2021 Mercedes EQS electric luxury saloon: details, specs and prices

The new Mercedes S-Class-sized EQS luxury electric saloon starts from £99,995, with the huge Hyperscreen setup adding £7,995 to the price tag

Mercedes has announced that the ‘entry-level’ version of its EQS flagship will start from nearly £100,000, with the rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ available to order now before first deliveries begin later this year.

The other EQS variant that’ll be available soon is the all-wheel-drive EQS 580 4MATIC we’ve already tested, however, prices for the higher-spec model have yet to be announced.

Both use a whopping 107.8kWh battery, which Mercedes claims can return up to 453 miles of driving on a charge. For comparison, the Tesla Model S Long Range, which at the moment is the most likely rival to the EQS, uses a 95kWh battery for a maximum range of just over 400 miles.

More variants are in the works, with some expected to feature the 90kWh battery from the slightly smaller, but almost identically styled EQE saloon. Mercedes also recently unveiled the AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ performance version, which produces over 750bhp.

Mercedes is looking to raise the bar once again with its first electric saloon car, the same way the S-Class has long been the benchmark for executive limousines and set precedents for technology and innovation in the car world as a whole.

Read on for more details and pricing information, or head this way for our full review of Mercedes’ luxury electric flagship.

Mercedes EQS design

The EQS features a very rounded nose, similar to that of the EQC and EQA electric SUVs we’ve already driven. At the nose, the EQS features wide vents like the latest S-Class, as opposed to a grille, which Mercedes has replaced with a panel to improve aerodynamics. 

This commitment to improving airflow continues throughout the EQS’ design, with a more sweeping roofline and shorter bootlid and spoiler – all of which has more in common with the couple-like CLS than the S-Class. It’s a far more futuristic approach than the more conventional styling of the electric BMW 7 Series we recently spied testing. But it seems this new design language has proved beneficial, as Mercedes claims the EQS is now the most aerodynamic production car in the world.

However, like all large electric cars, the EQS is heavy. This 5.21-metre long executive limousine weighs 2,585kg in its dual-motor form. To help with manoeuvrability, the EQS is fitted with four-wheel steering, so it can turn tighter at low speeds – but the system also aids stability on the motorway. 

There'll be 4.5 degrees of rear steering as standard but, as with Teslas and Polestars, the EQS will receive continual over-the-air (OTA) updates, which can be used to unlock 10 degrees of rear-axle steering. This will reduce the turning circle of the EQS to 10.9 metres – only 40cm more than the Renault ZOE electric city car. Plus, Mercedes has programmed the adaptive air suspension to lower the EQS’ ride height at speeds above 74mph, thus reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing range.

Interior and technology

Undeniably one of the biggest talking points of the EQS is the 55.5-inch 'Hyperscreen' infotainment system (pictured above). The company sees this as the ultimate iteration of its 'MBUX' in-car infotainment system, which was first introduced on the latest version of the A-Class hatchback in 2018. As mentioned above, the EQS' infotainment system will also be continually improved with over-the-air (OTA) updates.

Underneath the single 141cm piece of scratch-resistant glass are three individual screens: a 12.3-inch drivers display for essential information, a 17.7-inch central infotainment touchscreen and finally another 12.3-inch display for the front passenger. However, Hyperscreen is an optional extra, with models like the entry-level 450+ featuring a 12.3-inch digital driver's display and 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen as standard instead.

The EQS is the first car to be built on Mercedes' 'EVA' modular platform for large electric cars. As in the smaller EQA, Mercedes has mounted the batteries between the axles and given the EQS an extremely long wheelbase without elongating the car itself. That means passengers should have plenty of legroom all round. Plus, the EQS’ boot has a capacity of 610 litres, which can be expanded to 1,770 litres when the seats are folded down.

The Mercedes S-Class often sets world firsts for its use of technology and innovative safety features, and the EQS is no different. The 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant has evolved in the EQS; it can now work with rear-seat passengers as well as those in the front – an important consideration for a primarily chauffeur-driven car such as this. The optional 'Rear Seat Entertainment Plus Package' adds two 11.6-inch displays, which can share content with the other screens in the car.

Among the several intelligent safety systems the EQS comes with are active steering assistance, attention assistance, active lane-changing assistance and a host of parking-assistance systems – all aided by the up to 350 sensors built into the EQS. There's also adaptive cruise control that'll accelerate at a different rate depending on the amount of charge left in the car.

