Spent a day Running the pre-production of Mercedes Benz EQS in 2022, what the German automaker has done with billions of dollars is dedicated to electrification.
The EQS is a carefully designed flagship sedan that brings together the automaker’s MBUX infotainment system, a new electric platform and performance improvements. It is an unattainable quest to set a new benchmark for a full-size luxury sedan that is electric.
The luxury electric sedan is meant to show American consumers what Mercedes can (and will) do with EVs in the future. And the stakes are high. The German automaker is banking on the successful rollout of EQS in North America.
Christoph Starzynski, head of the EQ brand, said, “This is the beginning of a new era, because until now we had a fully flexible platform with hybrids, ICEs and BEVs, which said that Mercedes would add three additional electric vehicles. 2025 To its US portfolio, including the EQE and two additional SUVs. “This is the first time we’ve actually designed and developed all the technology in a battery electric vehicle.”
The EQS is the 17-foot-long flagship derivative of the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-line luxury sedan with a base price of $ 110,000. (So far, pricing on EQS has not been revealed.) It is stocked with the best technology ever. Although most customers will not appreciate all the Doodods mounted on this car, they may enjoy knowing that it is all stored in that comprehensive infotainment cloud, or just a software update away.
A fully loaded EQS is one such leap that makes the new S Class feel a second era already.
The EQS 580 4Matic model I tested was conceived with a 56-inch hyperscreen, head up display, acoustic glass, rear seat entertainment, and an air filtration system, which Starzynski pre-dates the epidemic, but naturally It feels so much from the moment.
In writing, exterior details of the car appear until 15 April. The version I tested was partially closed, so I can’t tell you much about the fabricated specifics of its A column.
My five-year-old daughter went on a test drive with me. We started at the Mercedes Manhattan dealership, where the EQS was displayed in the store window. As I approached the car, the driver’s door opened automatically. From the comfort point of her booster seat, my daughter used to play with the back screen hovering in front of her. She opted for ambient lighting in pink and purple colors for the cabin. Her top takeaway: “It’s a spectacular rainbow ride.”
The backseat experience really matters, as the EQS is chauffeur friendly, a prerequisite for luxury cars in China, the hub of EV sales for the next decade.
Meanwhile, upstairs, for a taller person like myself, the driver’s spacious seat – accented by the pillow that cuts off the base of my neck – was one of the most comfortable rides I’ve ever had. Once inside, the car is in all moods. Ring the bells and whistles of lighting and sound design.
As much as I could appreciate the sensation of the sounding silver waves to compensate for that faint EV whispered, we soon opted to blast the five-year-old favorite Barbie soundtrack from a billing set of 15 Burmester speakers. (Unfortunate compromises are involved in bringing a five year old along for the ride.)
Everything in the EQS originates from a 56-inch hyperscreen OLED, which is divided into three separate displays, which span door-to-door. Personally, it is not visible in the photos. Its elliptical contour has a gamer-like cockpit sensitivity.
The MBUX functions are placed on the main 17.7-inch OLED screen to the right of the steering wheel. The traveler can also choose to personalize their own touchscreen. Inside the powerful computation system is 24-gigabyte RAM and 46.4 GB per second RAM memory, and eight CPU cores.
Simplicity is a hallmark of good design, embedded in Apple’s best products. In contrast, Mercedes has always been big on delivering a dizzying set of user experience options and providing multiple approaches to using information. He uses controls on the steering wheel, arm rest and main screen in the tilt EQS. On test drives, I find several options for distracting controls. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t have time to fully adapt, just like it takes a couple of weeks to use a new feature on a smartphone, or if it’s plain overkill. I noted the heads up display, but there was plenty of room to see it during the time spent in the car.
What I understand is that the MBUX system studies the behavior of the driver over time. By the end of my ride, the screen module reminded me that maybe I would like to do my active seat massage once again. In short, I can circumvent other controls and focus on the things I wanted to use the most. The voice commands were decent, though managed to stump my high pitch tenor system. I have yet to meet an automotive voice system that understands me all the time.
There is no room for analog in the EQS experience. The graphics are crisp, multidimensional and clear. One downside was that my fingerprints smiled on the touchscreen. Pro tip: bring a good screen spirit and clothes before the photo shoot. Another small gripe was that the steering wheel was designed for someone with much larger hands than mine, and it was a little awkward to access all the functions stored on the wheel, which gave me the right spot. Forced to look down to find. I relied on the MBUX center screen to adjust the settings.
My favorite part of the EQS user experience is how it handles messaging about the range. All the while, various screens on the dash displayed how many miles I had stayed if my calculations were realistic for my floor, and mapped where I could go to charge.
About that battery. The model I designed had a battery pack of 107.8 kWh, powering the two electric motors used in the all-wheel-drive system. The limit is 470 miles according to European testing, but may fall below US EPA testing standards. I took a 125-mile round trip from Manhattan to a small town called Beacon and without worrying about recharges.
I set the ChargePoint options to render the screen a click away. It also distinguishes which stations have 200 kW DC fast-chargers available, which Mercedes says takes about 15 minutes to recharge. To assimilate consumers over battery life, Mercedes has added a warranty that covers the loss of battery capacity, valid for a decade after purchase, or up to 150,000 miles.
The drive itself gave powerful performance, as one expected it to work with 517 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The EQS beats the competitors by drawing a coefficient at .20, which is a fun car enthusiast fact, but not the knowledge required for regular drivers.
It always takes a moment to make a long saloon driving comfortable, but like the S Class, the EQS handles its proportions with grace, and it shifts easily due to standard rear-wheel steering. It mirrors the S-Class safety features and the ADAS system. Drive settings include Classic and Sport, can be obtained via steering wheel control or via armrest. I’m generally a sporty driver, and I liked the functional feedback delivered by this mode.
“Of course we’re developing it more,” Starzysnki said, adding that the ADAS features would be improved through software updates. Customizable updates such as lighting settings are also available for download.
The biggest differentiator of an EQS drive is its battery recirculation system. Intelligent recuperation mode optimizes the battery and controls the driver action. The general recession reduced intervention. I played with one-pedal driving on the highway. Drivers also can choose no support.
Mainstream EV adoption in the United States feels right around the corner – and it could come even faster than President Biden’s infrastructure passes. But automakers will need to do more than shore up Tesla if they hope to capture the attention and dollars of American consumers. According to Experian and reported in Automotive News, EVs account for just 1.8% of US car sales in 2020.
Extensive change takes time, money and a long-term commitment. The next-level Mercedes-Benz EQS edged the playground a step closer to the tipping point, when the EV portion of the architecture is no longer new, but there is hope for a luxury vehicle.
(Disclosure: In 2018, I was a Mercedes-Benz EQ partner for the Summit Series program, sponsored by the automaker, and featured me on the EQ homepage.)