The German firm is gearing up to deliver a competitor for the Tesla Model S

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is an upcoming all-electric car based on the Vision EQS concept that the German firm unveiled in 2019. Part of the EQ division that handles Mercedes’ electric vehicle operations, the EQS will join the existing EQC, EQV, and Smart EQ city cars. Based on the name alone, the EQS will act as the range-topping model in the company’s electric car range. But it probably won’t be an electric version of the S-Class. Instead, it could have a size similar to the CLS, so it will fit in the midsize market. Either way, it will be Mercedes-Benz answer to EVs like the Tesla Model S, the Porsche Taycan, and the upcoming Audi e-tron GT.

Update 12-4-2019: The Mercedes EQS was spotted doing some cold weather and snow testing – here’s the latest round of spy shots and what we’ve learned.

Spy Shots

December 4th, 2019 – Mercedes EQS Doing Some Cold Weather and Snow Testing

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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Unfortunately, this round of spy shots hasn’t revealed much of anything new. In fact, this prototype – which is different as it has a different license plate – is still wearing the same heavy padding and decoy light units. The only noticeable change here is that the air dam at the bottom of the front fascia is now a little bit bigger, and the EQ grille is actually in place, even if it’s covered by camo. Everything is generally the same in the rear as well, with this prototype rocking the same decoy tailights and fake exhaust tips. The only really thing of note here is the set of production rims that probably give us a preview as to what the standard wheel offering will be. They appear to be 18-inches in size, but we weren’t able to get a clear view when zooming in, so we couldn’t make out the writing on the tires. At this point, we’re still at least a year around from the EQS’ – AKA the electric S-Class – debut, so there’s plenty of time for this baby to take shape.

Exterior

  • Won’t be based on the Vision concept
  • Will look a bit like the CLS
  • Midsize sedan
  • Coupe-style roof
  • Sporty stance
  • Not as aggressive as the Taycan
  • Actual car still under camo
  • Front grille borrowed from EQC
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
- image 868836

The Vision EQS concept looks pretty awesome and futuristic. It has a back-lit blue grille with a big star in the center, a sporty splitter, and cool headlamps with an aggressive LED layout.

The profile is sleek and simple, and it reminds me of the production CLS, despite the bigger rear haunches and a different deck lid.

Of course, the massive wheels make the Vision EQS stand out even more compared to a production model. The rear end is just as fancy, combining a clean fascia with a sporty diffuser and tiny LEDs for taillights that seem almost invisible when turned off. The bubble-style rear window is yet another cool feature that you don’t see every day.

Naturally, the production model will look significantly different. Our paparazzi spotted the EQS testing on public roads recently and the prototypes confirm that the production car won’t be as fancy as the Vision concept. The is heavily camouflaged in these photos, but we can see that the overall shape is similar to that of a four-door notchback.

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Details are difficult to extract due to the massive amount of camo, but the headlamps do seem inspired by the CLS. On the other hand, they also seem to borrow from the EQC in the area that meets the grille. They’re also longer that the SUV’s, as they extend all the way to the area where the front bumper meets the fenders.

The grille is also similar to the EQC, but that's an already traditional feature for EQ models.

While most electric vehicles feature closed-off grilles, Mercedes-Benz went with actual horizontal strakes. The front bumper is rather mundane, while the hood remains a mystery due to the massive chunks of plastic camo glued onto the sides.

The profile also looks based on the Vision EQS concept, but also draws cues from the production CLS. This is especially visible in the beltline, which is arched heavily right under the side windows and descends toward the rear fascia. We can also see a heavily protruding line atop the rear fenders, but I’m not quite sure if that’s part of the camo or an actual design feature. Everything else looks simple and clean, especially the doors, like seen on the Vision EQS concept.

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There’s even less to discuss around back, there the camo covers all important details. What’s more, the taillights are just prototype units for now, so the shape remains a mystery. But it’s pretty obvious that the concept’s fancy lights were replaced by regular LED units, most likely two-piece elements that extend into the trunk lid. The bubble-style rear window seen on the concept was ditched for the production model.

