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A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE: 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 580

Once upon a time, Mercedes-Benz was an iconic glimpse into the future as they were the first to many automotive gimmicks that we find standard in cars today. So, while it is surprising they are one of the last few brands to introduce an all-electric vehicle, the all-new EQS is an important glimpse into the future of Mercedes-Benz.

Marked as the Electric S-Class, Mercedes has set its competitive eyes towards the Tesla Model S and new-to-the-industry, Lucid Air. I mean come on, as if Mercedes was going to let those two dominate the luxury electric car segment. But to compete, there are few things Mercedes needs in order to be a proper rival. Quick performance? Check. Long Range capabilities? Check. Oodles of technology that even the latest generation of youths wouldn’t understand. Check, check, and check.

Getting the negativity out of the way first, the EQS has a face only a mother could love. Over the years if there was one thing Mercedes-Benz had done right, it was their design; they have always carried a timeless assertion that made every generation age gracefully. The EQS on the other hand, well it’s a bit more questionable with its short, bowing hood, its over saturated “EQ Mask” shaped grille with more Mercedes logos than a Louie Vuitton bag. However, it is its shape that gives a low drag coefficient of .20 thanks to its low nose, wheel design, and sleek power-retracting door handles – something good to come out of the bad.  

Being that the EQS is all-new for Mercedes, it naturally carries a completely new architectural setup riding on what is known as the EVA2 platform that supports a 107.8-kilowatt battery. Calling the entry EQS 450+ as the base version with a starting price of $102,310 is a bit of a stretch from being entry level, but it does come with a single motor in the back and is rated for 329-horsepower and 419lb-ft of torque with a healthy range of 350-miles. Our sampler on the other hand had a different motto; the EQS 580 comes standard with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system, a second motor mounted in the front that delivers a combined total of 516-horsepower with 631lb-ft of torque gushing out 4.1-seconds to 60-mph. Even though the EQS 580 provides more horsepower and uses more energy with its all-wheel drive system, it still manages to maintain a 340-mile range when fully charged. Granted that may not be up to Tesla standards, but it’s a really good start.

Rear steering is not a common feature we see on cars, unless their performance suitors looking to handle a sharp apex at uncomfortable speeds; however, rear steering comes standard on the EQS that can turn up to 10-degrees improving its handling and maneuverability in tight junctions. Braking on the other hand sets a new learning curve. Because the braking in the EQS is set up for regenerative energy consumption, its brake pedal is constantly adjusting to match the braking that is already occurring with the regenerative system. Believe me, it is as complicated as it sounds. The end results makes for a squishy brake pedal that is hard to manage when trying to attempt a limo styled smooth stop.

Hinting that the EQS is to be on the luxury par ends of the S-Class, just electrified, our sampled EQS 580 carried the entry level Exclusive Trim starting at $119,110. Equipped with all the charm, there was no shortage of amenities and luxurious offerings with a mix of Alcantara and white leather, attractive wood trim that hides the air vents and three massive screens to play with. The comfort levels are elevated to another level with suede pillows over the headrests, massaging front seats and an incredible Burmester 15-speaker audio system. It also rides on an air suspension system with electronically controlled adaptive dampers providing a level of comfort one would find seating in their theatre room that was so smooth, it almost had us wanting to take a nap during rush hour traffic.

Noted as a Hyperscreen, the 56-inch concave glass panel stretches the entire length of the dash that features a 17.7-inch passenger infotainment touchscreen giving the passenger full control over all entertainment, at least until the driver revokes those privileges. Unfortunately in the United States this third screen is limited as to other countries like Taiwan or the European continent that can play movies.

Now, I feel like we can’t comment too much on the charging of the EQS since our experience wasn’t overall that great. We had issues charging the EQS from the start, probably mostly user error. Mercedes has contracted with Electrify America and its 120,000 charge point network throughout the us that basically takes the stress of charging out of the equation. With an account set up, simply plug in and walkway. The first 30-minutes are free for the first two years to a new EQS owner and in those 30-minutes, the EQS can charge an alleged 10-percent to 80-percent, or in 15-minutes, 180-miles – our experience was not quite the case as we got 15-miles in 15-minutes, imagine our level of disappointment and confusion. Charging overnight through a 110-volt outlet and we soon realized overnight charging was out of the question as it required 96-hours to charge from 50-percent to 100-percent. Overall, the best way for this system to work is to have a charging station installed at your residence.

Being the first real go-around of an electrified luxury car, Mercedes has set a hardy stake into the market; however, being an electrified S-Class on the other hand is a different story. While the power is fantastic with incredible handling and a posh interior, there are some elements that just aren’t quite up to the Mercedes S-Class standards like the creaking of the plastics within the cabin space, the cheap feeling push button start that feels like it could break at any given moment, the suede pillow headrest are a nice touch of comfort, but uncomfortable on hot day and can’t be removed without leaving  a hit that something is missing. Plus, with electric cars, it usually means there is no engine and room for an extra trunk in the front, not in the case of the EQS which is bolted shut.

All of that aside, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 is an impressive machine that starts to challenge Tesla on take back the luxury segment of the electric cars. Despite its looks and qualms, it offers more technology than we know what do with and the performance to boot. Seeing that this is a glimpse into Mercedes-Benz future with their attempt to go full electric by 2030, the EQS is a great start, but showcases they have a long way to go before hitting that Mercedes quality we’ve come to appreciate.

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