Mercedes-Benz EQS electric limo spied on test: watch out Tesla?

Published: 05 December 2019

► 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. 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. 

Mercedes-Benz EQS spy photos

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 staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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