2021 Mercedes EQS electric car revealed: price, specs and release date

New Mercedes EQS electric car will offer more than 450 miles of range, and has the most high-tech interior of any production car...

2021 Mercedes EQS front

On sale: Autumn 2021 | Price from: £90,000 (est)

Just like efficient, German-made clockwork, the pieces of Mercedes' electric car puzzle are falling into place and the next car to join the range will be this, the Mercedes EQS.

The EQS is an electric luxury limousine, giving buyers who want to go green an alternative to the existing S-Class, as well as to key rivals that include the Audi E-tron GT, Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan. Its looks are inspired by the concept car of the same name that was first shown in 2019, but have been toned down substantially for production. Still, the concept's wide and imposing front grille remain, along with a high bonnet and swept-back roofline. Alloy wheels of up to 22in are available, along with an extensive list of personalisation options. LED headlights come as standard, but Mercedes' new Digital Light system, which can project guidelines, markings and even warning symbols onto the road ahead, is an option.

2021 Mercedes EQS rear

2021 Mercedes EQS power and range

Two versions of the EQS will be offered from launch. The entry-level EQS 450+ has a single electric motor that drives its rear wheels, with up to 329bhp. That's enough to propel the EQS to 62mph in 6.2sec, and on to a top speed of 130mph – although finding somewhere legal to test that last number might be tricky. The more powerful EQS 580 4Matic has two electric motors and four-wheel drive to make the most of its 516bhp, and its 0-62mph sprint time drops to just 4.3sec – still a little slower than the Porsche  Taycan 4S can manage. Both versions are fed by the same 108kWh battery pack, which can be charged to 80% of capacity in just 30 minutes if you can find a charging station capable of supplying sufficient power (charging rates of up to 200kW are supported).

Charging at a wallbox charger or via a three-pin plug will take a lot longer, of course. Buyers of the EQS get access to the Ionity fast-charging network free for one year, but with 14 sites in the UK at the moment, not everybody will find one on their doorstep.

As for range, the EQS can manage up to 478 miles between charges, according to the WLTP test cycle; that's farther than the E-tron GT and Taycan can manage, and farther than all but the range-topping Model S Plaid+ will take you. For context, the EQS's official range is the equivalent of a round trip between London and Manchester, with a little spare at the end of the journey.

Air suspension is standard across the range, meaning the EQS should ride well over most surfaces, and the car also comes with rear-wheel steering as standard, meaning it should be easier to manoeuvre around town and feel more agile at higher speeds than a conventional luxury saloon.

And if you've read these specifications and fancy an EQS that can go just a little faster, you'll be pleased to know that a performance model, likely wearing the AMG badge, is already planned, with a power output of 751bhp.

2021 Mercedes EQS interior

2021 Mercedes EQS interior and technology

Luxury is at the forefront of what the EQS is about, and, even before you get inside it, it stands by like a waiting butler. As an option, for example, its doors can open for you before you reach the car, before closing automatically behind you. While large infotainment touchscreens and digital displays that replace traditional dials are now becoming commonplace on executive and luxury models, the EQS goes one step further by having three screens spread across its dashboard, one of which is an entirely separate 12.3in touchscreen available for the front passenger to use. Combine that, the massive 17.7in central touchscreen and the 12.3in digital instrument display and there's more than 55in of screen space available across the EQS – more than even the latest S-Class can boast, and larger than the televisions in most living rooms.

Dubbed the Hyperscreen, this optional feature gives the front passenger access to media or navigation information independently of the driver. As standard, though, you'll get the digital instrument display and a smaller 12.8in central infotainment screen. And if three screens aren't enough, you can add two additional 11.6in tablet-style screens for your rear passengers.

Although the displays look swish and can be controlled through touch, via voice commands and with touch-sensitive panels on the steering wheel, the EQS' infotainment system is likely to be trickier to use on the move than systems that still incorporate physical controls, such as the iDrive system you'll find on the internal combustion-powered BMW 7 Series. That being said, we've been impressed with the latest versions of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system in other models. The car's systems can be updated with new features wirelessly, too.

If all that display space can't accommodate the information that you want to see, you'll be able to spec an optional head-up display that can put the most useful bits of information right in front of your eyes. Other features include an advanced air filtration system which stops harmful particles from entering the car, and a stereo made by Burmester.

2021 Mercedes EQS front

2021 Mercedes EQS space and safety

In terms of storage, the EQS offers a large space underneath its centre console for bags or odds and ends, plus space inside the armrest. There's also likely to be a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone and multiple USB connections concealed by the wood-finished panel just ahead of the car's start button. Like other Mercedes models, buyers can change the look of the EQS' interior on the fly, with multicoloured ambient interior lighting and different display modes for the infotainment screens.

With a 610-litre boot space, fitting your holiday luggage into the EQS should be a breeze, even if travelling light is an alien concept to your passengers. There's more space than you'd find in the Taycan or E-tron GT, but the Model S can carry more still.

The EQS wide range of driver assistance systems includes adaptive cruise control, steering assistance, traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping and lane-changing assistance, automatic emergency braking and a blind-spot monitoring system. In short, the EQS can take some of the effort of driving away on long journeys, and is smart enough to keep you as safe as possible should an accident happen. The EQS can also park itself, either by choosing a suitable spot, or by memorising the movements required to get into your garage or parking bay.

2021 Mercedes EQS rear

2021 Mercedes EQS price

While prices are a long way from being made official, we'd expect the new model to start at around £90,000. That would put the EQS at a considerable price premium over the S-Class, and also makes it more expensive than entry-level versions of its rivals.

The EQS joins the existing EQA and EQC in a growing range of electric cars from Mercedes. The brand says that by 2030, when the UK is set to impose a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, it wants half of its line-up to be electrified, whether through hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric technology.

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