Mercedes EQS “Tesla Fighter” named “best electric car in the world”
The new Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan has high goals and seems to deliver a direct hit against the Tesla Model S.
The influential German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, which is celebrating its debut this year, summarized the first test of the fully electric equivalent of the well-known S-Class and declared the new EQS the “best electric car in the world”. Almost at the same time, analysts at Swiss bank UBS said the Teutonic battery car outperformed the Model S on a number of key fronts.
“While EQS lags behind Tesla’s acceleration and top speed, the long range and the overall luxurious experience make the car a very strong competitor to the Model S,” said the bank’s analysts.
Mercedes has long hesitated to get into the battery car space and has now turned around and is now planning to invest 70 billion euros or 83 billion US dollars in the technology by 2025. It has already introduced several models in Europe and China, however the new EQS will be its first truly global offering, is set to be the first long-haul BEV that Mercedes will bring to the US next fall.
“This car in and of itself is not going to make or break Mercedes-Benz, but it has to live up to all of the expertise buyers expect from a Mercedes,” Stephanie Brinley, senior auto analyst at IHS Markit, told TheDetroitBureau.com when the EQS became officially presented in April.
To the limits
The Battery car adopts a radically new “one-box” design this is intended to distinguish the EQS from existing models such as the likewise new 2021 S-Class. The styling also focused on reducing the range-stealing wind resistance. And because the powertrain was relocated to a skateboard-like platform, some of the space normally devoted to an engine bay has been repurposed for passengers and cargo.
The interior takes on an equally radically new design and the car can be ordered with the new hyperscreen technology, with the displays extending from pillar to pillar.
The “base” EQS 450+ will have a single, rear-mounted electric motor that produces 329 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The EQS 580 4Matic will add a motor to the front axle and hit up to 516 hp and 611 lb-ft – enough to start from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds.
When charging, the 107.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery can increase the range by almost 300 km in 15 minutes and charge it from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes with one of the newer 400 V DC quick chargers – noisy chargers Mercedes. The EQS is not quite as fast as the Porsche Panamera, which can access 800-volt systems, but it is significantly faster than the Model S, emphasized UBS analyst Patrick Hummel.
A more efficient drive system
He also highlighted the efficiency of the electric propulsion system. At motorway speed, the EQS consumes around 15.8 kWh of energy per 100 kilometers or 25.3 kWh per 100 miles. The Tesla is rated at 33 kWh for the same distance – although the numbers are a bit misleading as initial estimates for the EQS are based on the European WLTP test cycle. However, the EPA test is expected to be around 30 kWh / 100 miles.
Likewise, the EQS is not expected to receive the same range estimate of 478 miles as for Europe. But it’s probably close, if not to hit, Tesla Model S with the greatest range at 402 miles.
Tesla has a price advantage, with a basic version of the Model S starting at around $ 79,000. The EQS is expected to cost around $ 110,000, with a loaded version $ 189,000. The new Tesla Model S plaid starts at around $ 131,000
If the EQS lives up to expectations, it could pose a serious challenge for Tesla – the US automaker is already starting to lose revenue amid growing competition. In Europe, its share of the fast-growing European EV market declined from 31% to 13% between 2019 and 2020, according to industry data.
Tesla is facing serious competition for the first time
The Model S in particular is threatened with new alternatives. This includes traditional brands as well as offers from start-ups such as Lucid Air, which will be launched at the end of this year.
The Model S sedan, as well as the comparatively large and affordable Model Y-SUV, have seen a sharp drop in sales, but that comes as Tesla’s newer, more affordable Model 3 sedan and Model Y-SUV gain traction. The automaker has indicated that it will deliver record sales worldwide for the second quarter.
But there, too, it faces many new competitors. Mercedes is entering the race with products such as the EQB and EQC battery-powered cars. BMW recently launched the new iX and i4, and soon there will be a slew of other competitors like Volkswagen, Cadillac, and others.