What is the Mercedes EQS SUV?
A higher-end, boxier version of the EQS. It’s an 8.4-inch-tall three-row SUV perched on the rolling chassis of the EQS hatchback. Taller seats cut the overall length by 5.5 inches, but you get the exact same battery pack and essentially the same motors and suspension. You also gain 11 cubic feet of extra cargo volume with the rear seats folded down (74 versus 63).
What the Mercedes EQS SUV IS NOT:
An electric GLS-Class. Mercedes-Benz prioritizes efficiency uber all for its EQ sub-brand, which it sees as the most cost-effective way (read “small drums”) to provide the range demanded by customers. Therefore, compared to the similarly sized conventionally-engined GLS, the EQS SUV sits on an entirely different platform and its wheelbase is 3.0 inches longer (matching that of the EQS sedan), but the overall length is 3.2 inches shorter.
Without a giant engine under the hood, the A-pillars move forward, reclaiming some interior space. But in the name of minimizing the frontal area, the body also shrinks by 2.8 inches in width and 4.2 inches in height.
Dimensions are just the beginning. The greenhouse gets a more pronounced “conical plan view” (the boat folds slightly aft) and a smoother, more coupe-like roofline, as well as an aerodynamic fence at the top and on the sides of the rear window to manage the flow separation. Naturally, there is a smooth underbelly with spoilers in front of the wheels and outer diffuser extensions at the rear. In addition, there are “serrated turbulators” designed to loosen air vortices in the front underbody in a targeted manner to smooth the flow. Running boards come standard because their underside tread helps reduce underbody turbulence. And finally, the 21 and 22-inch wheels are optimized for aero, some including an “aeroblade” coating, and the geometry of the tire sidewalls has also been defined by the aero team. (Wheels usually represent a third the overall wind resistance of a production vehicle.)
What is the power and torque of the EQS SUV?
Additional seating and the larger body add 300 to 400 pounds to the EQS SUV over the equivalent EQS 450+ or EQS 580 4Matic sedans, so horsepower and torque from the rear or otherwise similar twin motors are increased to 355 hp/ 417 lb-ft (up 26 and 2) for the rear-drive EQS 450+ SUV, and a combined output of 536 hp/633 lb-ft (up 20 and 2) for the EQS 580 4Matic SUV. The SUV should approximate the power-to-weight ratio of the sedan, so we expect acceleration to 60 mph to trail the sedans by just a few tenths, perhaps 3.9 to 5.6 seconds.
What about battery and charging?
The sedan’s 107.8kWh battery should offer maybe 30 miles less range due to the SUV’s added mass and wind resistance. DC fast charging up to 200 kW is possible, adding perhaps 180 miles in 15 minutes while you enjoy a scheduled “Power Nap”. This reclines the seat and activates ionized air, ambient lighting and sounds designed to gently guide you to sleep and then wake you up.
Home and work charging can be scheduled to maximize battery life, charging only to 80%. Using the Mercedes Me Charge network (60,000 stations in the US and counting) means that even if you charge in West Virginia with coal, the company will buy an equivalent amount of renewable energy to allow you to drive guilt-free . This service is free for the first two years.
The basics of the sedans’ Airmatic suspension with adaptive damping are retained, but the 580 4Matic version of the SUV adds an Offroad mode to the usual choice of Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual. This mode flattens the throttle response curve and raises the vehicle an inch when driving below 50 mph (it lowers again when the speed drops below 31 mph). Slip thresholds for the anti-lock braking and traction control systems are increased, and the ESP can be turned off in this mode when additional wheel slip is needed (such as in deep sand). When ESP is activated, the system pre-pressurizes a wheel brake when a kickback event is likely to induce wheel spin.
All EQS SUVs destined for the United States will feature rear-wheel steering capable of turning up to 10 degrees. Spinning the rear wheels away from the front wheels reduces the turning radius from 39 to 36 feet at park speeds; phasing them with fronts increases lane change stability at high speeds.
How is the interior of the EQS SUV?
Magnificent. Mercedes introduces a new wood-to-metal inlay technique in which three-pointed stars are laser-cut from the wood veneer, which is then pressure-bonded to the aluminum, so that the metal stars sit flush with the wood. The sedan’s 2.6-square-foot OLED hyperdisplay comes standard on the 580. It’s optional on the 450+, which otherwise gets the S-Class’ 12.8-inch LCD portrait center display. rear-seat entertainment (via 11.6-inch screens) and a 15-speaker Burmester sound system with Dolby Atmos sound imaging are options (Lucid’s Atmos system blew us away, so we have high hopes for this setup).
When it comes to space, the aerodynamic sculpting obviously encroaches on headroom, shoulder room and cargo space. We don’t have all the package dimensions yet, but cargo space behind the first, second and third row seats is estimated at 74.0, 23.0-31.0 (depending on seat position of the middle row) and 7.0 cubic feet. That’s down from the 84.7, 42.7-48.7, and 17.4 cubic in the GLS-Class, though it’s still a big SUV, and the 5-foot-10 frame inches from this author fit comfortably in the third row. It’s not a Grand Wagoneer out there, but at least seat heating is optional in the rearmost seats.
Wait, what is that smell?
Why, it’s No.6 Mood Mimosa, thanks for asking! This fragrance was concocted specifically for the EQS SUV to deliver “an earthy scent with a touch of sensuality”. Go ahead, roll your eyes, but at least the occupants never need to smell the actual exterior, thanks to the 600-cubic-inch underhood HEPA filter, which includes 1.3 pounds of activated carbon spread over an area odor adsorber the size of 150 football pitches (!). That filter is why there’s no frunk, otherwise known as a front trunk, a common EV feature that takes advantage of the engine-less nose area to add cargo space. The EQS sedan gets the same HEPA filter instead of a frunk.
Price and date of sale of the Mercedes EQS SUV
Mercedes declined to give any indication of pricing for the EQS SUV, but we do know that, like the GLS-Class, it will be built in Alabama, while the equivalent S-Class and EQS-Class sedans are built in Germany. Assuming a similar discount on domestic production, the EQS 450+ SUV costs around $87,000 and the GLS 580 4Matic SUV starts at $101,000. Both are expected to go on sale in fall 2022.
|2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS-Class SUV|
|STARTING PRICE||$87,000 to $101,000 (estimate)|
|LAYOUT||Rear or front/rear engine, RWD/AWD, 5-7 pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE(S)||355 hp / 419 lb-ft; 536 hp/633 lb-ft permanent magnet type electric|
|UNLOADED WEIGHT||5,950–6,200 lb (east)|
|L x W x H||201.8 x 77.7 x 67.0-68.6 inches|
|0-60MPH||3.9-5.6s (MT East)|
|EPA FUEL ECONOMY (CITY/HIGHWAY/COMB)||Not rated yet|
|EPA RANGE (COMB)||300-310 miles (east)|
|ON SALE||End of 2022|