PALO ALTO, Calif. – Each electrical automobile is quiet. That is what occurs whenever you take away a metallic field of tiny explosions from the automobile. The brand new 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, nevertheless, is quiet. As in, carrying on a dialog at a hushed whisper whereas doing 65 miles per hour on uneven pavement by means of San Francisco. Highway noise? Nope. Wind noise? Probably not. Vehicles and vans pushing air at you from the other way? Only a delicate fwaa, like somebody exhaling from throughout the room.
That is largely the results of improved seals, acoustic foams and glass, and different noise-quelling strategies Mercedes has perfected over the course of a long time. That is not all that completely different from the brand new S-Class, nevertheless. Past all that, the EQS not solely has one or two electrical motors as an alternative of an inside combustion engine, Mercedes engineered the motor elements to cut back vibration and subsequently noise … after which wrapped the motors in a particular foam mat … after which decoupled them from the physique. In consequence, the whine inherent to electrical motors is just about undetectable within the rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+, and solely vaguely perceptible when the entrance motor is added within the all-wheel-drive EQS 580. As in different EVs, you may choose from a menu of synthetic “sound scapes” to be pumped in whereas accelerating, however the silence is so gorgeous that it turns into a part of the character.
The endeavor to remove noise extends to the design as nicely. The automobile’s cab-forward, teardrop form slices by means of the air with a drag coefficient of 0.20 Cd. That determine makes it essentially the most aerodynamic manufacturing automobile, contributing to the quiet inside and, clearly, to its effectivity and vary of 350 miles for the EQS 450+ and 340 miles of the EQS 580 4Matic.
The design achieves one other necessary aim: There isn’t any mistaking it for different Mercedes. Such differentiation, inside a model and when in comparison with conventionally powered automobiles, has been a typical factor of all fashionable eco-oriented vehicles, from the Toyota Prius to the Tesla Mannequin S. It is certainly a strikingly completely different automobile to behold, if vaguely harking back to these from the Nineteen Nineties that embraced cab-forward design and rounded silhouettes. In photos, and with out the good thing about scale, one might in all probability make comparisons to a front-wheel-drive compact sedan. Not so in particular person.
It’s certainly an unlimited automobile, with a complete size of 207.3 inches and a wheelbase of 126.4 inches falling simply shy of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It is also a hatchback, with a trunk harking back to an Audi A7’s. And it weighs not less than 5,600 kilos, which is about 900 kilos greater than an S 580. A lot of that weight comes from the battery, which is sandwiched beneath the cabin and flat underbody, ensuing within the low heart of gravity one expects from an EV. And here is the place the EQS turns into an actual thoughts bender when you get beneath method.
Its commonplace air suspension with adaptive dampers supplies a wafting, pillow-soft journey that fantastically isolates you from impacts, particularly with the smaller 20-inch wheels. Mixed with the silent cabin and one-pedal driving, it is a stately technique of touring across the metropolis. As soon as venturing past town limits, you’d count on that wafting suspension to heave-ho into the primary nook of a winding mountain street. Nope. All that battery weight and the adaptive dampers seemingly defy gravity by maintaining the automobile freakishly degree.
Additionally, you will count on that huge size and wheelbase to be cumbersome in tighter corners. Nope. The usual rear-axle steering can pivot by as a lot as 10 levels (pictured above), which matches sure variations of the S-Class, however enormously exceeds the 3- or 4-degree norm. In consequence, the rear finish glides itself round with gorgeous agility, once more reacting to conditions far otherwise than your physique expects them too. From the passenger seat, when free from the sensations coming by means of the steering wheel, you discover all these incongruous dynamics much more. It virtually feels just like the “Imagineered” vehicles of sure Disney rides like “Check Monitor” or “Indiana Jones Journey” that even have excessive rear-wheel-steering and play tips in your equilibrium. Nearly. It is nonetheless fairly delicate and, if something, a method of marveling on the EQS’ technological wizardry.
A extra apparent dynamic oddity is the regenerative braking, which permits for one-pedal driving in its strongest setting. That is not the bizarre bit. Within the EQS, the brake pedal actually strikes because the system slows the automobile, not not like outdated cruise controls that will pull the throttle away out of your foot. Ought to that you must intervene and add additional braking energy, you will discover the pedal to be the place it will’ve been had you been doing the job your entire time. Perhaps this makes extra sense than how each different one-pedal-capable automobile has operated? Perhaps it is simply bizarre? To be decided.
In the meanwhile, there are two variations that share a typical battery pack developed in-house with a usable capability of 107.8 kilowatt hours. The EQS 450+ has a 245-kilowatt motor powering the rear axle that produces 329 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. With that, you don’t get the breathtaking, giggle-inducing acceleration of varied high-performance EVs. Heck, in an impromptu drag race with a brand new E 63 S sedan alongside San Francisco’s Higher Nice Freeway, we have been completely smoked, and the 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds actually speaks to that. It isn’t a gradual automobile, nevertheless. You continue to get the instantaneous torque and, clearly, silent propulsion anticipated of an EV. We might be completely proud of it. Subsequent yr’s addition of an EQS 450+ 4Matic and subsequently an extra motor ought to enhance output additional, although by how a lot, we do not but know.
