Are the days of the conventional S-Class numbered?
For decades, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has set the standard for the luxury brand’s lineup. Not only has it been the last word for the brand’s technical prowess, but it’s also been a showcase for some enormous, powerful engines over the decades. But times are changing, and electric cars are a growing force among the automotive landscape. Hot on the heels of Mercedes’ EQC crossover concept, now we have this: the predictably named EQS concept sedan.
Now, the brand’s “EQ” family lineup extends just beyond one vehicle. Mind you, this is more a show car carving the path forward for the sedan side of Mercedes’ electric lineup, rather than a near-production-ready model. The company did release some technical information for the car, showing its range, performance and charging capability. According to their release, the EQS should manage up to 435 miles on a charge using the WLTP cycle. EPA figures will likely come in a bit lower than that, but anywhere around 375 miles puts it right in the ballpark of the Tesla Model S.
Performance is good, but not record-breaking
Even with lower-level S-Class models, modern owners expect some degree of performance. The EQS won’t disappoint there, thanks to its dual-motor setup. Its powertrain puts out approximately 469 horsepower and 569 lb-ft of torque, allowing a 0-60 sprint in less than 4.5 seconds, according to Mercedes. That performance puts it in the higher end of the standard S-Class lineup, near the V8-powered S560 4Matic, but not quite as fast as the AMG-tuned models. It’s quick, but I suspect Mercedes may leave some room for performance down the line. For the moment, the emphasis is on range out of its approximate 100 kWh battery pack.
While the EQS concept is clearly a test bed for an all-electric S-Class, the goal here is to extend the platform to other models among the brand’s lineup. According to the company’s statement: “With the Vision EQS technology platform, Mercedes-Benz is opting for a completely new, fully-variable battery-electric drive platform. This is in many respects scalable and usable on a cross-model basis: thanks to the modern modular system, the wheelbase and track, as well as all other system components, and especially the battery, are variable and therefore suitable for a wide range of different vehicle concepts.
Despite the powertrain bits that will likely make their way to production, Mercedes threw quite a bit of ludicrous design into the EQS show car. For instance, take the 229 individual three-pointed stars on the back that form a “lightbelt”, rather than just using conventional taillights. The interior is even more outlandish, with four futuristic bucket seats and a large flowing dashboard with bronze accents. Mercedes refers to it as a “deep and open spacial architecture” that provides a look at the brand’s future interiors.
In the center stack, although its tough to really call it a “stack” anymore with all that flowing design, rests a large curved screen showing the brand’s MBUX infotainment system. Other delightfully over-the-top touches include the 360-degree exterior lightbelt, matrix LED grille and massive 24-inch wheels.
In reality, this definitely is not the next Mercedes S-Class. However, it’s not unreasonable to assume something like the EQS will emerge within the next few years. As legacy automakers jump on the EV bandwagon to carbon neutralize, particularly as some cities and countries restrict combustion engines, this may well be near future of the brand’s luxury models, and even its performance AMG variants as well.
Check out more on the EQS and its EQC cousin below: