Mercedes-Benz has finally pulled off the camo and officially unveiled its heavily-hyped flagship fully-electric sedan, the EQS. And with it being the new flagship, there are of course, many headline-worthy flagship specifications to go with it.
But of course, through all the marketing fluff, there’s one thing that everyone wants to know on an EV – and it’s the range. And the good news is that you probably won’t be disappointed here, because the EQS is capable of driving up to 770 km (WLTP) on a single charge.
Just to go off on a tangent a little, it’s surprising to see just how far ahead Tesla is with their battery tech. The recently-unveiled Tesla Model S Plaid+ boasts a whopping 830 km of range – and measured with the more stringent EPA test cycle at that. Many “traditional” manufacturers meanwhile are still scrambling to even reach the 600 km mark, so it’s positive to see Mercedes coming out swinging on their first “serious” EV entry.
Anyway, back on topic. To achieve that impressive fully-electric range, Mercedes-Benz had to optimise not just the powertrain and battery technology, but also every last detail of the EV. And on the all-new EQS, the big ticket item here is its aerodynamics.
In fact, Mercedes-Benz claims that the all-new EQS is the most aerodynamic production car currently, thanks to its 0.200 Cd drag coefficient, besting the Tesla Model S’s 0.208 Cd. The latter’s rounds up to 0.21 Cd anyway, so that’s another bragging point.
While the difference in numbers might look to be in the minutiae, the difference in an EV can be huge, especially when it’s compounded with all the other various energy losses. A decent sedan these days start at around 0.23 Cd. According to Mercedes, the 0.03 difference can mean up to 4-5% of range.
So yes, while the resulting design of the car – with its fancy cab-forward, low-slung front and rear “One-Bow design” – might look a little weird, we’d argue that it’s the good kind of weird, since its design actually serves such an integral function to the overall package.
What’s less good in its weirdness though, is the new screen-fest on the interior that is the Hyperscreen. Even though the all-screen dashboard was already unveiled to the world before the car was launched, we still struggle to understand how touchscreens – even if there’s haptic feedback and AI-powered software – will be more functional than a normal bank of buttons, especially when on the move.
Fortunately, the Hyperscreen isn’t a standard fit item – the regular EQS comes with a regular portrait screen set-up, just like the one on the regular S-Class. So for regular people like you and me, please go with the regular option – you’ll thank us later. Anyway, we digress.
At launch, the Mercedes-Benz EQS will be offered in two variants, a rear-wheel drive EQS 450+, and an all-wheel drive EQS 580 4Matic. The former features a single motor at the rear axle, with 333 hp and 568 Nm of torque on tap, good enough for a century sprint in 6.2 seconds, onward to an electronically-limited 210 km/h top speed.
The more powerful all-wheel drive variant meanwhile gets two electric motors – one on each axle – resulting in a total peak system output of 523 hp and 855 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h time is a lot faster at 4.3 seconds, though the top speed is capped at the same 210 km/h.
Mercedes-Benz also confirmed that there’ll be at least one high-performance Mercedes-AMG version coming later in the year, and although no further information has been divulged (we pretty much knew already, anyway), the company says that it’ll make 761 hp from the factory.
There are two battery options (both running a 400 V architecture) available, 90 kWh and 107.8 kWh, though the company did not say which variant and battery option the 770 km electric range figure was based on. If we had to guess though, it’ll most likely be the EQS 580, as it’s capable of recuperating up to 290 kW of energy during hard braking under ideal circumstances (!). The 450+ does with a lesser – but still impressive – 186 kW.
For context, the Tesla Model S is capable of clawing back around 77 kW under hard braking on a good day, while a Formula E race car does 200 kW.
When you’re not relying just on the brakes to charge the battery though, the EQS can be plugged into a AC regular wall socket, charging at a standard 11 kW (or the optional 22 kW) rate. However, you’d probably much rather utilise its 200 kW DC fast charging capability, which can provide up to an additional 300 km of range in just 15 minutes – that’s if the charging infrastructure is available around, of course.