Mercedes-Benz has been slowly trickling out new information about its range-topping electric sedan for the last few months, and every new info drop has me convinced that this will be the best luxury electric car ever. MB has clearly put a lot of effort into this machine, and it’s going to pay off for the Stuttgart brand. Everything that the Taycan is for crosstown brand Porsche, the EQS will be for Merc. Where the P-car leaves nothing on the table in pursuit of a sporty driving experience, driver engagement, and incredible speed, it seems that the EQS will equally focus on a luxurious driving experience, driver comfort, and relaxation.
Nobody really builds a truly new car anymore. Most new cars are an evolution on the theme, taking what other cars have done before and making minor tweaks to make things ostensibly better. That’s a pretty common theme in pretty much every industry these days. Every phone is trying to be a slightly better iPhone. Every movie is a remake, a sequel, or a nostalgia-hole. The EQS is more than just a new electric car, it’s the new electric car. Mercedes looked out at the market, saw an empty segment that it could not only survive in, but thrive in, and took the opportunity to completely define that segment.
Mercedes has been more or less defining the ultra luxury sedan market since the W180 “Ponton” revolutionized the segment with unibody construction way back in 1954. Technology has traditionally been introduced in the S-class and finds its way into more mainstream models as it trickles down the model lineup. The S is the trend setter for the luxury industry. Amenities like advanced infotainment, voice command, radar cruise, surround-view cameras, and much more were once the kind of thing you’d only find on a six-figure Merc, but now populate the automotive landscape on down to the most basic daily drivers.
Likely the EQS will advance electric technology and luxury cars in general just as the gasoline-powered S has for decades. This is the way forward for electric, and they’re pulling no punches. The EQS features advanced aerodynamics for increased efficiency and reduced NVH, an optional full-width touch screen dashboard for maximum screen time, and lots of battery for what will likely be around 400 miles of cruising range. Not only is this going to be an incredible daily cruiser, but it’ll be quick, efficient, and in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion it will be impeccably bolted together.
I think this is the first truly new design to take full advantage of the packaging benefits of electric propulsion. By pushing everything to the outer extremities and enlarging the passenger cabin, the car will feel much larger than its footprint. This is a principle that goes all the way back to Alec Issigonis’ original Morris Mini design. Push the wheels to the corners, push the motor (or motors) as far as you can, and keep minimal overhangs to promote maximum space and shape efficiency. Mercedes calls this a “one bow” design with a single uninterrupted arced curve from front to back when viewed in profile. The days of the three-box sedan are gone, and the EQS has done everything it can to kill them. A worthy champion for the future, then.
From a visual standpoint, Mercedes has knocked this one out of the park. It’s refreshing to see a new car that is designed for function first which is also strikingly beautiful in shape. The primary goal of this car was aerodynamic efficiency, and it sure has that with a 0.20 Cd — the most aerodynamic car to ever reach series production, in fact. As flagships go, this is the biggest ship in the fleet carrying the largest flag ever sewn. While it’s sure to be extremely expensive and it will be packed with features that us mere mortals won’t see in our own cars for a decade, the EQS is going to be an absolute banger. It’s the crystal ball through which we can all view our EV-heavy future.
There are very few companies which could have taken this step. Maybe BMW. Maybe Lexus. Maybe Genesis. None of them had the guts. Leave it to Mercedes to truly dive into the deep end of future tech. It’s been jumping in with both feet for decades. This is what Mercedes does. You can believe that the EQS will be exemplary because of that fact. I sure do.