Benz’s new all-electric flagship, so bargain hunters need not apply as pricing starts at $103,360 for the 450+ and $126,950 for the 580 4MATIC. Pricy, yes, but if we had the bucks, we wouldn’t hesitate. And oh yes, there will be an AMG version of course.
The 2022 Mercedes-EQS has everything we love about the S-Class sedan in an all-electric package that truly delivers the flagship experience. And it shows what happens when major brands go all-in on electric. The times may be a-changin’, but as far as Mercedes-Benz is concerned, it’s business as usual.
Torque: 631 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
1/4 Mile: 12.1 seconds at 117 mph
60-0 Breaking: 105 feet
EPA Range: 340 miles
MW Range: 359 miles
Efficiency: 35.5 kWh/ 100 miles