Affalterbach's new electric luxury sedan will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.
Earlier this week we saw Mercedes-AMG's first production plug-in hybrid, the new GT63 S E Performance, which packs a twin-turbo V8 mated to an electric motor in the pursuit of maximum performance. Now today, ahead of the Munich Auto Show, AMG unveiled its first fully electric production car: The Mercedes-AMG EQS.
While the European-spec car you see in these photos is badged EQS53, in the US it will just be called EQS. (Does this mean an even more powerful EQS63 might appear eventually? Let's hope so.) Like the regular 'ol EQS580, the AMG EQS has an electric motor at each axle, but the AMG's motors are unique to this car -- they aren't just the regular EQS' units beefed up. AMG says they have new actuation, different inverters with new software, stronger currents and new windings, and the motors have higher rotational speeds than the normal EQS' units. The AMG EQS normally puts out 651 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque, but with the Race Start function activated output is boosted to 751 hp and 752 lb-ft. Mercedes says the AMG EQS will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, 0.7 seconds quicker than the EQS580, and it'll reach a top speed of 155 mph, 25 mph more than the EQS580.
The battery pack is the same 107.8-kWh unit as the other EQS models, but it has AMG-specific wiring and a different management system, and the car's cooling system has been beefed up. No range figures have been released yet -- the AMG will likely have a lower range than the 478 claimed miles on the European cycle for the EQS580 -- though Mercedes says the AMG can gain 186 miles of range in 15 minutes of charging on a 200-kW charger, just like the standard EQS.
AMG tuned the all-wheel-drive system, which is fully variable and much quicker than a traditional mechanical setup. Rear-axle steering is standard fitment, with the AMG EQS' rear wheels able to turn up to 9 degrees -- 1 degree less than the regular EQS. The standard brakes are larger than the regular EQS', with six-piston front calipers, but carbon-ceramic brakes with massive 17.3-inch front discs are optional. There's also a new i-Booster function for the brakes that combines the regen with the hydraulic brakes to achieve better efficiency and stronger braking, with AMG tuning the system for ideal pedal feel. Also standard is an air suspension system that has electronically controlled adjustable dampers, and Mercedes says almost all of the suspension components are unique to the AMG model.
The regular EQS has four drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual), but the AMG ditches the Eco mode and gains Slippery and Sport Plus modes. In addition to messing with the steering, suspension and power delivery, Sport and Sport Plus activate the cooling system sooner and increase the cooling capacity for longer. Stability control can be disabled, too.
A hallmark of all AMGs is the sound of the engine, so the EQS gets what Mercedes is calling the AMG Sound Experience. This uses a sound generator, loudspeakers and subwoofers to create unique and sounds both inside the cabin and outside the car. The normal Authentic mode is described as "powerfully sonorous," but there are also Balanced, Sport and Powerful modes that either change with the drive mode or can be individually selected. The Powerful setting also changes what Mercedes calls "event sounds," things like the locking noises, turn signal sound and the welcome sound when you get in the car. But if this is all too annoying, the system can be turned off.
In terms of styling there aren't many differences. The EQS' black panel "grille" gets vertical slats to mimic the Panamericana grille found on gas-powered AMG cars, but the rest of the front end is identical to the regular EQS. The AMG EQS also gets unique wheel designs, dark exterior trim, a larger rear spoiler and 4Matic badges on the front fenders. Red brake calipers are optional (but the carbon stoppers get gold calipers), and a range of 21- and 22-inch wheel designs are offered. Mercedes says the AMG EQS has a drag coefficient of 0.23, which is 0.03 higher than the super-aerodynamic standard EQS.
Not much has changed on the inside, either. The Hyperscreen comes as standard, and the AMG EQS has sportier front seats that are covered in MB-Tex leatherette and microsuede trim. The AMG EQS also gets red contrast stitching, black microsuede trim on the door panels and center console, a perforated AMG steering wheel, different pedals and AMG-branded floor mats and illuminated door sills. Nappa leather is an option, as is carbon-fiber trim and seats with special AMG graphics. The Hyperscreen has AMG-specific displays, and the optional AMG Track Pace software can record lap times and provide performance data.
Other standard features include an augmented reality head-up display, a Burmester 3D surround-sound system, a full suite of driver-assistance features like adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping assist, a panoramic sunroof, fancy LED headlights, active parking assist, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and front seats that are heated, ventilated and massaging. One cool option is the Executive Rear Seat Package, which adds an MBUX tablet for rear passengers, airbag seat belts, and massage functions, neck and shoulder heating to the rear seats.
The AMG EQS will go on sale in the US in early 2022. No price has been announced yet -- we don't have US pricing for the regular EQS, either -- but you can expect it to cost at least $150,000.