But Mercedes says the biggest technological advancement is the car's Drive Pilot system, which makes the EQS capable of Level 3 'eyes-off' self-driving at up to 37mph. The system is only legal in Germany for the time being; it allows you to carry out small secondary activities while driving – for example, adjusting a setting on the car in slow motorway traffic.

Range and charging

The EQS will be available with either a 90 or 107.8kWh battery. At launch, the 107.8kWh size is the only option, in both the EQS 450+ and the EQS 580 4MATIC that will follow shortly. Mercedes claims the car's aerodynamic design and large battery should see a driving range of 453 miles for the 450+, while the heavier, all-wheel-drive 580 4MATIC should go for around 420 miles.

The EQS will also feature Mercedes’ Navigation with Electric Intelligence, which will plan routes including charging stops. And juicing up the EQS shouldn’t take long, as it's compatible with 200kW DC rapid charging. The 107.8kWh models should take just 31 minutes to charge from 10-80% at that speed. Or if you’re pressed for time, you can add 173 miles of range to the EQS 580 4MATIC in 15 minutes and 186 miles of range to an EQS 450+ in the same time. However, there are very few of the 350kW chargers capable of those speeds operational in the UK right now.

As standard, the EQS is fitted with an 11kW on-board charger, but an upgraded 20kW on-board charger is also available. Charging at home from a wallbox should take around 10.5 hours for either model.

Performance

Thanks to its dual-motor setup, the EQS 580 4MATIC offers four-wheel drive with a total output of 516bhp and 855Nm of torque: enough for a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds. The EQS 450+ uses a single motor to drive the rear wheels, producing 329bhp and 568Nm of torque; it's capable of 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. Both are limited to a 130mph top speed. 

More variants will follow, and the first of these is Mercedes’ first electric AMG model, called the EQS 53 4MATIC+. Normally, it produces around 649bhp, but with the optional 'AMG Dynamic Plus' package added and the special 'Race Start' mode engaged, the electric supersaloon produces 751bhp. Both versions do 0-62mph in under four seconds.

Price, equipment and on-sale date

The rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ is available to order now, in five trim levels, with prices starting from £99,995. At that price, you get the EQS 450+ AMG Line, which comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, 4.5-degree rear-axle steering, a panoramic sunroof, full leather upholstery, heated seats front and rear, a 12.3-inch driver display and 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen.

The Hyperscreen isn’t available on this version of the EQS, but you do also get Mercedes’ Driving Assistance Package and MBUX augmented-reality navigation system.

Upgrading to AMG Line Premium adds 21-inch alloy wheels, acoustic privacy glass, a 360-degree camera and Burmester surround sound system, bumping up the price tag by £7,000. The AMG Line Premium and above are all available with the 1.41-metre-wide MBUX Hyperscreen, which adds a further £7,995 to the bottom line.

The next trim level up is AMG Line Premium Plus, which includes a head-up display, remote parking functionality and the gesture-controlled MBUX interior assistant. This adds £14,000 to the initial price tag.

If you don’t want the sporty attributes of the AMG Line versions, Mercedes also offers the EQS in two ‘Luxury’ trim levels. The EQS 450+ Luxury features the same equipment as the AMG Line Premium, but adds Microcloud Artico upholstery combined with ship-deck wood, comfort seats with comfort headrests and a heated steering wheel, plus 22-inch alloy wheels. The EQS 450+ Luxury trim costs the same as the AMG Line Premium trim – £7,000 more than the starting price.

Sitting at the top of the range is the Exclusive Luxury trim, which includes massage seats with climate control and Nappa leather upholstery among other features, and costs £7,000 more than the basic Luxury trim level.

If you go for Exclusive Luxury, you can also add the Rear Luxury Lounge package for £3,995. This includes power-adjustable rear seats with massage function, a comfort rear armrest with wireless smartphone charging and an Android tablet, climate control for the rear seats, Mercedes interior assistant and adaptive interior lighting.

First deliveries of the Mercedes EQS 450+ are expected to begin towards the end of 2021. Pricing for other variants, like the all-wheel-drive EQS 580 4MATIC, is yet to be confirmed. The EQS' nearly £100,000 current starting price is just over £1,00 more than the price tag for the latest Tesla Model S Long Range with optional 'Full Self-Driving' capabilities, as well as many of the EQS’ other rivals – which you can read about on our list of the best luxury electric cars.

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