Even as the first new Mercedes EQS begins rolling into showrooms, the German automaker is rolling out two more variants of the flagship sedan at the first-ever Munich Motor Show. And the new AMG EQS highlights the sort of performance Mercedes’ muscle car brand plans to deliver as it shifts to all-electric propulsion.
The initial version of the EQS certainly isn’t a slouch, delivering anywhere from 329 to 526 horsepower. But the AMG edition takes that to a new level, the big sedan punching out as much as 751 hp when its boost function is triggered. That’s nearly 25% more than the gas-powered AMG S 63.
“The AMG EQS is the first all-electric ambassador in the performance segment (and) will undoubtedly appeal to and win over a new clientele for Mercedes-AMG,” Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the performance brand’s board. “It is tailor-made for car enthusiasts who are looking for a combination of innovative electric mobility in a luxurious ambience, coupled with sportiness and agile driving dynamics.”
Taking on Tesla
The decision to deliver an electrified version of the EQS should come as no surprise. The rival Tesla Model S has been stealing buyers from not only the mainstream Mercedes S-Class, but also AMG models like the S 63 with the addition of its Model S Performance and Plaid editions.
AMG aims to tap into the performance benefits offered by electric motors — which deliver maximum, off-the-line torque the moment they start spinning. That will permit the AMG EQS to launch from 0 to 100 kmh, or 0 to 62 mph, in an estimated 3.4 seconds on models equipped with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Like the initial version of the EQS, the AMG edition will be powered by a 107.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, though it will use modified wiring to increase the amount of power that can be sent to the big sedan’s wheels. That will allow a normal output of up to 649 hp, briefly jumping to 751 hp when in boost mode. That also will bump up torque from 700 to 752 pound-feet.
The system uses twin motors, with the primary one mounted on the rear axle. Along with the increase in wiring capacity, the AMG EQS takes several steps to keep the motors cool under aggressive driving. That includes a “water lance” in the rotor shafts, as well as a transmission oil cooler.
Range and charging
The automaker isn’t yet quoting range but the AMG model is expected to deliver less than the more mainstream EQS which is rated at 770 kilometers, or nearly 480 miles, per charge using the European WLTP test cycle.
The 400-volt drive system can be charged at up to 200 kW at quick-charging stations, yielding an additional 300 km, or 186 miles, in just 19 minutes.
The AMG EQS rides on a modified version of Mercedes’ new EVA2 architecture, a skateboard-like platform that mounts most of its powertrain components below the load floor. That eliminates the driveshaft tunnel normally required on vehicles with AMG 4Matic all-wheel drive, and allows for more interior space than the conventional S-Class.
The new EQS adopts what might be thought of as a “one-box” or, as Gorden Wagener, Mercedes’ global design director prefers, a “one-bow” design. With only subtle deviation, a single, curved line flows over the top of the vehicle from bumper to bumper.
“It’s all about proportion,” said Wagener, during the launch of the initial EQS last April. “We managed to keep the balance, go to the edge in design and tech, but … not leave anyone behind.”
As with other AMG models, the performance version of the EQS features a number of design tweaks. These include:
- Front splitter in high-gloss black with chrome trim and also flics and fins on the air intakes, with air curtains on the left and right in high-gloss black with chrome trim
- AMG side sill panels in high-gloss black
- Rear bumper in the color of the car with aerodynamically optimized diffuser with six longitudinal fins
- Larger rear spoiler (compared to AMG Line), to improve driving dynamics: rear lift is reduced without increasing drag
- 21- or 22-inch AMG aerodynamically optimized alloy wheels
Inside, the EQS gets a modified version of the new Mercedes Hyperscreen which stretches virtually pillar to pillar across the instrument panel. The Hyperscreen is optional on the standard EQS but standard here.
Enhancing performance and handling
Other standard features include the AMG Dynamic Plus system which not only improves performance and handling but also adds unique “Soundscapes.” These are, essentially, sound tracks specifically designed to enhance the perception of performance driving, replacing the traditional sound of a gasoline engine.
AMG’s Ride Control+ suspension with adjustable damping also comes standard. So does rear-wheel steering which is optional on the “base” EQS.
At speeds below 37 mph, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels. This makes the AMG EQS highly maneuverable, light-footed and nimble” in urban driving, Mercedes explains. While at speeds above 37 mph, “the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front wheels. As a result, the virtually extended wheelbase offers increased handling stability and driving safety at high speeds, and during fast lane changes or sudden evasive maneuvers.”
High-performance compound brakes capable of regenerating energy while slowing or coasting come standard. Among the options offered on the AMG model, buyers can opt for carbon-ceramic compound brakes.
Pricing will be revealed closer to launch. The base Mercedes EQS will reach U.S. showrooms later this year, the EQS AMG set to follow in early 2022.