Mercedes-Benz is working on its luxury electric sedan together with the new S-Class, set to arrive in 2020. The concept Mercedes-Benz EQS exhibited in Frankfurt revealed plenty of technical details that we are to see in the series production as well.
It was not a matter of “if”, but of “when”. Mercedes had already firmly announced the arrival of 10 electric models, from the compact EQA to the luxury EQS. The first model, the EQC SUV, has already hit the market and now, all the research endeavors focus on the EQS.
In Frankfurt, the new head of Mercedes-Benz, Swedish Olla Kalenius, clearly stated that, by 2030, more than 50% of the Mercedes-Benz range shall be electrified and in 2039, the combustion engine will vanish. Therefore, the combustion engine is not yet dying, but the electrified models are gaining more and more ground.
In the era of the piston engine, the S-Class played the part of a tech vector, the ABS, the ESP and the navigation system making their debuts on various S-Class generations. It seems that this future role of vector shall be taken over by the luxury electric EQS sedan.
The EQS is the first Mercedes-Benz model to be built on the electric architecture bearing the name of EVA2 (Electric Vehicle Architecture). It has absolutely nothing in common with the platform derived from the conventional one for the EQC SUV, but it is a dedicated platform, similar to what MEB is for VW. The EVA2 is flexible and enables the modification of the wheelbases and tracks. Different size batteries can be mounted on it and it can be used for mid-class sedans as well as for luxury SUVs.
The concept displayed in Frankfurt features approximately 5.30 meters in length, 2.08 meters in width and 1.44 meters in height. The wheelbase of 3.26 meters allows the accommodation, between axles, of a battery with a capacity above 100 kWh. The length is similar to that of the long S-Class variant, while the wheelbase is 10 cm longer. But visually, due to the fluid shape of the body, that looks more of a 4-door coupe than a luxury sedan, it by no means looks as massive as the S-Class. The rounded front and rear ends, the windshield and rear window shaping a fluid line with the roof, continue with the 24-inch wheels with arches that go as high as the glasshouse line, providing the EQS with proportions totally different from those of the S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz offers no information on the drag coefficient, but we can realize by its shape that it will be a best-in-class in the luxury segment and the Germans report a sensational range of 700 kilometers according to the WLTP standards. This equals with a consumption of 16 kWh/100 km by WLTP standards, a lot below to the 21-23 kWh/100 km used by the new electric SUVs.
The EQS will be powered by two electric engines located one on each axle, delivering approximately 350 kW and 760 Nm. The top speed shall go above 200 km/h and the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h shall be made in less than 4.5 seconds. The EQS shall also feature an electric system of 800V like the Porsche Taycan, promising fast charging up to 80 of the capacity in only 20 minutes up to 80% of its capacity, once connected to a DC station of 350 kW. It is just that the 350 kW stations are a dream, but it is certain that the battery cooling system of the EQS shall allow such a fast charging.
The batteries shall be manufactured by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive and the production will be carried out in the Sindelfingen plant near Stuttgart, where the S-Class is also produced.
On the outside, we must point out that, instead of the chrome elements, the entire grille is lit and it is seemingly integrated in the line of the body. A world premiere, 940 LEDs make up a light matrix. We also highlight the new digital headlights, each featuring two holographic lens modules that swirl with 2000 rpm and generate a holographic image. Thus the 500 LEDs of each of the headlights seem to float in space. It may sound quite SciFi, but these headlights already operate in the S-Class Maybach and, in the future, will enable symbol and data projection on the road.
The interior seems futuristic at first sight, but the approximately 20-inch display mounted in the center console is similar to what we are expecting from the S-Class next year. Two additional displays in the door panels also display images, replacing the rear-view mirrors, but may also be used for he infotainment and central screen control.
Even though it may not seem at first sight, the EQS is closer to series production than it may look. Its design complies with the aerodynamic requirements, but also provides as with clear hints on how the luxury sedans of the future will look. The range announced seems quite optimistic in relation with the capacity of the battery, but let’s wait for further details.