As such, if breathtaking is a should, the EQS 580 4Matic and its pair of upgraded motors produce 516 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. It does 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, and completely feels prefer it. You are suitably flattened into your seat, surrounding vehicles vanish, and your passengers will likely be amused. Now, that is nonetheless slower than a Mustang Mach-E GT, not to mention a Mannequin S Plaid or Taycan Turbo S, however in case you’re measuring a automobile’s capabilities or figuring out its desirability just by a 0-60 time, you are lacking the forest for the bushes. The EQS is a profoundly completely different automobile from these.
Need proof? Climb inside. The supplies and construct high quality are to an S-Class commonplace, which means higher than something on the planet that does not put on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley badge. In fact, that is in all probability not what you will discover first. Unfold out earlier than you, spanning your entire sprint from heart console to the surprisingly excessive cowl, is the “Hyperscreen.” This contiguous curved piece of scratch-resistant glass covers three screens: a 12.3-inch instrument panel in entrance of the motive force and a 12.3-inch touchscreen in entrance of the passenger that does just about all the things the central 17.7 central showpiece can do.
Notice that the Hyperscreen is a distinct, elective system than the usual setup shared with the brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. That has one much less display (no passenger) and a central, 12.8-inch, vertically oriented display that largely expands the performance of different Mercedes MBUX interface. The Hyperscreen’s central show, against this, provides what Mercedes dubs the “Zero Layer” idea. That is mainly a house display that showcases the three most regularly used capabilities: a navigation map with packing containers alongside the underside dedicated to audio and phone. Synthetic intelligence will finally adapt to you and add extra packing containers primarily based by yourself tendencies (or you may add them your self). There’s nonetheless an icon-filled menu display akin to different MBUX vehicles, however regardless of sounding extra sophisticated (it is nonetheless fairly rattling sophisticated), I discovered this idea far simpler to wrap my head round with much less menu-flipping concerned.
The passenger display is kind of a redundant MBUX interface, and it may be enjoyable poking round with varied automobile capabilities with out robbing the motive force of their display. Simply be warned: Twiddling with it an excessive amount of whereas the automobile takes varied turns is an efficient recipe for barfing on a Hyperscreen.
Much less profitable is the instrument panel. It provides a various collection of designs, together with two that mimic gauges(ish), one which highlights the motive force help methods, a navigation display (you may have three on the sprint directly), and possibly the strangest and most pointless instrument design I’ve ever encountered: the “Sport” show. It is technically a G power meter but it surely appears like a crimson flying saucer floating a couple of fjord in a fighter jet’s crosshairs. As a result of sporty? Add to that the curious obsession with ambient lighting schemes and one has to confess that quite a lot of these things is a bit ridiculous.
Now, regardless of having comparable inside high quality as an S-Class (and exterior dimensions), the EQS cabin doesn’t present comparable inside house. That smooth roofline considerably reduces headroom to the purpose that even these of common peak would possibly really feel a bit squished (I am 6-foot-3 and my head was caught towards the headliner with a speaker looming simply above my ear). The seat additionally feels a contact low, and regardless of this being a hatchback, the seatback is mounted and a contact upright. The Pinnacle trim degree does present an improve to power-adjustable rear seats, which we did not get an opportunity to pattern, however given the house obtainable, each EQS remains to be sure to really feel extra like a CLS than an S-Class.
Reality be informed, that is essentially the most advanced automobile I’ve ever examined. The press equipment runs 63 pages and there was much more found right here in Palo Alto throughout varied skilled interviews. This might get awfully tech-y awfully rapidly, however as Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius informed the assembled group of journalists, “Lots of prospects do not wish to get slowed down within the particulars. Prospects simply wish to know that it really works.” We are inclined to agree, which is why we have tried to give attention to what the EQS is prefer to drive and/or journey in. EV evangelists will little doubt discover loads to geek out about or hate on, from its battery chemistry (there’s 10% much less cobalt!) to its vitality recuperation energy (as much as 290 kilowatts!), however for these involved in how the EQS behaves as a automobile, the straightforward reply is that it not solely works, it is sensational.
The worth can also be not that outrageous. With a place to begin of $103,360 together with vacation spot and three years of free charging at Electrify America stations, the EQS 450+ is definitely cheaper than the bottom S 500 at $110,850. True, that has commonplace all-wheel-drive, stronger acceleration and more room, but it surely’s equally geared up and engineered. That may’t be underlined sufficient, as a result of “being just like an S-Class” carries quite a lot of weight and justifies quite a lot of greenback indicators.