The electric Vision EQS concept Mercedes-Benz unveiled at the 2019 (and final) edition of the Frankfurt auto show is on its way to production. The company published images showing a camouflaged test car racking up miles near Los Angeles, and they show how the design study is evolving as it becomes a production model.
Called EQS, the sedan will slot at the top of the electric-only EQ sub-brand and it will be sold alongside the next-generation S-Class due out in 2020. While the S is expected to carry on with a stately, restrained design and the dignified proportions we expect from a Mercedes flagship, stylists are taking the EQS in a bolder direction characterized by an extra-long wheelbase that creates an unusual silhouette. Its front and rear overhangs are relatively short, which reflects the fact that electric motors take up less space than a six- or an eight-cylinder engine.
It's difficult to discern finer design details because the EQS is fully camouflaged, but we're guessing it's going to split the difference between the concept and the EQC now scheduled to reach American showrooms in 2021. We can't tell yet whether the design study's 360-degree exterior light belt will reach production, however.
The extended wheelbase should allow designers to carve out a generous amount of interior space, and Mercedes promised to release the EQS with a new-generation MBUX infotainment system. The driver will face a digital, configurable instrument cluster and the center console will be dominated by a massive vertical touchscreen. The sedan will boast a comprehensive suite of semi-autonomous driving aids, too.
We haven't heard anything official about what's under the sheet metal yet. For context, the EQS concept carried a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack that fed a pair of electric motors (one per axle). Mercedes quoted 560 pound-feet of torque, a sub-4.5-second sprint from zero to 60 mph, and up to 435 miles of range on the hugely optimistic WLTP cycle. The production model shouldn't stray far from these basic specifications.
Mercedes-Benz told Autoblog it can't talk about availability yet, but the EQS isn't expected to arrive until 2021. Until then, engineers will continue testing the model in the South African heat, in the frozen parts of Sweden, in California's finest traffic jams, and elsewhere around the world. When it lands, the EQS will compete in the same price bracket as the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S. The production version of Audi's E-Tron GT concept should be out by then, too.
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