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Overall, the EQS might look just as sporty as the CLS, but it will have a shorter rear deck.

I’d say it will look a lot like the Tesla Model S in terms of overall dimensions and layout.

Interior

  • Could be similar to CLS
  • 10.25-inch displays
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Premium features
  • Leather and Alcantara
  • MBUX infotainment
  • Brand-new technology
  • Highly customizable
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Interior Spyshots
- image 868833

Paparazzi rarely manage to get their lenses inside prototypes for details shots, but this time around we have a couple of photos. Unfortunately, Mercedes draped almost everything in black cloth so there’s nothing much to look at and talk about. Only the steering wheel and the instrument cluster are on display, and both look very familiar. Specifically, the steering wheel looks like a regular Mercedes-Benz wheel with controls on the side spokes and sculpted lower spoke. The star in the center section is masked, but it will be there on the production model.

The instrument cluster looks a lot like the 10.25-inch screen found in recently unveiled Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

It shows to gauges on the sides and display additional info in the center. The way the center stack is camouflaged suggests that the EV features a similar display for the infotainment system. So the layout is pretty much identical to existing production cars. However, the displays aren’t placed next to each other, so Mercedes might shoot for a slightly different configuration with the EQS.

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On the tech front, the EQS will feature the company’s recently introduced MBUX infotainment system.

The software will include numerous EQ-specific functions and will show the range, charge status, energy flow, and will enable you to set up the EQ-optimized navigation system, driving modes, and charging current. Just like in the EQC, the MBUX touchscreen display will also have a special EQ menu where numerous EV-related features are grouped.

Activated by the keyword "Hey Mercedes," MBUX supports multimedia functions like destination input, phone calls, music selection, writing and hearing messages, and weather forecast, as well as numerous convenience functions such as climate control and lighting. It also features natural speech recognition and Voice Control, so it recognizes and understands nearly all sentences in the areas of multimedia and vehicle operation. Unlike regular Mercs, it will also understand EQ-specific ones, like "Where is the next charging station?" and "Where can I charge the battery?" Awesome!

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Interior
- image 748188
Optional 12.3-inch instrument cluster

Of course, the EQS’ cabin will be of the premium variety in terms of materials. While the base model might have cloth upholstery, the more expensive trims will come wrapped in leather and Alcantara available in a variety of colors and even two-tone variants.

Drivetrain

  • Two electric motors
  • Big battery
  • Based on the EQC
  • Almost 500 horsepower
  • More than 500 pound-feet
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds
  • Top speed at more than 124 mph
  • More than 400 miles of range?
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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Mercedes-Benz unveiled with Vision EQS concept with specific drivetrain information. It features two electric motors, so it’s all-wheel-driven, a 100-kWh battery built into the floor, and plenty of oomph.

Specifically, the Vision EQS is rated at 475 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, which is on par with most performance EVs available on the market today.

And this drivetrain sounds more than ready to go into production.

Actually, it’s most likely a revised version of the driveline offered in the EQC, which has a similar layout with 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The extra power probably comes from the bigger battery. While the crossover features an 80-kWh stack, the Vision EQS comes with a 100-kWh battery.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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Mercedes says that the EQS hits 62 mph from a standing start in less than 4.5 seconds, a half-second quicker than the EQC. Its top speed is rated at more than 124 mph, which is at least 12 mph more than the crossover. When it comes to range, the Germans aim for the EQS to be able to travel up to around 430 miles per charge. That’s might impressive compare to the EQC, which delivers "only" 200 miles.

While the Vision EQS’ drivetrain wasn’t yet confirmed for production, it’s completely doable if it’s based on the EQC. The range seems rather optimistic, but Mercedes-Benz still has time to develop the proper batteries for such an impressive benchmark.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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If these numbers become real, the EQS will be a worthy competitor for the Tesla Model S.

