Mercedes EQ
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Electric flagship EQS SUV all you expect from Mercedes

It was appropriately hot in Jozi when Mercedes-Benz showcased its very special EQ range-topping all-electric SUVs. The next episode in the future of mobility, the luxurious, intelligent, and sustainable EQS SUV and EQE SUVs compliment Benz’ existing South African electric offerings of the EQA, EQB, EQC and EQS sedan in SA’s largest electric vehicles range.

The all-new Mercedes-EQS 450 4Matic SUV is the electric version of the GLS Class. And the SUV derivative of the EQS sedan. Optionally available as a 7-seater, this SUV now tops the electric Mercedes EQ range. Propelled by an staunch 265 kW 800 Nm motor powered by a sizeable 105 kWh lithium-ion battery, EQS SUV drives up to 616 kilometres on a charge.


EQS SUV is bigger than it looks

The design team did an excellent job combining ergonomics, build quality and aesthetics. Add a particularly low 0,255 cD drag co-efficient for an SUV, and it’s even more impressive in the flesh. From a distance, the EQS SUV’s gentle flowing appearance gives the impression of something much smaller than you’d perhaps expect from an S class SUV.

Its only when you walk up close, that you realize how big a vehicle it really is. Keyless entry requires just a gentle wave of the hand over the recessed pop-out door handle. From the driver’s seat you immediately recognize that familiar Mercedes-Benz cockpit theme. The EQS exception is its massive Hyperscreen that stretches almost the entire width of the dash.

Mercedes EQ

It’s not on top, it’s inside!

The all-electric driving experience is something rather different. Press the start button and that whole Hyperscreen comes alive. Foot the brake, select drive and touch the throttle, and like a giant golf cart, you effortlessly surge forward. It’s all very intuitive. Like a magic carpet ride without engine noise. Electric steering feedback as you’d expect in a premium SUV.

Acceleration is spirited and certainly very surprising for a 2.7 ton vehicle. Braking is another interesting affair. Initial pedal travel certainly lacks the sharp feedback expected of a modern SUV. In search of high efficiency, there are all sorts of additional high-tech regeneration tricks going on in the world of electric vehicles.


EQS SUV stars in one-pedal driving

Brake action feels purposely designed to step up from an initially spongy and gentle feedback. Once the pedal is depressed an unfamiliar distance, it progressively stiffens up to deliver expected sharper response. Using the throttle as a brake takes a little getting used to, but one-foot driving soon becomes easy. And a challenge to get the most out of that regen.

You can also adapt your one-pedal via three D plus sailing, D standard, and D minus enhanced regeneration modes via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The ECO Recuperation Assistant offers situation-adapted regeneration in gliding mode or decelerates in the most efficient and comfortable driving style possible.


Makes bumps invisible

The big SQS SUV’s remarkable suspension soaks up the bumps as though they’re just not there. It feels like a sports car in spirited acceleration and lane changing happens without any perceived body roll. There were no unusual surprises other than it performs exactly as expected of premium SUV. That in spite of its gargantuan all-up mass.

There are many questions though. Like with any new technology, people are wary of the experience, longevity, day to day practicality and resale value. Several carmakers the world over are expected to discontinue internal combustion engine production of their programs.


EQS SUV addresses EV concerns

Whether that happens, and if electric motoring will ever be the answer, remains to be seen. Especially in Eskom-struck South Africa. But if these top-end Mercedes-EQ models are anything to go by, should the world indeed go this way, Mercedes-EQ has done a great job of addressing many of those highly charged posers.

To that end, Mercedes-EQ also provides home charging solutions, varying ownership payment models with guaranteed buy back options and ever-professional full sales and service support. The new Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 4Matic sells for R2.7-million, with a small surcharge to up it to 7-seater specification.

Mercedes EQ

Little brother EQE SUV is almost ready too

Mercedes also showed the R2.2-million 215 kW 765 Nm EQE 350 4Matic SUV. The electric GLE has 550 km range thanks to a ten module lithium-ion battery and innovative Mercedes in-house developed over-the-air updatable management software. EQE SUV was not available to drive as it has not yet completed local homologation. – Ken Hawkins

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