Mercedes EQS SUV Will Be Manufactured In The US

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The Mercedes EQS is a motoring tour de force for the well heeled driver who wants the luxury appointments of a Mercedes S Class sedan, but in a battery-electric package. It’s a marvelous car, but it is, well, a car! It is not the SUV that modern drivers crave, a vehicle that one can theoretically fill with camping gear, bicycles, and kayaks and head off into the hinterlands for a weekend of rock climbing and other strenuous outdoor fun.

Mercedes EQS SUV
Image courtesy of Mercedes

We have known since the EQS was announced that there would be an SUV version and this week, Mercedes took the wrapping off precisely that, the EQS SUV, which is a bit of an ungainly name for such a sophisticated family hauler. Except for being taller than the sedan — by 7.8 inches, to be precise — and having a roof that goes back further, the SUV is mechanically identical to the EQS sedan. Both have a wheelbase of 126 inches and a 107.8 kWh battery. Overall, the SUV is 202 inches long, 77 inches wide, and 68 inches tall, making it slightly slimmer and shorter than the 2022 Mercedes GLS-Class.

Mercedes EQS SUV By The Numbers

Mercedes EQS SUV
Image courtesy of Mercedes

According to The Verge, there will be two trim levels of the 7-passenger electric SUV. The 450+ is a rear-drive only version that comes with a single  265 kW (355 hp) motor with 519 NM (419 ft-lb) of torque. The 580 4MATIC features dual motors and a feature Mercedes calls Torque Shift, which permits “continuously variable distribution of drive torque between the rear and front electric motors.” Combined, those two motors have 400 kW (536 hp) of power and 858 Nm (633 lb-ft) of torque. No acceleration times have been announced yet, but expect the somewhat heavier and boxier SUV to be a tick of the watch slower than its sedan counterpart.

Prices have not been announced, but The Verge expects the EQS SUV to start at $110,000 for the 450+ and $130,00 for the 580 4MATIC. The oh so cool Mercedes Hyperscreen will be available only in the dual motor version. Autoblog says Mercedes has found a way to allow the passenger to watch videos while the car is in motion. To satisfy regulators, the built-in eye tracking feature used by the driver alertness warning system will pause the video if it finds the driver is looking at the passenger side of the screen until the driver’s eyes return to looking at the road ahead.

Mercedes EQS SUV
Image courtesy of Mercedes

The dual motor version will come with OFFROAD driving mode, in which the distribution of power between the motors is “optimized for unpaved roads, inclines and terrain.” It’s hard to imagine this car taking on the Rubicon Trail, but you could, and that’s the important thing.

EPA range estimates are not yet available, but Mercedes say the EQS SUV has a range of 373 miles in the WLTP test cycle. EPA ratings are typically about 20% lower. Both cars will feature Plug and Charge capability that will permit drivers to access 90% of all public charging stations in the US without having to download an app or create an individual account. People who have never driven an EV may not realize what a benefit that is, but it is huge.

Owners will also be eligible for two years of free charging at Electrify America locations. Mercedes says the battery can charge from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes when plugged into a 110kW or higher DC fast charger. Maximum charging power is 200 kW.

Air suspension is standard, as is 4-wheel steering on cars for the US market. With that system, the rear wheels can turn up to 10 degrees, which reduces the turning radius for U turns from 39 feet to 36 feet. That system will be optional in other markets. Speaking of the US market, the EQS SUV will be built at the Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, beginning this summer, with the first cars due to arrive in showrooms later this year. That makes sense, since Americans prefer SUV type vehicles to sedans by a wide margin.

The Takeaway

CleanTechnica’s Benjamin Schulz cornered me in the executive dining room the other day where I was enjoying a plant-based rib eye steak and pointed out the EQS SUV is the “first premium competitor to the Tesla Model X.” Audi and BMW may have plans for similar cars, but neither has put them into production yet. Anything that moves the EV revolution forward is welcome news. Those who buy Mercedes automobiles may be a small part of the market, but they are people who influence the attitudes of others. More electric Mercedes cars on the road mean less resistance to electric cars in general.

Mercedes EQS SUV
Image courtesy of Mercedes

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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