Journey to the end of your battery
Following the EQC and the EQA, Mercedes continues its attack on the top-of-the-range electric market with its brand-new EQS. Its ambitions are clear from its name.
The finest in the world
It might come as a surprise, though, to hear that the EQS has virtually no parts in common with the S-Class combustion engine since its electric inner workings, self-supporting structure and aesthetic appearance are all exclusive to this model. In fact, the EQS houses a massive 107.8kWh battery in a dedicated electric drive platform. The bodywork is unique, too, with super-aerodynamic lines to glide through the air with minimal effort, as demonstrated by its teardrop profile, which has the lowest air penetration coefficient (Cx of 0.20) in the world. With this in its armoury, this super-limousine EV supposedly offers a record range of almost 800km! We wanted to check this out for ourselves on a round trip from Luxembourg to Brussels.
Technology and comfort
As soon as you jump in you’ll notice the surprising spaciousness of the car’s passenger compartment and its 100% digital dashboard (optional) offering extensive connectivity options. Known as the 'Hyperscreen', this huge digital panel spans over 141cm and incorporates 3 screens. The MBUX interface manages its functions directly via the touchscreen, on the steering wheel or by voice command, all of which ensures fluid and intuitive usage. The model we drove featured very high-end materials, complete with vegan leather upholstery combined with ‘piano black’ and anodised aluminium finishes.
The driving position is decent enough, but it is, nevertheless, impacted by the raised position of the imposing Hyperscreen, forcing the driver to raise their seat to get a good view of the road. You’ll soon forget about that once you get comfortable against the downy-soft headrest, which is a real treat, though. Combined with comfortable seats and controlled suspension, this model offers one of the smoothest and most seamless driving experiences ever, so you can just sit back, relax, and watch those miles clock up, right? Well, almost - you will still need to keep a close eye on the battery if you want to reach your destination!
The silk road
The electric technology is, of course, top-notch, with one of the largest batteries currently in production driving a powerful engine with a lot of torque on the rear axle. The 450+ version is rear-wheel drive that offers an extremely high level of comfort and excellent dynamic qualities thanks to its optimal weight distribution, a long wheelbase for stability and 4-wheel steering for agility, all of which results in high levels of performance and nimble handling with complete control.
But what about the range? While Mercedes claims that the model offers a record range of 780km in the best-case scenario (moderate speed and mild temperatures), we failed to exceed 450km for the good reason that our route was essentially motorway with very little urban driving or cold temperatures. Even the best electric car on the planet cannot, for the time being, match its combustion engine counterpart in terms of motorway range.
Image source: © Mercedes