If you’re after an expensive and fast electric saloon that isn’t a Tesla Model S, yet another option has joined the fold. Hot on the heels of the Porsche Taycan-related Audi E-Tron GT is the new Mercedes EQS. It’s not Merc’s first production EV - that honour goes to the EQC - but it is the first one developed for electric propulsion from the ground up.
While the EQC is really just a GLC with the internal combustion parts taken out and replaced with electric bits, the EQS is built on an all-new ‘EVA’ platform designed specifically for the job. It features a large battery pack sitting beneath the floor and between the axles. On the latter front, the four-link front suspension setup and the multi-link rear are “closely related in design to the new S-Class”.
90kwh and 107.8kWh battery packs are available, each with a chemistry blend that reduces the cobalt use to less than 10 per cent. Go for the EQS 450+, and the battery is teamed up with a single ‘permanently excited’ motor on the rear axle giving 329bhp and 419lb ft of torque, making for a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds.
More than enough for most, but you want more shove, there’s a dual-motor EQS 580 4Matic providing 516bhp and 631lb ft of torque. Mash your foot on the throttle pedal hard enough, and 62mph will arrive in 4.3 seconds, on to an electronically-limited top speed of 130mph shared with the 450+. Since the EQS weighs about two and a half tonnes, going really fast will require a hefty power figure, so for the eventual AMG version, Affalterbach will crank 751bhp out of the motors.
Whichever of the two launch models you go for, it’ll be possible to eke out 478 miles on a single charge if the bigger battery is specced. 200kW charging capacity means you’ll be able to juice the cells from 10 to 80 per cent in around half an hour.
Helping this long, weighty car feel a little lither will be an all-wheel steering system capable of turning the rear wheels up to 4.5 degrees. The rears steer in the opposite direction to the fronts up to 37mph, turning in unison above that speed. Later, it’ll be possible to unlock a massive 10-degree turning capability via an over-the-air software update. For comparison, the Porsche Taycan’s system is limited to 2.8 degrees.
As already revealed, the EQS is optionally available with a 1.4-metre-wide ‘Hyperscreen’. This houses multiple screens - a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch central screen and a 12.3-inch display for the front-seat passenger - in one scratch-resistant glass panel made at 650 degrees centigrade.
It has a coating which “simplifies cleaning,” so hopefully the multitude of fingerprints the thing inevitably picks up won’t be too much of an issue. Providing a 2432 square-centimetre viewing area, the Hyperscreen is run by an 8 CPU core onboard computer with 24GB of ram. The system uses facial recognition technology to proactively suggest functions based on who’s in the car, which we’ll pretend isn’t a little creepy.
If you’d rather a more conventional setup, leaving the Hyperscreen option unchecked means you get a very similar cabin layout to the S-Class, featuring a still pretty large central screen emerging diagonally from the centre console. Either way, you won’t have a lot of physical buttons to use - the EQS is heavily reliant on the touchscreen for most functions.
Pricing hasn’t been revealed just yet, but we’d anticipate a starting price of around £90,000. Expect to pay £120,000 or potentially even more once the AMG version arrives.