- The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, which was unveiled Thursday, marks a new era for the German automaker as it pivots to EVs.
- It will be part of its large S-Class car family when it arrives in U.S. showrooms in the fall.
- The interior of the vehicle resembles a futuristic spacecraft more than a car with screens across nearly the entire dashboard.
Mercedes-Benz believes its new EQS sedan will redefine the all-electric luxury vehicle segment as it competes against Tesla and a growing number of emerging start-ups and legacy automakers.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, unveiled Thursday, marks a new era for the German automaker as it pivots to EVs. The car will be part of its large S-Class car family when it arrives in U.S. showrooms in the fall.
"The EQS is designed to exceed the expectations of even our most discerning customers," said Mercedes-Benz and Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius in a 63-page press release for the car. "That's exactly what a Mercedes has to do to earn the letter 'S' in its name. Because we don't award that letter lightly."
Most notably, the interior of the vehicle looks like a cockpit out of a futuristic spacecraft more than a car. It has screens across nearly the entire dashboard of the vehicle. In total, it features three screens under a single 56-inch curved glass surface, including a passenger screen that will not be visible to the driver.
The automaker did not release pricing for the EQS, however industry experts expect it to easily top $100,000. The starting price on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ranges between $94,000 and $160,000. Its Mercedes-Maybach S models can top $200,000.
"They started at the top," Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.com. "This is similar to what we've seen with some of the other automakers. It's their most expensive vehicle that is going to come out first."
The price range for Tesla's Model S large sedan ranges from around $79,990 to $149,990, including a new high-end performance model, Model S Plaid.
The interior of the EQS is essentially the opposite of Tesla models that feature modern simplistic interiors. Some Tesla models have just one large screen in the center of the instrument panel that controls nearly all aspects of the vehicle.
The EQS "is going to have to have a hallmark to stand out. I think giving people that very futuristic feel that you're actually driving something different will be appealing for some buyers," Caldwell said. "But I think the simplistic design for Tesla has made a lot of people very happy."
The exterior of the EQS features a similar design to its traditional S-Class siblings, but a bit more aggressive regarding the front of the vehicle. A special "Edition One" unveiled by the company features a two-tone black and silver paint job across the entire car.
The car is the first EV on a new vehicle platform for Mercedes-Benz. It also features a fresh generation of batteries with significantly higher energy density, which allows for more range.
The first models arriving to the U.S. will offer up to 516 horsepower and 611 pound-foot of torque. The all-electric range of the vehicles is expected to be about 478 miles (770 kilometers).
For tech, the vehicle features a suite of safety and convenience features, including a new driver-assist system that can control the speed and braking of the vehicle as well as assist in other functions such as switching lanes or keeping the car in its lane. The system is more driver-controlled than other systems from Tesla and General Motors.
The EQS also will include an available augmented reality system, including head-up display, that projects three-dimensional graphics such as arrows onto the screens to show drivers where to go.
The EQS is part of Mercedes-Benz's "Ambition 2039" initiative that includes more than half the cars it sells to feature electric drive systems, including fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Mercedes-Benz is in a race with other legacy automakers to launch new EVs to catch up with industry-leader Tesla, which accounted for a majority of all-electric sales in the U.S. They're also anticipating a host of new competitors such as Lucid, which plans to launch a luxury EV later this year.
"I think Mercedes Benz is going to do a great job on EVs," said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. He said they should be a formidable competitor to Tesla, which he attributes to really showing the auto industry "what people actually wanted when it comes to electric cars."
"They didn't want some economy box," he said. "They want a performance car, with lots of luxury and they'll pay for it."