Mercedes-Benz has finally unveiled its all-electric luxury sedan, the EQS, that promises to challenge not only high-end electric models such as the Tesla Model S, but also its own S-class.
The EQS is Daimler’s flagship electric model that sits at the top of its EQ series, and notably it makes several claims to position itself at the top of the entire electric vehicle market.
Leading these claims are an impressive 0.20 drag coefficient, a score that was also recorded by the solar-powered Lightyear One in 2019 but which is not yet in production. This makes it every so slightly more aerodynamic than the refreshed Tesla Model S, which in January recorded a drag coefficient of 0.208, according to Tesla.
Other specifications revealed by Daimler on Thursday (Europe time) include a driving range of 770km (WLTP) and power output of 385kW for the mid-range, all-wheel-drive 580 4Matic, and 245kW for the rear-wheel-drive base level 450+ variant . A high-performance variant with up to 560kW power is also in the pipeline.
Significantly, it will be launched in Australia from late 2021.
In Australia, luxury electric sedans are a bit thin on the ground (well, EVs in general are but that fact of course has been covered widely by The Driven elsewhere). The EQS will be only the second premium electric sedan to hit Australian roads, unless you also count the Porsche Taycan.
And going by the reception of the $191,000 (base price) Taycan, of which 250 have already been sold since its recent introduction, the EQS could see an equally warm welcome in an uncrowded high-end segment.
This is partly because car importers have preferred to approach the lagging local market by importing mostly smaller (and thus more affordable) hatches and fastbacks such as the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq, or ever-popular SUVs in both compact and luxury segments, such as the MG ZS EV or the Audi e-tron.
Unlike Porsche and Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz is not going down the 800-volt architecture route, but says its 400-volt battery can be charged at a rate of up to 200 kW on a DC fast charger, which means it can be recharged from 10-80% in as little as 31 minutes, or add 300km range in 15 minutes.
At home, work or an AC destination charger it can charge at up to 11 kW. If you want a faster “slow” charge there is an option of 22 kW as an extra, which seems a little strange in the environment of such a luxurious car.
The EQS also represents a new era for Mercedes-Benz which says its battery has a 26% higher energy density than that in the EQC, with the largest pack on offer sitting at 107.8kWh usable energy capacity, and 90kWh usable capacity for its “entry-level” 450+ variant.
Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz says that Japanese customers will be able to enjoy bidirectional charging. We’ve reached out to Mercedes Australia to find out if this might be an option in Australia in the future.
Mercedes guarantees that within ten years or 250,000km, a remaining capacity of at least 70 per cent will be available. The battery management can be updated over-the-air.
The EQS interior is packed with equally high-end offerings and was outlined in a separate debut in late March which you can read about here.
Local pricing has not yet been announced, but expect it to sit above the EQC, which in Australia is priced from $137,900 before on-road costs.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.