our impressions aboard the Tesla slayer

The anti-Tesla, the real one, it’s her. But while waiting to be able to judge it on the road, the Mercedes EQS offered itself to us for a first approach. “Anti-tesla”, “rival” or even “killeuse”… All the terms are used to qualify the competitors of Tesla by the press and […]

The anti-Tesla, the real one, it’s her. But while waiting to be able to judge it on the road, the Mercedes EQS offered itself to us for a first approach.

“Anti-tesla”, “rival” or even “killeuse”… All the terms are used to qualify the competitors of Tesla by the press and the observers. And for good reason: many people want to afford the most popular electric scalp around the world. But if Palo Alto seems unattainable because of its technological advance, some manufacturers are arming themselves. This is particularly the case of the Lucid Air, but also of the Chinese Xpeng P7 and Nio ET7, all recently launched with a new vision of the automobile. But now, it is up to the “inventor” of the automobile to express himself on the car of tomorrow.

To find a place in this segment dominated by Tesla, Mercedes is launching the new EQS, a 100% electric sedan and, less visible but just as important, imagined from the start to receive an electrical mechanism. This allowed the Stuttgart firm to push the potentiometers a little further in terms of technology.

Aerodynamics take precedence over style

After the first photos of the Mercedes EQS which, let’s face it, didn’t really leave us with an indelible memory, we had the opportunity to approach the limousine very closely. It is difficult to fully appreciate this 5.21 m long sedan, presented on the Publicis roof terrace in front of the Place de l’Etoile. Without a doubt, it will take up space in the streets. But with its proportions and, this is a first for a large Mercedes sedan, its hatchback, the EQS hides its measurements well.

It is also shy with its silhouette dictated by aerodynamic constraints, which figured in the center of its specifications: its Cx of 0.20 is a record. If its pencil stroke lacks charisma, it makes up for it in this top-of-the-range Edition 1 configuration: its air vents, multi-spoke rims and star-studded grille energize its appearance. On the other hand, if the route of the biton paint worked on the concept announcer, the cut seems much less relevant on the sedan of series. A matter of taste.

The Mercedes EQS therefore favors function more than style in its definition of design. We are therefore surprised by the presence of large traditional mirrors with large amounts. A camera system would undoubtedly have been more in tune with its search for the perfect aerodynamic drag, but also with its level of technology.

A futuristic interior atmosphere

Because inside, the electric limousine is a real eye-catcher. After activating the automatic doors by simply pulling the handles, the EQS offers occupants a clean and luminous cocoon. But it’s the massive Hyperscreen touchscreen that’s the eye-catcher inside. Slightly inclined, the 59-inch (1.41 m wide) slab seems much less imposing than in the first images.

The configurable instrument cluster groups together all the usual information related to driving. It can be assisted by a head-up display in augmented reality for better reading. The central panel offers access to the infotainment system that we already know from Mercedes, while a third screen is dedicated to the front passenger. Note that the latter is controlled by attention sensors focused on the driver’s eyes: while driving, if the driver puts his eyes on the passenger’s screen, the system instantly switches off the display for safety reasons.

In use, the system, which relies on 24 GB RAM memory and an eight-core processor, is extremely responsive when it comes to switching from one function to another. And there are many in this EQS to pamper the passengers. Although the treatment of the touch surfaces on the steering wheel or the screen is impervious to fingerprints, it is also possible to use MBUX voice recognition. Thanks to the many microphones installed in the car, it is able to recognize the source of the voice and activate the seat massage or the air conditioning of the applicant!

Limited practical aspects

Limousine requires, the rear passengers are not left behind, on the contrary. Screens are placed right in front of the eyes and a removable tablet hidden in the central armrest allows you to configure certain functions. The seat is comfortable, although more inclined than usual. The goal here is to support the legs raised because of a high perched floor. But the occupants will quickly find their position by adjusting the angle of the backrests. Headroom is just average, but older kids will have to hunker down to be comfortable. However, all these grievances will quickly be forgotten with the various relaxation programs and fragrance diffusers available.

On the practical side, the Mercedes EQS offers a 610-liter trunk. The floor hides a second compartment which allows you to store the charging cables. On the other hand, there is no question of carrying long or heavy objects: the absence of a flat floor because of a transverse reinforcement will surely complicate the task when loading, while the thick rear backrests cannot fold perfectly. flat. But we can bet that the loading capacity of this sedan will be the least of the concerns of the owners of this type of vehicle. It was not possible for us to open the hood, but Mercedes confirmed to us that there was no compartment in the front.

Up to 770 km of autonomy

Based on the brand new EVA2 platform dedicated to the brand’s electric cars, the Mercedes EQS will be available with two versions at launch. The range will open with the EQS 450+ equipped with an electric motor of 333 hp for 568 Nm of torque. The 580 4Matic version will provide two engines for a total of 523 hp and 855 Nm. In both cases they will carry a 107.8 kWh battery promising up to 770 km of autonomy with the 450+ version.

Battery life is one thing, but charging power is another. And the limousine will also be among the best students and will offer 200 kW of direct current (DC). Enough to gain 300 km of autonomy in just 15 minutes. Slow charging side, it will be equipped with an optional 11 kW or 22 kW charger.

A star alone in the sky

With its high-flying in-car technologies, its level of attention paid to the occupants and its flawless presentation in terms of colors and materials, the Mercedes EQS touches the doors of luxury, to the point of passing the Tesla Model S for a timid sedan. core range of a generalist manufacturer. The EQS even plays the snobbish and no longer looks at the Palo Alto sedan: it puts the Lucid Air more in the viewfinder, which should also arrive in France.

In the meantime, the EQS stands alone in the world and should quickly take on the role of pole star in electrical engineering and mechanics. All that remains is to know the price of the German limousine, which should be close to summits: in its entry-level version, necessarily less equipped than the Edition 1 of this presentation, it should start at around € 100,000. .

Janelle B. Smith

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