Mercedes-Benz today revealed its second premium battery-electric vehicle, an SUV stablemate of the EQS sedan it introduced last year.
The 2023 Mercedes EQS SUV is one of nine all-electric models the German automaker plans to have in production worldwide by the end of this year. Significantly, it will become the automaker’s first BEV to be assembled in the U.S., production set to begin over the summer at the sprawling Mercedes plant near Birmingham, Alabama.
Mercedes says the new SUV will deliver “over” 600 kilometers, or around 373 miles, per charge using the European WLTP test standard. That is expected to come in 10% to 20% less based on the stricter U.S. EPA test cycle. Depending upon the model, the EQS sedan achieves as much as 350 miles per charge, according to the EPA.
Similar, but different
The EQS SUV shares the same, skateboard-style platform as the sedan, with key drivetrain components mounted below the load floor. Both EQS models have a 126-inch wheelbase. While the SUV is slightly shorter, nose-to-tail, it sits 7.8 inches higher than the sedan.
The basic exterior designs are similar, as well, the SUV picking up on the aerodynamic focus of the sedan’s “one-bow” shape. The hatch is steeply raked to further reduce wind resistance.
Inside, they are also largely identical, after considering the EQS SUV will be offered in two- and three-row configurations, the latter with seating for up to seven. The layout of the EQS, with all drivetrain components moved under the load floor, would suggest there will be plenty of space for everyone. That’s especially true since the SUV has less of the rounded roofline found with the sedan — which does compromise back row headroom a bit.
The SUV’s instrument panel is essentially identical to the sedan’s, including the availability of the Mercedes Hyperscreen stretching pillar-to-pillar and including a modest-sized display for the front passenger. The utility vehicle does add some unique features for those who do go off-roading, including gauges showing approach, departure and roll angles.
It also shows how power is being distributed, a useful feature when you’re clambering across mud, ruts and moguls.
Good to have choices
As with the sedan, several different packages will be offered with the 2023 Mercedes EQS SUV. The “base” 450+ will produce 355 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque from a single, rear-mounted motor. The 580 4Matic adds a second motor on the front axle and bumps that to 536 hp and 633 lb-ft. of torque.
The automaker has not yet released key performance specs, including 0-60 times and top speed. But it did note that the SUV’s 108 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can go from 10% to 80% state-of-charge in as little as 31 minutes depending upon the power delivered by the high-speed charger and other factors. Using the automaker’s own 240-volt Level 2 charger requires 9.6 hours to reach 100% of its capacity.
Among the features offered with the EQS SUV, all versions will come exclusively with an air suspension. And they will feature rear-wheel steering, with the back wheels able to turn a significant 10 degrees. That offers numerous advantages. On-road, it will be able to maneuver more nimbly than its size would suggest in urban environments. And the system will enhance high-speed handling, as well, Mercedes claims.
The electric SUV also will offer an Offroad mode that activates a number of features designed to enhance its grip when driving off pavement.
Like the sedan, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS will feature the MBUX voice assistant, allowing a driver to control a variety of infotainment and vehicle functions using plain English commands, much like those used by the Amazon Alexa system. It also features a variety of advanced driver assistance systems.
Both the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4Matic SUVs will arrive in U.S. showrooms later in 2022. Pricing will be released closer to their launch date. The base EQS sedan currently starts at $102,310.