August 19, 2022
Enlarge / The extremely aerodynamic Mercedes EQS 580

Eric Bangeman

Mercedes-Benz first gave us a glimpse at its electrification strategy in 2018, with its first battery-electric vehicle—the EQC 400 crossover—going on sale in Europe in 2019. Sporting a range of around 220 miles, (354 km) the 402 hp (296 kW) SUV never made it over to this side of the Atlantic. The US instead got a pair of EQS sedans that went on sale in 2021: the $102,310 EQS 450 and the $125,900 EQS 580.

The EQS 580 4Matic is the heftier of the two models—it has more motors, more mass, and more horsepower. And don’t mistake it for an S-Class sedan with all of the internal combustion bits swapped out for batteries and motors. The EQS is a new vehicle architecture designed from the beginning to push electrons, not hydrocarbons. And those electrons will push the EQS 580 a very long way—340 miles (547 km), to be exact.

You can’t get that far in an EV without a massive battery pack, and the EQS 580 has 107.8 kWh of juice at its disposal (the battery actually has a capacity of 120 kWh, about 10 percent of which is off-limits for driving). But what’s truly impressive about this electric sedan is an absurdly low drag coefficient of 0.20, which is unmatched by any production BEV. It looks sleek, but at first glance, the profile isn’t that much different from an S-Class sedan. Upon closer examination, you’ll notice the longer wheelbase and a pop-open slot on the front quarter-panel, which is another clue to its aerodynamic profile. That slot is for adding wiper fluid, because not only does the EQS 580 have no frunk, the hood does not even open.

Aerodynamics is a big part of the picture here. Mercedes pairs a seamless hood with the advanced A-pillar to create “The Bow”—that sweeping arched look that helps drop that drag coefficient so low. The profile is reminiscent of Pinewood Derby entries from my Cub Scouts days. Even if there was a frunk, there would be no storage room. Mercedes has instead used the space for its HVAC, which it’s calling the Energizing Air Control Plus system, which contains a huge HEPA filter that it claims can block 99.65 percent of particulate matter from making it inside the cabin.

On the inside, the EQS offers the full Mercedes experience. That includes brushed metal, shiny black plastic, wood, leather, suede, and LED accent lighting. It’s also insanely roomy and comfortable. The seats, equipped with heating, ventilation, and massage, provide the perfect blend of comfort and support for long drives. There’s plenty of leg room for everyone, as well, and our 580 was equipped with the $1,700 Executive Rear Seat Package Plus which means massages for everyone in the car. You may not miss having a frunk, the EQS 580’s hatchback lifts to reveal 21.5 ft3 (610 l) of storage, which nearly triples to 62.5 ft3 (1,770 l) with the back seats down—about what one would expect from a fastback. There’s also a handy under-floor storage area.

The most eye-catching feature of the 580’s interior is the unfortunately named Hyperscreen. Actually, three separate screens spanning the instrument panel (12.3 inches/31.24 cm) center console (17.7 in/45 cm), and the passenger dashboard (12.3 in/31.24 cm), it’s… a lot of big, beautiful screens. No surprises on the instrument panel—you can configure it to your heart’s content to show exactly the information you want. Over on the passenger’s side, you can access navigation, phone, and multimedia controls, which could lead to epic battles over which station to listen to.

See also  BMW readies a cheaper electric i4 sedan, due in early 2023