The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV will go on sale this fall as the German luxury brand’s first electric SUV in the US, following the EQS sedan launched late last year. The sedan was to be an electric S-Class and the SUV comparable to the GLS-Class. The two share a wheelbase and platform, which will form the basis for more EQ electric vehicles in the future.
The company gave some details about the EQS SUV at the opening of its EV (electric vehicle) battery factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, last month, although the car was wrapped up and its exterior was obscured.
The electric SUV is slightly smaller than the conventional three-row GLS. The new EV is about 3 inches shorter and the roof is over 4 inches lower. However, it has a longer wheelbase, which means the wheels are pushed more into corners. In EQS, the third line is optional, while in GLS it is standard.
On the front, the grille centers the company’s three-pointed logo with a star pattern emanating outwards. Making the car aerodynamic was a top priority, according to the company, with clean lines extending the length of the car from the front end similar to the EQS sedan. Even the wheels and tires have been optimized using wind covers that the company calls “aeroblades”.
The EQS SUV is coming to the US in two forms: the EQS 450+ rear-wheel drive version and the EQS 580 4MATIC all-wheel drive version.
A 107.8-kilowatt-hour battery and electric motor combine in the rear-wheel drive version to deliver 355 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. In the all-wheel drive version, the same combination produces 536 horsepower and 633 lb-ft of torque.
Official range figures have yet to be announced, though the company says 373 miles are possible in the European test cycle. DC fast charging from 10% to 80% is estimated by Mercedes at 31 minutes.
At the center of the interior is the company’s Hyperscreen, a dashboard that integrates the gauge cluster, infotainment system and an additional passenger screen. Hyperscreen is optional on the 450+ and standard on the 580 4MATIC.
Mercedes designed the interior to evoke a modern space. It is available in seven different color coordinated combinations, using colors such as sable brown-neva gray or space grey-macchiato beige.
There’s enough going on inside the cabin to keep everyone entertained. The passenger screen allows them to access navigation and entertainment functions as well as media. However, if the driver looks at the screen, it dims so as not to be distracting. Entertainment displays are mounted to the rear of each front seat for second-row passengers.
For the EQS, Mercedes has developed a series of programs under the umbrella of “energizing comfort”, which aim to engage your senses and put you at ease while driving.
Three “Energizing Nature” programs, Forest Glade, Sound of the Sea and Summer Rain, import natural sounds and fragrances into the cabin to provide an antidote to the routines of everyday driving.
The car also includes Electric Intelligence Navigation, which maps routes for speed and convenience with charging stops included. The system is able to adapt to traffic conditions and driving styles.
ECO Charging works to preserve the SUV’s battery life by reducing battery charge while charging, imposing an 80% charging limit, and delaying charging based on a customer-set departure time.
A Driving Assistance Package is standard, which includes active steering assistance, evasive steering assistance, active blind spot assistance and active braking assistance. For navigating tight parking spaces and entrances, a Parking Assist function with a surround-view camera is also standard.
Mercedes expects the EQS SUV to hit dealerships in the fall. Pricing details have not yet been released. The EQS sedan starts at $102,310, with the SUV expected to be more expensive.
The EQS SUV will be purchased with the 2022 Tesla Model X and 2022 BMW iX, which start at $114,990 and $83,200 respectively. The segment is expected to get more crowded in the near future with the arrivals of the 2022 Rivian R1S, starting at $72,500, and the 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV, starting at $79,995.
The R1S comes standard with three lines, while the Hummer only sports two.
At a recent virtual roundtable, Britta Seeger, a member of the marketing and sales board at Mercedes-Benz, told reporters that the EQS SUV should not reduce sales of the sedan variant.
“As we are seeing this in the [internal combustion engine] world, [the segments] they’re not competing with each other because, as of now, we see totally different customer needs and wants,” she explained. “And that goes for electric vehicles too.”