– Only the EQS 580 version will be sold in Canada with a base price of $144,200
– Daimler will invest 40 billion euros, or just over $58 billion Canadian, by 2030 in electric vehicles development.
– The EQS 580 offers a range of about 545 km of range and 516 horsepower.
When you think that only a few years ago, German car manufacturers were betting their entire future on diesel. Volkswagen took it upon itself to put the brakes on all that in September 2015. Since then, Germany has been in catch-up mode. It was ultimately Toyota that was right to bet on hybrids in the late 90s and only now is Germany making the switch.
But the companies on the other side of the Rhine have put all their weight and all their knowledge into the balance. Even with a certain delay on a competitor like Tesla who debuted its Model S in 2012, Mercedes has every intention of taking the market by storm and the EQS model is the first step in this process.
Mercedes announced through its president Ola Källenius, that Daimler will invest 40 billion euros, or a little over 58 billion Canadian dollars, by 2030 in the development of electric models. At the Munich Auto Show in early September, the head of Mercedes emphasized that Mercedes’ plan was to be ready to go all-electric by 2030.
Only one model in Canada for now
Canada will initially have only one model, the EQS 580. Our American neighbours also have a base version, the EQS 450+, and Europe has added an AMG version, the EQS AMG 53. To be well adapted to our climate conditions, the EQS is an all-wheel drive version thanks to two electric motors. The two motors in the EQS 580 combine for 516 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque – the rear motor is the same as the EQS 450+’s 329 horsepower, leaving the front motor with 187 horsepower.
For those of you who like statistics, that power gets this 2,600-kilogram mass to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. It’s not a Tesla S, but it’s more than enough to pass without worry. The battery pack is 107.8 kWh and Mercedes Benz Canada has announced a range of 547 km.
Remarkably smooth ride
Anyone who has ever driven a Mercedes S-Class knows how smooth the ride is. You get that feeling of being in a bank vault. You get the same feeling in the EQS amplified by the complete absence of noise. You feel like you’re driving on a cushion of air. There is no violence compared to the displacement of the cervical spine when you accelerate in a Tesla Model S. The thrust is more gradual and lasts longer. The comfort is indescribable, and you frankly don’t want to ride like a boaster. The air suspension does a lot for ride comfort with adaptive dampers that firm up a bit when the drive mode selector is set to Sport.
Like other EVs, it manages regenerative braking, using the motors’ resistance to slow the vehicle and recover energy that would otherwise be lost and send it back to the battery. The EQS can be recharged up to 200 kW at DC fast-charging stations, with the potential to add 300 kilometres of additional range (WLTP) in just 15 minutes.
The Hyper Display
The last impressive display that caught our eyes was in the newest Cadillac Escalade. If you check off the Mercedes hyper screen in the options list, you’ll have to hold your jaw in place so it doesn’t drop. This screen has received a lot of hype from Mercedes, but we weren’t disappointed. In total, you have the equivalent of three screens that are assembled for a total of 56 inches stretching across a piano black panel that takes up the entire dashboard. Despite the complexity of the thing, it’s relatively easy to use because of the limited number of configurations.
The 12.3-inch driver information screen can be used with a touchpad on the left side of the steering wheel to scroll through various menus (including mock analog speedometers, a navigation map, or more modern gauge displays); swiping up or down on the pad manipulates reduced menu items on the driver screen.
On the 17.7-inch center touchscreen, you can also use a touchpad on the right side of the steering wheel to make selections. A physical “home” button is located at the bottom of the screen, as well as a “back” button. Users can choose to leave tiles for favourite menus at the bottom of the main screen, which is displayed primarily as a navigation map with menu shortcuts along the edges. For example, we docked the audio and seat massage shortcuts there during our drive.
The most advanced version of MBUX and its now-famous “Hey, Mercedes” is found in the EQS. The voice assistant understands much better than the first A-Class we drove in Croatia. Your front passenger can do almost anything he could do on the center screen using his private screen on the right side of the dash, including entering a navigation destination and “dragging” it from his screen to the center screen, which will trigger guidance for the driver. It’s very impressive, and while the non-hyper-screen configuration (12.8-inch center screen) isn’t as impressive, it’s still elegant and just as easy to use.
Staying in your comfort zone
The most interesting factor is the one you don’t see right away. Mercedes didn’t go too far off the beaten path and stayed in the common areas of references we know about automotive luxury. We find ourselves in a world of fine leather, noble unpolished wood and unlike some manufacturers like Polestar who no longer have an on/off button, you have this kind of button to turn on the EQS. All the luxury cues we know from Mercedes are there. This makes the driving experience not disorienting, quieter, but very familiar.
Driving modes are also part of the standard Benz procedure: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual. Most of the time, you’ll leave it in Comfort mode, where the ride – even on 21-inch AMG wheels – is smoother, quieter and just plain better than an S-Class. Yet because the center of gravity is low, the EQS, despite its weight, attacks a corner with conviction, without any roll.
A partnership with FLO
Mercedes-Benz Canada has partnered with FLO and Qmerit to offer a superior home charging experience. Based in Quebec City, FLO designs and manufactures charging solutions. The FLO Home X5 includes smart charging features (automatic updates, programmable charging times, etc.), an exclusive carbon finish on its NEMA 4X die-cast aluminum shell and a 4-year limited warranty for customers.
Designed and manufactured in Canada, this premium home charging station is built and certified to withstand temperatures down to -40°C. By signing up for MercedesMe Charge, you can access multiple charging service providers with one card, so you don’t have to carry around a cell phone full of various apps and forget your password every time.
The EQS is the first model of a long list to come. At the Munich Auto Show, the company presented the EQE, the next model expected next year, followed by the EQA. There was also a concept of the electric G model and the EQB. One thing is certain, Mercedes is entering the world of EVs through the front door with the EQS.