Mercedes-Benz might be a little late to the electric party, but it's going all-in. The new EQ line will encompass Mercedes' upcoming electric offerings — the first fully electric vehicles since the ill-fated B-Class. According to Merc, EQ stands for "electric intelligence," a barely passable pun on IQ, but a smart move for Mercedes, which has developed a new architecture just for electric cars. The modular underpinnings can be lengthened, shortened, widened or narrowed depending on the body placed atop. For its first entry in the U.S. market, Mercedes is going big with an electric equivalent of its flagship S-Class, dubbed the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS
There will initially be two options for power output: a single-motor version that drives the rear wheels and produces 329 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque (EQS 450+) and an all-wheel-drive, dual-motor version making 516 hp and 611 lb-ft (EQS 580 4Matic). There will also be a variant with around 630 horsepower, but it might not debut for the 2022 model year. Mercedes says range for the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 is expected to be 478 miles, but this is according to European WLTP standards, which operate on a different test cycle than the EPA. Anticipate EPA range estimates north of 300 miles.
This is a tactile interior, pleasant to the touch in every way. Even the trunk carpet in the EQS is soft and fluffy. It feels like wool, but it's actually a synthetic blend made from recycled materials. The centerpiece of the EQS, though, is the optional full-width dashboard screen. It runs 56 inches from end to end and includes a digital instrument cluster, a giant center section and screen in front of the passenger, all in one curved glass element. Mercedes calls it the Hyperscreen, and it's so visually arresting it might take a moment to appreciate the rest of the EQS' leather, wood and rose gold-trimmed interior. If you'd rather see more quality materials and less OLED glass, there is a single-screen version that mimics the S-Class layout and replaces the passenger section with leather and wood.
We couldn't wait to mention the big screen, but tech in the EQS is more than just an impressive display. The Mercedes MBUX system is in its most advanced version yet, responding to voice or touch commands and learning as it goes to provide a more seamless and useful experience the longer a customer owns the car.