Mercedes Vision EQS electric luxury concept car unveiled at Frankfurt

New Vision EQS concept debuts with 469hp, a range of 435 miles and an interior inspired by luxury yachts

Mercedes has unveiled its outlook for the future of sustainable, luxury travel at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in the shape of its Vision EQS concept car. The Vision EQS previews a bold new design direction for Mercedes and is a dramatic departure from its S-Class halo model.

The dramatic, sloping roofline is more akin to the CLS. At the front, the grille has been replaced with a light matrix that consists of 940 individual LEDs framing a single star and set into a black panel. New digital headlights, each with four holographic lenses and 500 LEDs per headlamp, project light that appears to ‘float’ in space.

The new headlights have an unlimited number of display possibilities and allow the car to be expressive and “interact with its environment’. At the rear, 229 individual LED stars create a new take on the Mercedes brand logo across the tailgate, while a continuous 360-degree light belt joins the front light display with the back.

The Vision EQS is made from a mix of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre, sits on 24-inch alloy wheels and is underpinned by Mercedes new ‘Modular Electric Architecture’, which is scalable for a variety of future all-electric models. In the next few years, five new models could be underpinned by the Vision EQS platform.

Inside, inspiration comes from luxury yachts; according to Mercedes, the cabin is designed to “provide a new level of serenity”. The new ‘floating’ dashboard blends with the body to form a one-piece interior sculpture, with the cockpit wrapping around and enveloping its passengers. There’s even side displays on the driver and passenger seats.

A band of ambient light spans the circumference of the interior and communicates information to passengers. It can also be tuned to provide different moods of light. The centre display, incorporated into the expansive dashboard, allows digital content to be shown over the entire area and is touch activated.

The air vents, integrated into the trim, have haptic control, while the speaker covers are finished in rose gold. There’s also a ‘fragrance flask’ to ensure the Vision EQS stays smelling fresh.

The Vision EQS previews some of the sustainable materials you might see in Mercedes of the future: Microfibre seats made from recycled PET bottles, artificial leather, a headlining made from recycled ocean plastic and maple wood from ecologically managed German forests. With a flat floor and a lack of intrusion from drivetrain tunnels, the EQS is expected to offer even more interior space than the current S-Class.

Power comes from a 100kWh battery with electric motors in the front and rear axles providing all-wheel drive and 469hp. So the Vision EQS will be quick: 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds and it should get to its 124mph top speed effortlessly. On a full charge, it should see 435 miles between charges and, via a 350kW DC charger, 80% of the battery capacity can be replenished in 20 minutes.

The vision EQS is also ready for autonomous driving with modular technology that at the moment offers Level 3 capability with the chance to upgrade to further autonomy as the technology and infrastructure develops.

Mercedes aims to be carbon neutral in 20 years’ time and the Vision EQS is its first milestone towards that, showing what to expect from its large, luxury saloons of the future. Its batteries are created at Mercedes’ new CO2-netural factory in Germany.

The EQS joins the existing EQC SUV and forthcoming EQV MPV and EQA hatchback as part of Mercedes’ plan to introduce 10 new electric models by 2022. The EQS will be built alongside the next-generation S-Class and is expected to be offered in numerous variants, including EQS 350 and EQS 600 models, hinting at a broad level of power and performance options.