Amped-up EQS heralds AMG’s electric era, Maybach aims for EV SUV

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Mercedes-Benz

In case Mercedes-AMG’s first hybrid didn’t convince you, electricity is abuzz in Stuttgart. BEVs are reaching the most high-profile echelons of the Mercedes empire—AMG and Maybach. Though the production-spec AMG model and the Maybach design study revealed today each bear “EQS” in its names, only one is a sedan like the new EQS. The other’s a crossover. We’ll start with the former.

The first all-electric model from Mercedes-AMG destined for the U.S. has finally shown its face, and it’s a familiar one. So familiar, in fact, that you wouldn’t know from a first glance what makes this EQS an AMG, other than the label on its rump and the “slats” embedded into its “grille.” Thank Mercedes’ aero team for getting the regular EQS’  drag coefficient as low as 0.20 Cd. There simply isn’t much for AMG to change here. In addition, since this grand tourer has more need of range than downforce, a spoiler-laden arrangement doesn’t make much sense.

2021 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 side profile action
Mercedes-Benz

AMG models typically announce themselves, whether with rip-snorting sound, black accents, or big spoilers, but this is a quieter breed of performance. A brief dip into the new car’s stats helps decode AMG’s electric debutante.

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS represents a 133-hp upgrade from the top spec of the non-AMG-fettled EQS 580 4MATIC. Like the 580-spec model, it draws juice from a 107.8-kWh battery pack to power two motors, one on each axle. The drivetrain serves up 649 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque in typical use, but, in Race Mode, you can unlock up to 751 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque in a short burst. 60 mph arrives 0.7 seconds sooner than in the EQS 580 4MATIC—3.4 seconds for the AMG version, compared to 4.1.

AMG breathed heavily upon the brake system to ensure it’s up to harnessing this battery-powered beast down to a stop—six-piston brake calipers up front and single pistons at the rear, plus an electric booster that combines with the hydraulic system for the kind of energy recuperation essential to EVs today. Seventeen-inch carbon-ceramic brakes are optional. Though Benz hasn’t yet released weight figures (or price, charging time, range, or dimensions), the dual-motor non-AMG EQS tips the scales at 5888 pounds. We won’t be surprised if the AMG version crests six large. Expect the price tag to tell a similar story—we anticipate a number right around $200K.

Bells and whistles, alongside the significant power upgrade, constitute most of the news here. Differences from the regular model are concentrated in a heftier list of standard features. The Hyperscreen comes included, a three-in-one OLED affair that groups digital instrument cluster, central touchscreen screen, and passenger infotainment displays behind a 56-inch pane of glass stretching nearly from A-pillar to A-pillar. Sport+ mode arrives on the menu, as does the aforementioned Race Start function. AMG-specific aesthetic touches will arrive both inside and out, extending to the steering wheel, special upholstery options (peep the crest on the headrests), and distinct wheel designs. The options list on the AMG EQS is short: red brake calipers, the aforementioned carbon-ceramic rotors, rear massaging seats, 22-inch wheels (21s are standard).

Next up is the more confusingly reveal: the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS.

Mercedes Benz Maybach EQS Concept front three-quarter
Mercedes-Benz

This SUV rides on the same platform as the all-electric EQS sedan and, though it is just a design study, you can safely assume that Mercedes-Maybach is bringing some version of it to market. A few traditional Maybach design cues—two-tone paint, a baleen-esque “grille,” generous doses of chrome—frame an appropriately space-age interior. For starters, there’s a standard flower vase in the rear, “faux fur” on the floor, and a slew of ambient lighting. The center console “floats” above the floor and flows back from the Hyperscreen-ed dash between the back seats. Mercedes also assures us that there is ample space for a champagne cooler, which we not dare doubt.

Mercedes Benz Maybach EQS Concept interior
Rose-gold interior accents are set to charm the wealthiest millennials on the market, a demographic that also favors SUVs, rather than sedans, as their luxury vehicle of choice. Mercedes-Benz

This EQS-but-not-a-sedan concept isn’t yet a physical show car, but you can expect Mercedes-Maybach to be hard at work bringing it to reality. Maybe by the time that happens Mercedes may wise up enough to give such a range-topping behemoth of an SUV a name of its own. As far as AMG’s EQS-that-is-actually-an-EQS, stay tuned—details on price and livability (range and charge time) should trickle out over the next months, and we’ll be here to keep you in the loop.

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