First AMG EV
Whenever the letters AMG appear on the rear of a Mercedes-Benz, that badging means the model has been configured for ultimate performance. The AMG designation translates to more power, stiffer suspension, better handling and, in most cases, a throaty roar from quad exhaust outlets. And now — for the first time — those three letters adorn an all-electric model: the brand-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS. This full-size luxury sedan possesses all the expected attributes of an AMG but — unlike previous models — no one will hear it coming.
“The AMG EQS is the first all-electric ambassador in the performance segment, made in Affalterbach,” said Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH Philipp Schiemer in a statement. “It is tailor-made for car enthusiasts who are looking for a combination of innovative electric mobility in a luxurious ambience, coupled with sportiness and agile driving dynamics. With our first all-electric AMG vehicle, we will undoubtedly appeal to and win over a new clientele for Mercedes-AMG,” noted Schiemer.
Although some might have trouble calling the AMG EQS attractive, there’s function behind its form. Without the need to build around an internal combustion engine and powertrain, Mercedes engineers and designers were able to concentrate on aerodynamics, and the result is one the lowest coefficients of friction in the world for a production car — a mere 0.23 (slightly higher than its non-AMG sibling). Not only do excellent aerodynamics make this large sedan more efficient, they also dramatically reduce wind noise at high speeds — an important function in an EV with no audible exhaust note to mask exterior sounds.
Although it has the same basic shape as the EQS 580, the Mercedes-AMG EQS stands apart from the non-AMG EQS thanks to an AMG-specific black-panel grille with vertical struts stamped in chrome, a large Mercedes star logo and subtle AMG lettering. Other unique features include AMG side sill panels and a front splitter trimmed in high-gloss black with chrome trim.
The AMG EQS gets further differentiation from the EQS 580 via the aforementioned AMG badge affixed to the rear of the car, as well as its larger rear decklid spoiler designed to reduce lift without increasing drag. Special aerodynamically optimized alloy wheels in 21- or 22-inch variants complete the high-performance image.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS has two electric motors that produce 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque — certainly performance figures appropriate for an AMG model. And if that’s not enough, with the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package the driver can briefly dial up to 751 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque using the RACE START function, which will move this big sedan to 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. Engineers of the AMG EQS limited its top speed to 155 mph.
Created using the latest lithium-ion technology, a 400-volt battery provides electrons to the two powerful electric motors in the Mercedes-AMG EQS . The battery produces 107.8 kWh and uses AMG-specific wiring adapted for high-performance capacity. The battery pack features a high energy density as well as a higher charging capacity for shorter charging times.
Charging and Range
Although Mercedes hasn’t released exact charging times for the new AMG EQS, the vehicle can be charged with up to 200kW chargers at DC quick-charge stations. At this rate the big sedan gains about 180 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. And even though Mercedes has not yet released range figures for the AMG EQS, based on our experience with the car we’d expect a range of around 300 miles.
AMG Performance 4Matic
With one motor at each axle, the Mercedes-AMG EQS gets impressive traction from its 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel-drive system. Torque distribution from front to rear happens much quicker than a mechanical all-wheel-drive system — the system in the AMG EQS checks torque 10,000 times per minute and makes constant adjustments as necessary.
As part of this luxury sedan’s standard equipment, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS has rear-axle steering that can turn the rear wheels up to 9 degrees. This system provides excellent maneuverability at slow speeds or while parking. At speeds above 37 mph, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front wheels to provide increased stability during emergency maneuvers or fast lane changes.
“Also with electrification, we ensure that our models based on the EVA2 group platform will deliver on our AMG brand promise,” said Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH Jochen Hermann. “Our customers can also look forward to a dynamic and emotional driving experience in this area. We ensure this with AMG-specific solutions, particularly when it comes to the drive system, suspension, brakes and, above all, sound,” Hermann noted.
When an AMG EQS flashes by at high speed, an observer at the roadside simply hears a whoosh and the car is gone. And for those who cannot live without the aural excitement that comes with a full -throttle run in an AMG, the EQS has dynamic sound settings to liven up the interior experience. The AMG Sound Experience can be set to Balanced, Sport or Powerful, and these sounds correspond to throttle and speed to enhance driving enjoyment. We found the sound to be cool for the first 10 minutes of use, but then it got old and we went back to driving in silence.
