The recently launched seventh-generation Mercedes S-Class will soon gain a pure-electric sibling, called the EQS.
The new range-topping electric limo is expected to make its debut in 2021, and it’s described by Markus Schafer, the firm’s head of research and development, as something “completely different” to Mercedes’s flagship petrol-powered limousine.
Spied here at the Nurburgring, specific details about the electric car’s platform and powertrain are yet to be confirmed – but they were previewed by the EQS Vision Concept from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
So, should the production-ready EQS match the show car’s specs, it’ll feature a twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain which should provide a 0–62mph time of 4.5 seconds. Mercedes also recently announced that it’s targeting a maximum WLTP range of 700km (435 miles).
The concept car’s electric motors and battery pack are mated to a sophisticated charging system, offering support for the latest 350kW fast-chargers. That would see 350 miles of range added in less that 20 minutes – which is a huge leap towards making electric cars genuinely usable over long distances.
Schafer previously confirmed that the Mercedes EQS will enter production at the company’s new Factory 56 production facility in Stuttgart in summer next year, ahead of its scheduled market introduction in the second half of 2021.
“It is the electric S-Class. So we carry over features completely from the S-Class. So you will see all the features plus something new, which we have prepared especially,” he explained, while also confirming that Mercedes will develop a rear-wheel-drive model for the lower-end of the EQS pecking order.
Comparing the latest spy shots with official images of the new S-Class hints at strong design differentiation between the two models, and Schafer confirmed that this would be the case. He said: “We are departing from our old approach. We started with existing architectures and we adapted them to make them electric. Now we are changing gears and moving towards a purpose made platform.
“The number one reason is the electric efficiency of designing a purely electric car. So you can expect something completely different compared with the changes from GLA to EQA or GLB to EQB. It’s going to be completely different looking, and probably addressing a different customer base,” he teased.
The cabin will also be toned down slightly from the concept, taking on a similar layout seen in the new S-Class. Mercedes promises an environment that can be considered a “third place” alongside the home and the workplace.
Mercedes Vision EQS concept previews flagship electric Merc
A luxury all-electric S-Class was first muted with the arrival of Mercedes Vision EQS: a saloon concept with a 435-mile range. The Frankfurt Motor Show debutant offers a glimpse at both the brand’s upcoming luxury saloon tech and a halo model for its battery-powered family.
Long, low and sleek, the EQS features a simple, flowing shape which Mercedes says will inspire the next generation of EQ models. Huge wheels push out towards each corner to maximise cabin space.
At the front, the EQS has a grille panel housing 188 individual LEDs, allowing for near-limitless lighting animations. Flanking that grille is a pair of holographic-lens headlamps, which themselves flow into what Mercedes calls the “lightbelt”: a glowing strip running unbroken around the car’s belt line. At the back, the tail-lights are made up of 229 three-pointed stars.
Inside, the broad, shallow dashboard design is topped by a sweep around the entire cabin with copper pinstripes, while the armrests and centre console appear to float above the floor.
The EQS previews a version of the MBUX infotainment system that will find its way into future Mercedes. Three touchscreens – a central portrait unit backed up by displays in each of the door armrests – give control for driver and passenger.
Mercedes says that the Vision’s cabin takes inspiration from those seen in luxury yachts, but there’s an environmentally conscious nautical theme, too; the roof lining is a textile woven from ‘ocean waste’ plastic. Recycled bottles and artificial leather feature elsewhere. Unlike Mercedes’ first EV, the EQC, the Vision EQS uses an all-new platform. The company says the scalable architecture is suitable for a wide range of EV concepts.