Mercedes-Benz EQS: electric limo goes testing

Published: 22 September 2020

► Mercedes-Benz EQS spy photos
► We scoop the new all-electric limo
► Here in 2021 to rival Tesla and Porsche 

The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will arrive in the next 12 months - and it’ll sire a new EQS all-electric limousine in 2021, to take the fight to Tesla and other EV pioneers.

We’ve already seen a hint of how the EQS will look, in the shape of the concept car shown at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, and new spy shots give us a closer look at the executive EV.

The new pictures, taken at the 'Ring, give us our best look at Merc's upcoming executive SUV. The rear lights and headlights appear to be close to production, and as expected, they borrow heavily from the brand's already released EQC electric SUV.

It appears a more bulbous front end and light bar will be key design features of the all-electric EQ range. 

Elsewhere, frameless doors and a 5-door hatchback configuration make the EQS a bit more unique.

What else do we know about the EQS? 

It’s been a long narrative, stretching back to 2015’s F 015 concept, and our sources suggest the EQS will be a quite different partner to the classically dynamic-looking S-Class limo (not peas in a pod like the GLC and EQC).

Our guide to the best electric cars and EVs


Mercedes EQS: head of the family

As part of Mercedes’ plan to unveil 130 electrified cars by 2030, the EQS flagship will be the biggest and most expensive of 10 full-electric models set to debut before the end of 2022, joining the EQC. It’ll sit alongside an EQA hatch, EQB SUV, EQE saloon and full-size EQG 4x4 in Mercedes’ battle for premium EV domination. 

Key rivals: Audi’s long-wheelbase A8 e-Tron from 2021 and the forthcoming electric BMW 7-series, as well as the existing Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan.

Skateboard or spine?

It’ll be based on a classical skateboard electric car architecture. CAR understands the original idea was to house the batteries down a central spine, but the plan now is for the EVA2 platform that will underpin the EQS (the EQC and smaller models to follow use EVA1) to use a wide, flat battery configuration. 

It's a new platform that's also destined for the EQE and various SUVs; as the numbering suggests, it'll pack a host more technical complexity than the EVA1 toolkit - as befits the top-of-the-range S-Class-twinning EQS.

Inside the Mercedes EQS concept interior: a roomy cabin

Dimensionally, it’s expected to bridge the gap between the E-Class and S-Class, like the CLS, but with S-Class roominess inside thanks to the novel packaging and lack of technical hardware such as prop shafts and bulky multi-cylinder engines and exhaust systems. 

EQS interior: a business lounge

Flattening the platform and pulling forward the silhouette’s shape allows for a freer and more flexible seating arrangement, as premiered in the concept car cabin teased above.

Clever materials like the neoprene dashboard topper on the EQC are just the start. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS: shown at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show

Merc has already set out an appropriate colour scheme for EQ cars: black, silver and white with accents of blue, like on the Vision EQS concept car above.

Exterior design boss on the new electric Mercedes limo

‘We’ve taken inspiration from the F 015 concept,’ exterior design chief Robert Lesnik tells us, while also showing us – with a smile – an intriguing image of the ’90s Pontiac Trans Sport. Not, he adds, to suggest stylistic or quality connections, but to indicate that the EQS will use sporty MPV proportions, with a low bonnet and a cab-forward form that’s big on interior space.

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By Jake Groves, Georg Kacher and Guy Bird

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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