2022 Mercedes EQS 580 Test Drive: The Definition of Luxury, Electrified
Here’s what the most powerful, non-AMG version of Mercedes’ flagship EV is like to driveby Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 08:59
The Mercedes EQS is already on sale as the brand’s EV equivalent to the Mercedes S-Class. The EQS is currently being offered in five different flavors, two of which are AMG variants. Power ranges from 288 horsepower in the base EQS 350 to 761 horsepower in the AMG EQS 53. We recently got the chance to drive the Mercedes EQS 580, which is the most powerful version of the EQS before you step up to the AMG models. I’m here to tell you that it’s better that you’d expect.
2022 Mercedes EQS 580 Test Drive: The Definition of Luxury, Electrified
Performance and Powertrain
The Mercedes EQS 580 gets power from two electric motors – one for each axle – that make a combined output of 523 horsepower and 630 pound-feet (855 Nm). On the rear axle sits the electric motor from the rear-wheel-drive only EQS 450, which makes 333 horsepower and 419 pound-feet (568 Nm). The EQS 580 gets its all-wheel-drive capabilities from a front-mounted electric motor (which the EQS 450 does not have) that makes 190 horsepower and 211 pound-feet (287 Nm).
This tandem allows the EQS 580 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.1 seconds, on to an electronically-limited top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). As is customary with EVs, the EQS is heavier than its internal combustion-powered equivalent – the S Class. The flagship EV has a curb weight of 5,533 pounds (2,510 kg).
The EQS 580 features a lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capacity of 107.8 kWh, which allows for a range of up to 422 miles (679 km) on a single charge, with as much as 3.4 miles (4.7 km) per kWh or 115 MPGe. With AC charging (240 V), the charge from 10 to 100 percent takes around 11 hours and 15 minutes. With DC charging (200 kW), the same discipline takes 31 minutes.
|Powertrain||Two electric motors|
|0 to 60 mph||4.1 seconds|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|Battery pack||107.8 kWh|
The Mercedes EQS 580 we had the pleasure of driving came in a shade of Sodalite Blue Metallic. Optionally, you can get a two-tone exterior finish. There are 13 wheel designs to choose from, ranging from 19 to 22 inches. Our test car had the optional, AMG 21-inch multi-spoke wheels. The EQS features a sloped front end, which contributes to a very low drag coefficient of 0.20. In the front, we see the signature for the Mercedes EQ family (except the EQG) front fascia, which integrates the LED headlights into the blanked-off grille.
The side profile is incredibly sleek and the flush door handles, which pop out whenever you want to get into the car, further contribute to the low drag coefficient. The doors are frameless, which adds to the aesthetically pleasing aspect of the EQS. The rear end of the car features a full LED light bar that spans the entire width of the car. The EQS is also a liftback, which means it has a hatchback-style trunk lid.
The interior of the EQS 580 test car was finished in Macchiato Beige leather with Space Grey Nappa Leather inserts on the doors, dash, and center armrest. The seats provide plenty of adjustability via a touch-sensitive cluster, positioned on the usual-for-Mercedes place (on the door). The dashboard consists almost entirely of three large screens integrated into a single body. The driver digital cluster has a lot of customization options that you can easily alternate through via the touch-pad on the steering wheel.
The centrally positioned infotainment screen controls most of the car’s other functions, while the third screen gives additional information to the passenger and doubles as a smaller infotainment screen. However, if there is no passenger, and the car detects you are distracting yourself by looking at the third screen on the far right, it will automatically dim that screen. One of the most bonkers features of the EQS is the Gesture control, which allows you to open and close the doors from the center touchscreen, without having to reach for t he door handles
As expected from a flagship Mercedes, the interior is well put together and highly finished. It also offers ample space for four passengers with enough space for even a fifth one. The liftback design translates into a generous cargo area of 21.54 cubic—feet (610 liters). The rear seats fold down, revealing a maximum cargo capacity of 62.51 cubic feet (1,770 liters).
Looking at it from the outside, you would think that the sloping roofline would rob you of front-row headroom, but no. The amplitudes for seat adjustability are substantial, allowing you to either sit high, almost like in an SUV, or almost as low as in a sports car. I went for the latter option. To say that the seats of the EQS are comfortable is an understatement. In addition to the comprehensive adjustments and excellent comfort, the seats provide great side-bolstering. It’s a good thing the EQS has the industry-first Mercedes-Benz Attention Assists, which detects driver fatigue because the extra "pillows" on the headrests can easily predispose you to fall asleep. Yes, they are that comfortable.
Even in Comfort mode, once you step on it, you immediately feel all 630 pound-feet (855 Nm) of torque. Switching to Dynamic mode makes the throttle input much sharper, as opposed to normal/Comfort mode, where things happen a bit more gradually. The car can easily reach the electronically-limited top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h), but since our EQS 580 didn’t have a full charge, the speed governor was automatically dropped to 100 mph (160 km/h).
Despite weighing over 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg), the EQS 580 sits comfortably on the road and is almost impossible to upset. We took a couple of corners at high speed while intentionally stabbing on the throttle mid-corner. Aside from a very subtle tire squeal, the Mercedes EQS 580 did not give any indication we were nearing the grip limits. Moreover, the cabin provided a quiet and refined experience, with the only sound being the EV’s artificial, sci-fi “engine noise”.
Low-speed maneuverability is enhanced by rear-wheel steering, which allows the rear wheels to steer up to 10 degrees. Together with the high-resolution, rearview camera, which also has a bird’s eye, 360-degree view, this makes the EQS one of the easiest cars to park. The only thing we could chalk down as a slight drawback was the overly-assisted steering in Comfort mode.
What is the Price of the Mercedes EQS 580?
While certain markets get an EQS 350 as the base version, the rear-wheel-drive EQS 450 is the base version, offered in the US, with a starting price of $102,310. The twin-motor Mercedes EQS 580 we drove has a starting price of $119,110, but can easily jump to around $140,000, depending on the options.
The Mercedes EQS 580 sits perfectly in the middle of the EQS lineup. It’s the most powerful, non-AMG version of the flagship EV, and frankly, it’s perfectly enough unless you really want to go faster. The EQS 580 is also the version with the second-longest range – up to 422 miles (679 km) – after the EQS 450, which is capable of 486 miles (782 km). At the same time, it brings all-wheel-drive capabilities and significantly more performance to the table for not much over the base car’s price. You may argue that the Tesla Model S Plaid is a much quicker car and you would be right. But Tesla does not even come close to the luxury and refinement levels we have seen in the Mercedes EQS 580.