Written by Andre James / Photography courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
As part of its Ambition 2039 initiative, Mercedes-Benz will offer a carbon-neutral new car fleet within the next two decades. The company set a target of having more than half of the cars it sells by 2030 feature electric drive systems, including fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The initiative took a significant leap forward this past spring with the global premiere of the EQS, the first model to be produced in a carbon-neutral manner and based on the modular architecture for luxury and executive-class electric vehicles.
The first models introduced to the U.S. market are the EQS 450+ with 329hp and the EQS 580 4MATIC with 516hp. Owners will benefit from complimentary maintenance and free unlimited 30-minute DC-Fast Charging sessions with Electrify America for the first two years. In addition to standard equipment such as enhanced active and passive Driver Assistance Systems, a 12.8” OLED multimedia touchscreen portrait display for the EQS 450+ Sedan and MBUX Hyperscreen with three displays merged seamlessly under a single 56-inch curved glass surface on the EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan, a trio of trim packages—Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle—are available, along with an array of additional options for further customization.
Visually distinct from models with internal combustion engines, the exterior of EQS, which is over 17 feet long, showcases cabin-forward aesthetics in its unmistakable purpose-built design, resulting in a benchmark drag coefficient value of .20. At the front, a distinctive ‘Black Panel’ unit incorporates innovative headlights connected by a light band and a grill with a three-dimensional star pattern. Flush-positioned and aerodynamically optimized wheels range from 20 to 22 inches. In addition, the EQS comes standard with a power tilt and sliding panorama roof consisting of two modules that together form a large glass surface.
With the aid of artificial intelligence, Mercedes-Benz has developed a user interface with context-sensitive awareness, which displays the right functions at the right time. Up to seven individual MBUX profiles can be created directly in the vehicle and synchronized with the existing profile data of the Mercedes me account. An EQ-specific navigation system seamlessly plans the fastest and most convenient route, including charging stops, and it dynamically reacts to traffic jams or a change in driving style. If there is a risk of not reaching the destination or the charging station with the set settings, Active Range Monitoring issues the prompt to activate ECO driving functions. The EQS is the first Mercedes to offer the option of activating completely new vehicle functions via over-the-air updates (OTA) in many functional areas.
In-cabin luxuries include rapid-heating and ventilating front seats, leather seating surfaces, active multi-contour front seats with enhanced massage and comfort headrests, wireless smartphone integration, wireless charging in the front, and an air balance cabin fragrance system with a new HEPA filter. Silver Waves and Vivid Flux are two soundscapes that are part of the standard 15-speaker Burmester® Surround Sound System and provide a slightly futuristic “soundtrack” for the driving experience in lieu of traditional combustion engine reverberations.
Since the EQS is based on all-electric architecture, it opened up new design possibilities for passenger safety, such as allowing for a favorable location to be chosen for the installation of the battery in a crash-protected area in the underbody. In addition, with no large engine block on board, the behavior in a frontal crash was modeled even better than before.
Equipped with a new generation of batteries boasting significantly higher energy density, the EQS offers a range of up to 487 miles. At home or at public charging stations, the EQS can be conveniently charged with AC using the onboard charger. The driver can switch off various energy consumers to increase the range and activate the ECO driving functions to support a more efficient driving style.