Mercedes-Benz, a brand synonymous with automotive luxury and performance for more than a century, has never been one to shy away from a challenge. From the brand’s hallowed history in Formula 1 to the development of the record-setting AMG GT Black Series, Mercedes-Benz has long been a leader in automotive engineering and innovation. Now, the renowned German automaker (and its newly created Mercedes-EQ division) has set its sights on a new objective: to stay ahead of the curve and remain a key stakeholder in the industry’s move towards green energy by producing the most comfortable, most luxurious, and most reliable electric vehicle (EV) ever to hit the streets.
Following the successful launch of its initial EV model, the EQS 450+, Mercedes has once again upped the ante with an even more powerful version in the form of its new EQS 580 4MATIC luxury sedan. Well equipped with all of the features and comforts commonly found in the company’s popular product lineup, the EQS 580 takes the S-Class to new heights with the introduction of a fully-electric powertrain configuration and the addition of a second electric motor for even more powerful plug-in performance. We spent some time with the new EQS to get an inside look at what makes this modern Mercedes stand out from the competition and worthy of consideration when shopping for your next environmentally-friendly vehicle.
At first glance, the exterior design of the new EQS doesn’t necessarily evoke a sense of performance, with smooth curves throughout and a somewhat bland appearance. Surprisingly, however, the model is said to be the most aerodynamic production vehicle ever made. With battery range being an essential feature of EVs, the streamlined body design and lack of hard edges help the EQS achieve groundbreaking drag reduction leading to a tried-and-true 340-mile battery capacity. With no need for a radiator, the EQS features a uniquely designed front fascia and LED light bar that extend across the front end. Flush door handles and a fastback style design help further optimize aerodynamics, while the hatch-style rear deck lid allows for significantly more trunk space. Interestingly, the hood can only be opened by a certified dealership technician, with the only owner access being a small pop-out door on the driver’s side for adding windshield washer fluid.
The EQS 580’s all-wheel drive performance is delivered by way of two fully electric motors, adding an additional electric motor to the preceding EQS 450 model, for a total power output of 516 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. The automaker’s AIRMATIC adaptive suspension and optional 22” wheels with black accents enhance the aesthetics and help improve cornering and handling capabilities of the rather heavy luxury sedan (weighing in at nearly 6,000 lbs), allowing the EQS 580 to maintain the “floaty” ride Mercedes-Benz is famously known for. The model also offers four-wheel steering with the rear wheels capable of turning up to ten degrees for easy parking access and an ultra-tight turning radius.
While the exterior presents a number of unique features, it’s inside the cabin of the EQS 580 where the magic really begins. Essentially serving as an extension of the brand’s highly-acclaimed S-Class vehicles, the EQS’ interior is jam-packed with luxury amenities that are sure to meet the expectations of loyal Mercedes-Benz customers. Standard features include soft trim leather, a perfectly weighted steering wheel (with optional heating), panoramic roof, wireless phone charger, 64-color ambient LED lighting, a Burmester 3D surround sound system with MBUX infotainment center, a number of helpful driver assists, and heated/ventilated front seats. Superior sound deadening and plenty of legroom in the rear seats ensure every passenger is comfortable and enjoys the experience of riding in the EQS. Included ultra-plush pillow headrests work quite well (although they’re somewhat strange looking), and add even more comfort to the already luxurious electric Benz.
The new EQS 580 also includes the brand’s popular MBUX Hyperscreen technology that uses a single glass panel extending the full width of the dashboard with three touch-sensitive screens integrated beneath that display nearly all of the vehicle’s controls. There are almost no hard control knobs or selectors in the EQS 580, and both driver and front seat passengers can access various cabin settings from the innovative dashboard screens. For the passenger, a second infotainment center control screen takes the place of a traditional glove compartment and allows the co-pilot access to climate control, lighting, audio, and various seat settings and also displays a gorgeous graphic of the company’s VISION AVTR concept car at start-up.
As with any Mercedes-Benz vehicle, a multitude of additional upgrades are available to meet the needs of any potential buyer. A few options we can’t see ourselves living without are the Active Ambient Lighting feature (which animates the vehicle’s stunning interior lighting based on driving status), heads-up display with multiple configurations, and ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL PLUS with HEPA filter and Mercedes-Benz signature fragrance system. We particularly enjoyed the multi-contour front seats with integrated massage function, which we found ourselves turning on at every opportunity.
Of course, all of this comes with a different type of ownership experience. This is still a fully-electric sedan and recharging is certainly a consideration worth noting. We spent a full week with the EQS 580 and found the charging process to be fairly straightforward. The Mercedes EV is capable of refilling from 0-80% in approximately 30 mins on a fast charging station. From our experience, we were able to fully recharge the batteries to 100% in roughly the same 30 mins when starting the charge at 30-40% of battery remaining. Perhaps it was the “range anxiety” that kept us from cutting it too close.
When comparing the selection of electric vehicles available today, the choice is pretty clear. While you might find more off-the-line speed or potential battery-range from some of the other EV automakers, this is the S-Class Mercedes-Benz of electric cars. It’s ultra-luxurious, abundantly powered, and perfectly poised to take the electric vehicle sector by storm in the coming years.