Mercedes-Benz is preparing its most aggressive attack on Tesla to date, and the 2022 EQS takes a page from Elon Musk’s manual in the process. Aimed at dealerships later this year, the EQS – like its S-Class cousin – is not intended to be a mass market EV for every driver. Instead, as with the original Tesla Model S, it is a premium electric car with first users with many pockets in mind.
Certainly, Mercedes has more accessible EVs in its roadmap. Although the EQC electric SUV is not due to be launched in the U.S. now, there will be smaller – and cheaper – EQA and EQB crossovers to come.
Where they use what the automaker calls “flexible powertrain architecture”, which can be transformed into gas, diesel or electric configurations, depending on the vehicle and finish, the 2022 EQS is the first of Mercedes models to use its large dedicated EVA electric platform. Over time, there will be an EQE, a slightly smaller sedan similar to the E-Class, along with an EQS SUV and an EQE SUV.
The specifications for those have not yet been shared, but we know what the EQS is promising. Rear and all-wheel drive variants will be offered, with permanently excited synchronous motors. Either way, Mercedes is taking advantage of extra-powerful rear axle engines with six-phase operations, relain has two windings with three phases each, and extra cooling potential.
The 4MATIC AWD versions of the EQS will be able to adjust torque from front to back, depending on driving needs. It will be much faster to adapt than traditional mechanical systems as well. Mercedes says it will check the torque requirements 10,000 times per minute and adjust as needed. We saw how this works on our EQS co-drive.
For starters, there will be EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC. The first will have 245 kW of power along with 419 lb-ft of torque; the last AWD will have 385 kW and 631 lb-ft of torque. The maximum speed will be limited to 130 mph.
To slow down, there will be an adjustable recovery system. This is controlled by means of paddles on the steering wheel – which, in a traditional car, would control the transmission that the EQS lacks – and has three stages. In the most powerful, you will be able to completely stop the VE only through recovery, with a maximum power of 290 kW back to the batteries. Mercedes will also use smarter steering controls, such as automatically turning on recovery to slow the sedan if traffic ahead decreases.
On the battery side, Mercedes will offer the EQS in two sizes: 90 or 107.8 kWh. Both will use 400 V architecture and will be called smart batteries, with support for over-the-air (OTA) upgrades in the future for new power management. The automaker will cover them with a ten-year warranty (or 250,000 kilometers) on loss of capacity.
For charging, there will be an on-board charger up to 22 kW for Level 2 systems, such as those in a garage or workplace. Fast DC charging with support up to 200 kW will be offered for compatible public chargers. Plug & Charge will be used to simplify this process – you will only have to connect the car to the charger, and a digital handshake will do all the authentication automatically – while Japanese EQS owners will be able to use bidirectional charging, feeding the EV battery power back to the grid or using it to supply power to a home during a power outage.
As for range, Mercedes-Benz says it expects up to 770 km of the WLTP cycle for its biggest battery. This is 478 miles, although, as we saw earlier, the US EPA test cycle can produce results very different from its Euro counterpart. Still, if Mercedes can consistently deliver over 350-400 miles of EQS, that would go a long way in helping to fulfill the EV’s promise to finally be a car to give the Tesla Model S a true luxury electric competition.