All Mercedes-AMG EQS variants come with the automaker’s latest extreme display, the MBUX Hyperscreen. This high-tech system consists of a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch OLED center display and a 12.3-inch OLED passenger display — all housed under a 56-inch curved glass surface. This display spans from door to door and adds an amazing level of high-tech design. With artificial intelligence and software that learns the driver’s habits, the MBUX system adapts to the user and can automatically present the systems accessed most — from infotainment to climate control to other vehicle functions.
With almost all functions activated via the touchscreen or by voice via the prompt “Hey Mercedes,” the 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS has little in the way of physical buttons, which translates to a simple yet elegant interior. The ambient lighting is bright enough to be enjoyed in the daylight, and at night the interior looks even more futuristic. Additional storage with dual USB-C ports can be found below the center console.
Although its interior mimics the EQS 580, the AMG EQS does stand out via AMG sport seats, AMG floormats, AMG lettering on the door sill trim and AMG sport pedals. Also standard is a flat-bottomed AMG Performance Steering Wheel trimmed in Nappa leather. Silver-colored paddles located behind the wheel aren’t for gear shifting (no gears to shift), but instead set the regen level of the brakes. Additional switches and dials can be used to select the drive mode as well as adjust suspension and interior sound.
Although slightly less luxurious than its gas-powered counterpart Mercedes-AMG S63, the rear seats in the Mercedes-AMG EQS are still wonderful for long road trips. The cabin provides plenty of legroom even for occupants of towering height, and seats feature soft leather and enveloping comfort. When equipped with the Executive Rear Seat package, passengers in back will appreciate multi-contour leather-trimmed seats that feature massage, neck and shoulder heating, pillow-like head restraints and a removable MBUX tablet to access vehicle functions.
Large Cargo Space
Given its hatchback design, the expansive cargo area of the 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS offers plenty of room for luggage and long items. The sedan’s rear seats can even be folded flat, further adding to this luxury EV’s utility. The large hatch requires significant space to open, so caution must be exercised when operating it in a location with a low ceiling.
On the Road
The new AMG EQS is every bit as luxurious and smooth as one would expect from a flagship Mercedes-Benz sedan. With navigation showing as the background of the large center section on the display, piloting this luxurious machine around unknown locations is easy and stress-free. As expected from an electric car, an easily managed, smooth power delivery accompanies a practically silent ride.
As with other AMG models we’ve driven, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS is a wonderful blend of comfort, luxury and performance. This large sedan remains content cruising at speeds in excess of posted limits, but as proof of the car’s efficiency the digital readout revealed we were using a mere 3 percent of total power to maintain 70 mph on flat sections of freeway. With seat massagers in action and music playing on the high-end Burmester 3D sound system, the EQS is a great place to spend the day. And when the driver requires any amount of power to pass slower vehicles, the acceleration of the AMG EQS is nothing short of astounding, even from highway speeds.
Like a Sports Car
While it may be a wonderful car to cruise open highways, the AMG EQS shows its true colors when heading into the mountains. During our press drive we soon discovered that this luxurious vehicle possesses superb handling — amazing enough that drivers will soon forget the AMG EQS is one large luxury sedan.
Into the Mountains
Heading up some winding mountain roads outside Palm Springs, California, we switched the regenerative brakes to their maximum setting, which allows for one-pedal driving — a perfect setup for a twisty mountain road. As the big sedan approached corners, we simply let up slightly on the throttle — the regen brakes slowed the car enough without having to move a foot to the brake pedal — and once through the corner we put the throttle down and the AMG EQS took advantage of its instantaneous torque, leaping from corner to corner with ease. Thanks to the 4-wheel steering and all-wheel drive, the EQS can be tossed through bends like a sports car — a proper AMG sports car.
Right for You?
Taking that leap from internal combustion engine to electric powertrain can be a difficult move for many consumers, although the 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS certainly helps that transition. The big sedan brings the same level of luxury and performance expected of a model wearing the AMG badge, but with a new level of efficiency and environmental awareness. For many driving enthusiasts — us included — the hardest part might be giving up the aural sensation that remains such a big part of driving a Mercedes-AMG. However, with the EQS possessing such excellent performance coupled with a responsive ride and strong, smooth power delivery, perhaps it’s a sacrifice worth making.
Pros: Exceptional handling; luxurious interior; powerful performance.
Cons: Odd styling; no true AMG exhaust note.
Bottom Line: With the new AMG EQS, Mercedes-AMG proves that an internal combustion engine is not required for AMG levels of performance.