New Mercedes EQS SUV: luxury seven-seat EV unveiled
The SUV version of Mercedes’ flagship EQS can cover 380 miles on a charge, and features the same 56-inch, triple-screen infotainment setup as its executive limousine counterpart
Big, expensive luxury SUVs are a Mercedes speciality – just look at the vast G-Class and the GLS models for example. So, with the BMW iX winning our Best Luxury Electric Car award last year, and a fully electric version of the new Range Rover arriving in 2024, it’s no surprise Mercedes is launching its own flagship zero-emissions SUV, aptly named the EQS SUV.
Its name makes more sense when you learn that the luxury electric SUV sits on the same dedicated EV platform as the EQS limousine, plus features some of the same key components and serves as its more practical counterpart. Both rear and all-wheel-drive versions will be available, although what variants are coming to the UK has yet to be confirmed.
What we do know is that the EQS SUV boasts a range of up to 380 miles, which is on par with its main rivals the BMW iX (380 miles), the latest Tesla Model X Long Range (360 miles) and the Lotus Eletre (370+ miles). It’s also one of a handful of electric SUVs available in seven-seater configuration, the others at this price point being the Tesla Model X, the Rivian R1S and the forthcoming Lucid Gravity.
Mercedes EQS SUV range and charging
So far, details of three EQS SUV models have been confirmed: the entry-level EQS 450+, dual-motor 450 4MATIC and the range-topping 580 4MATIC, with all these versions featuring a 107.8kWh battery. Thanks to that enormous battery, the EQS SUV can cover up to 380 miles on a single charge. But, as we mentioned, Mercedes has yet to reveal which variants will be coming to the UK.
In terms of charging, the EQS SUV can manage up to 200kW, which is enough to add 155 miles of range to the EQS in just 15 minutes – should you find a fast enough rapid charging-point. As standard, the EQS SUV gets an 11kW AC maximum charging speed, although you can upgrade that to 22kW.
Fully recharging the 107.8kWh battery from flat using an 11kW home wallbox (if your house has a three-phase supply) or suitably fast public charging point will take just under 12 hours. However, the same top-up from a more common 7.4kW wallbox will take over 17 hours.
Power outputs start at 355bhp and 568Nm of torque in the rear-drive EQS 450+, which features a single electric motor. The EQS 450 4MATIC gets another motor for the front axle and 800Nm of torque on tap as a result, though horsepower still stands at 355bhp. The range-topping EQS 580 4MATIC meanwhile produces 536bhp and 858Nm of torque from its dual-motor setup. 0-62mph times for all models remain under wraps.
We expect an AMG-tuned version will debut in the near future, offering enhanced performance that more directly rivals the Lotus Eletre and Tesla Model X Plaid. It’ll likely use the same powertrain as the EQS 53 4MATIC+, which pumps out up to 751bhp and 1,020Nm.
The EQS SUV gets three modes for the regenerative braking (including one that should allow for one-pedal driving), which you switch between using the paddles on the steering wheel. Opt for one of the dual-motor versions, and you also get an off-road driving mode that optimises power distribution for unpaved roads, inclines and rough terrain.
Interior and technology
Now, as standard the EQS SUV comes with a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 12.8-inch portrait-oriented central touchscreen. But, it’s also available with the EQS saloon’s impressive Hyperscreen infotainment setup (pictured above).
The optional system consists of three separate screens housed under a single piece of scratch-resistant glass that spans the entire dashboard – a 12.3-inch driver’s display, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen and another 12.3-inch unit for the front passenger.
Go for this setup, and front passengers can watch movies or TV shows while you’re on the road. But, if the car’s on-board cameras detect the driver is looking at the front passenger screen while driving then the system automatically dims it. And when the front seat isn’t occupied, the screen simply displays a decorative image.
While it is roughly the same size as the combustion-engine GLS, the EQS SUV’s 3.2-metre-long wheelbase, combined with the benefits of the EV-dedicated platform’s flat floor means the EV’s cabin space will be superior. The second row of seats can also recline and slide for maximum legroom.
In standard five-seater configuration, the EQS SUV has a whopping 880-litre boot, or 645 litres of space with the rear seats pushed back. If you go for the optional seven-seat layout, there’s 195 litres of boot space with all seats up, and 800 litres with the third row folded down. Folding all the seats flat gives you a total of 2,100 litres of cargo space in five-seat models, or 2,020 litres in the seven-seat version.
While the EQS SUV is extremely large, Mercedes has fitted rear-axle steering to help with manoeuvrability. The standard 4.5-degree setup gives you an 11.9-metre turning circle, while the upgraded 10 degree setup cuts that down to 11 metres flat: the same as a Volkswagen Golf.
The upgrade to 10-degree rear-axle steering is one of several that can be done via an over-the-air update from Mercedes. Other features that can be activated at a later date include trailer manoeuvring assist and augmented reality for the navigation.
Prices and equipment
While the starting price of the Mercedes EQS SUV has yet to be announced, we expect it will begin at around ££120,000-£130,000 given the amount of technology on board and its claimed range, not to mention the EQS limousine’s own £100,000 starting price.
As well as upgrading to the seven-seat layout and dual-motor powertrains, other optional extras are a pair of 11.6-inch displays for the rear passengers, an augmented reality head-up display, a Burnmester surround sound system, up to 22-inch alloy wheels and additional safety features.
Production of the EQS SUV will begin later this year at Mercedes’ Alabama plant in the US, where it’ll be built alongside the upcoming EQE SUV.
When it arrives, the EQS SUV will sit at the top of the German marque’s rapidly expanding range of EQ-badged electric cars, which currently includes the EQA, EQB and EQC SUVs, the previously mentioned EQE and EQS, and the EQV minibus. Potent AMG versions of both the EQS and EQE have also been introduced.
However, Mercedes has more new electric cars in the works as it prepares to become an electric-only brand by the end of the decade. One of these new EVs will be an electric equivalent to the iconic G-Class, arriving in 2024 and previewed last year by the Concept EQG.
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