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While you can throw a stone and hit a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in a valet line in this town, even with everything being halfway open, there is as yet no all-electric, all-luxury Mercedes-Benz you can drive off the dealer lot right now. That time, though, is coming with the introduction today of the all-new 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS, the all-electric equivalent of the S-Class and the biggest bet for Mercedes since the brand launched the first S-Class way back in 1972.
“For us as designers at Mercedes-Benz, it’s all about desire, and desire is driven by two things: beauty and the extraordinary. It’s a dream of every artist to create the future. With the all-new EQS, we’ve designed an extraordinary and beautiful car of the future. We created desire,” remarked Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of Daimler Group, at the unveiling of the car, available as the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ and the dual-motor, all-wheel drive EQS 580 4MATIC.
The EQS features a 107.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack good for 770 kilometers on the EU’s WLTP system — or 478 miles — but is sure to drop a few miles when the official EPA ratings are released. That said, these numbers are right around the same as the Tesla Model S Long Range.
While you won’t see Tesla Model S Plaid levels of speed — and really, who needs that? — the 0-60 numbers range from 5.5 seconds on the 450+ and 4.1 seconds for the 580, and depending on the model, you’ll see 329 horsepower and 516 horsepower, respectively, which is in line with the Porsche Taycan, its most direct competition in Hollywood, anecdotally speaking.
All of that isn’t too shabby for a four-door hatchback about 17-feet long, 6-feet wide and 5-feet high, which is close to the current size of the S-Class. The EQS is the first model to be based on the company’s modular architecture for luxury and executive-class electric vehicles and Mercedes says they will add three additional electric vehicles to its U.S. portfolio by 2025, including an EQE and two additional EQ SUVs all as part of the new Mercedes-EQ sub-brand. The EQS will be for sale at dealerships in the fall of 2021.
What you do get from Mercedes-Benz and billions in development money is an EV with a bank-vault level of build quality, a massive level of comfort and luxury and some of the most ingenious tech this side of Silicon Beach.
“Our EQS will be able to drive by itself at Level 3 [the maker’s automated driving system feature]. This is made possible by the intelligent fusion of sensors, such as LiDAR, multiple cameras and radar, as well as state-of-the-art software.” remarked Sajjad Khan, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG and CTO.
The EQS, like its rivals, has a big — a really big — screen and AI-powered functionality with the all-new MBUX Hyperscreen, which stretches all the way across the dashboard and whose three displays result in a curved screen band of over 56 inches in a system almost as powerful as an edit suite — 8 CPUs, 24 gigabytes of RAM and a 46.4-gigabit-per-second memory bandwidth.
Mercedes was keen to highlight the car’s fast-charging capability and for good reason — the EQS can be charged at speeds up to 200 kW at DC fast-charging stations, which provides a 10 to 80 percent DC fast charge in about half an hour and a quick top-up of electrons good for about 140 miles in just 15 minutes or so.
Throw in standard luxury features that buyers expect from Mercedes and a very au courant air filtration system and you have the makings of a new classic. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the current gas-powered S-Class starts at a smidge under $100,000.
Says MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman and co-host of Spike’s Car Radio with Spike Feresten of the new car, “The EQS is going to be the most serious electric vehicle offered to the general public so far. Mercedes-Benz is the master of luxury, and while Teslas are nice, they’re much more Silicon Valley nouveau riche. Mercedes has a chance to offer some old world, multigenerational levels of opulence, which the EV space has never seen before. At the same time, the EQS is packed with every type of technology there is. The press release is 63 pages long! My worry is that in a rapidly changing world, the EQS is going to make Mercedes’ venerable and brand-new S-Class obsolete. That would be a pity.”
But to most buyers in Hollywood, the most important feature on the EQS is the brand’s commitment to sustainability and decarbonization as part of its Ambition 2039 Initiative. From the entire supply chain to the futuristic and carbon-neutral Factory 56 in Sindelfingen where the EQS is made, Mercedes has made a firm bet on a sustainable future.
Director James Cameron, who worked with the brand on a 2020 CES show car, VISION AVTR and continues his partnership on the new EQS, tells THR exclusively, “Mercedes-Benz is an ideal partner because they share the same vision that we strive to communicate through the Avatar films — creating a more sustainable, harmonious and interconnected world…which is evidenced in our joint collaboration on the VISION AVTR concept car.”
In remarks at the press conference, Cameron also said, “Through my films, I hope to inspire audiences to strive for a sustainable world where humans, machines and nature can learn to coexist. This message is more relevant now than ever, and I’m glad Avatar has found a partner who believes in the same vision — Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes joined us on this journey with the creation of the Vision AVTR, which we revealed together last year. This concept car was inspired by the values of Avatar’s indigenous people, the Na’vi, who believe that we must not only limit what we take from nature, but find ways to replenish what we use. And today, I’m excited to share that Mercedes is taking the next step toward realizing this vision. The EQS is an expression of what’s already possible today in terms of electric mobility. And it innovates, not only for the sake of innovation, but with a purpose. The all-new EQS is not just an impressive vehicle, it’s a commitment to a more balanced world.”
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