The American sedan now offers up to 373 miles of range in its most efficient trim, all while hitting 62 mph in around 3.8 seconds. On the other hand, the Performance model is much quicker at 2.5 seconds, while returning up to 348 miles of range per single charge. The most efficient Porsche Taycan could deliver up to 300 miles per charge (U.S. figures are not yet available), but the most powerful version, rated at 750 horsepower, will be much quicker with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of 2.7 seconds.

Prices

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
- image 868842

Pricing information is not yet available, but it’s safe to assume that the Mercedes-Benz EQS won’t be cheap. I’m pretty sure that the German sedan will cost more than the Tesla Model S, which retails from $79,990, simply because Mercedes will probably make it almost as expensive as the S-Class. I’d say the EQS will retail from around $90,000. That’s a lot of cash, but it will be similar to the base Porsche Taycan, which is also scheduled to cost less than $100,000 in base trim.

Competition

Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
- image 672437

The Tesla Model S is by far the most popular vehicle in this comparison and the electric car to beat. Introduced in 2012, it became popular in both North America and Europe and it’s pretty much the car that prompted other automakers to join the EV market. The Model S is now available in two versions, both with all-wheel drive. First up is the Long Range trim, which offers up to 373 miles of range, hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, a tops out at 155 mph. The second model available is the Model S Performance. This one offers a bit less range at up to 348 miles, but it’s notably quicker to 60 mph, needing only 2.4 seconds to hit the benchmark. Top speed is also higher at 163 mph. While the Long Range starts from $79,990, the Performance comes in at $99,990.

Read our full review of the 2019 Tesla Model S

Porsche Taycan

2020 Porsche Taycan Exterior
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The Porsche Taycan is brand-new for the 2020 model year and it’s essentially a Panamera with sporty, 911-inspired design features and high-performance drivetrains. Porsche offers four different models. The Taycan 4S comes with 530 horsepower, while the Taycan 4S Performance Plus cranks out 571 horses. Then there’s the Taycan Turbo with 670 horsepower and the Taycan Turbo S with a whopping 750 horses. The most powerful version is also the quickest and hits 60 mph from a standing start in 2.6 seconds. Top speed for the Turbo models is rated at a solid 161 mph. Pricing for the base Taycan is not yet available, but Porsche confirmed that it will cost less than $100,000. The Turbo versions are more expensive though. The Taycan Turbo comes in at $153,310, while the Turbo S retails from $185,000.

Read our full story on the 2020 Porsche Taycan

Audi e-tron GT

Audi Teases an E-Tron GT That Could Battle the AMG GT 4-Door and 8-Series Gran Coupe on Electricity Alone Exterior
- image 774039

The Audi e-tron GT is just a concept car as of late 2019, but it will become a production model in the near future. Also a sporty sedan design-wise, it will compete with the vehicle listed above in just about any department. The concept car comes with a 249-mile range, but the production model will probably deliver more than that. Likewise, the production should be quicker than the concept, which needs around 3.5 seconds to get to 60 mph. The all-wheel-driven show car generates 590 horsepower, but the production model should come with at least two different powertrains. It remains to be seen whether it will be more potent than the competition, but it will definitely have what it takes in terms of technology and premium features. Expect it to cost well in excess of $100,000.

Read our full review on the 2020 Audi e-tron GT

Conclusion

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQS (updated) Exterior Spyshots
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With the EQ division in full swing for a couple of years now, it’s just a matter of time until Mercedes-Benz will launch a large all-electric sedan. Just a while back we only had the Tesla Model S in this segment, but the German automakers are gearing up to catch up on Elon Musk’s success in this niche. With the Porsche Taycan almost in showrooms and an Audi e-tron GT underway, Mercedes-Benz has no choice but to drop the EQS as soon as possible. Expect this car to arrive toward the end of 2020 with impressive performance, solid technology, and the premium quality that German luxury cars are famous for.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive
    • Might not have as much range as the concept
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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