Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off the new EQS SUV – all-new luxury flagship for the German brand’s fast-growing line of EVs – which will rival the Audi E-tron and BMW iX.
- EQS SUV is built on the dedicated EVA platform
- Supports multiple drive layouts
- Will be built in the USA
As with the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Mercedes-Benz EQE sedans, the US-built EQS is based on the dedicated electric vehicle architecture (EVA) platform, which supports single-motor, rear-wheel-drive and dual-motor, four-wheel-drive layouts.
Power is provided by a 107.8kWh battery – the same lithium ion unit used by the EQS sedan – packaged within the floorpan to give the luxury SUV a largely flat floor and what Mercedes-Benz says is the lowest centre of gravity of any of its SUV models.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV: design details
At 5,125mm in length, 1,959mm in width, and 1,718mm in height, the EQS SUV is 82mm shorter, a scant 3mm wider and 105mm lower than the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV. It also rides on a wheelbase that is 75mm longer than its combustion-engined sibling, at 3,210mm, the same as that of the EQS sedan. The exterior draws heavily on the smooth-surfaced design first established on the three-year-old Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV, and which is reflected on the more recent EQS and EQE sedans.
Key styling elements include a blanked-off black panel grille that extends well into the lower section of the front bumper (optionally available with a star pattern treatment), angular LED headlights (optionally available with Mercedes’ Digital Light functionality), and a horizontal LED light bar across the leading edge, all of which provide a clear family resemblance to other EQ models.
As on the EQS and EQE sedans, the EQS SUV’s large clamshell-style bonnet is designed to be opened only during servicing, with the filler for the windscreen washer integrated into the driver-side front panel.
In a departure from the EQS and EQE sedans, the doors are framed. They also feature flush handles as standard across the range. Narrow running boards will be offered as optional equipment, and these are claimed to contribute to aerodynamic efficiency by smoothing the airflow along the side of the new model. The firm has yet to reveal a drag co-efficient for its latest EQ model, although officials suggest it is the most aerodynamically efficient SUV in its ranks, thanks in part to a completely flat undertray, as well as a heavily shrouded tailgate.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV: interior
A high-mounted dashboard houses individual 12.3-inch digital instrument and 12.8-inch portrait-style infotainment displays as standard, while the plusher EQS 580 gets the headline Hyperscreen, which operates on an eight-core processor and with 24GB of RAM. At around 1,410mm in width, it includes 12.3-inch instrument cluster, 17.7-inch central infotainment and 12.3-inch front passenger screens in one expansive surface.
The MBUX operating system supports conversational speech commands via a ‘Hey Mercedes’ prompt and can receive over-the-air software updates. There is also an optional head-up display with augmented reality navigation.
An optional third row of seats extends accommodation to seven in all, although legroom and kneeroom are at a premium for adults. So configured, the new Mercedes-Benz model offers 195 litres of luggage space.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV: powertrain options
The entry point to the line-up is the EQS 450. It comes in single-motor, rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ and dual-motor, four-wheel-drive EQS 450 4Matic guises, both with 359hp and with 568Nm and 800Nm, respectively.
Efficiency for the entry car is pegged at between 23.0 and 18.6kWh/100km on the WLTP cycle, giving corresponding ranges of between 535 and 659km. The twin-motor EQS 450 4Matic musters between 506km and 613km from a charge. The battery can be charged at up to 200kW on a DC system, from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity in a claimed 31 minutes.
Heading the line-up is the four-wheel-drive EQS 580 4Matic with 550hp. These figures represent slight increases over the equivalent EQS sedan, but the SUV manages the same range figures as the lesser-powered 4WD model. There are three different levels of energy recuperation – D+ (coasting), D (standard regeneration) and D- (enhanced regeneration). The driver can also choose an adaptive setting called D-Auto, which constantly alters the regeneration depending on the driving conditions.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV: chassis
As with the EQS sedan, the SUV is underpinned by four-link front and multi-link rear suspension featuring Mercedes’ AirMatic air springs and variable damping control as standard.
The ride height can be raised by up to 25mm at speeds of up to 80kph, while above 109kph it is automatically lowered by 10mm in Comfort mode and by 15mm in Sport mode to reduce drag and aid overall efficiency.
A rear steering angle of up to 4.5 degree is standard across the EQS SUV line-up but it can be optionally boosted to 10 degree to bring the turning circle down from 11.9m to 11.0m, or roughly the same as a Volkswagen Golf.
There are four primary driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Off-Road, the last of which can be operated with or without the electronic stability program engaged.
In Off-Road mode, the thresholds of the traction control system, anti-lock brakes and downhill speed regulation, as well as the mapping for the throttle, are matched to “enable the EQS SUV to tackle light terrain”, according to Mercedes.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV: India launch timeline
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the launch of the EQS sedan in India later this year and we expect the EQS SUV to come to India sometime next year.
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