This is our first look at the new Mercedes EQS SUV. The German brand’s upcoming flagship electric SUV will go on sale in 2022, sharing the same design language and technology as the EQS sedan, but rivalling the Tesla Model X with an imposing SUV stance.
Like the saloon, the Mercedes EQS SUV will have cab-forward styling. As there’s no engine and gearbox eating up space in the chassis, the brand’s engineers have pushed the windscreen towards the front wheels to make more space inside compared to the GLS SUV.
Underneath the cladding on the front, we also expect to find the same blanked-off black grille fitted to the EQS sedan, along with the same full-width daytime running light. The SUV’s headlights are a similar shape, too, albeit enlarged to suit the car’s more bulbous styling.
Compared to a conventional SUV such as the GLS, the EQS’s rear end looks a little unusual. It’s stretched out due to the cab-forward design, making the car look more like an estate in profile. This should liberate a little more legroom for rear-seat passengers and maximise boot space.
Mercedes’s design chief, Gordon Wagener recently discussed the EQS and upcoming EQE SUV’s design brief with Automotive Daily, saying: “They will look different in a similar way as I describe the EQS. They will be more seamless, more integrated, more aerodynamic, more futuristic looking, so it will be a new type of SUV.”
These spies also offer a good look at the SUV’s cabin, which appears to feature the same 55.5-inch Hyperscreen infotainment system as the EQS saloon. The system comprises a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen and, hiding underneath the cladding, we expect there’s a third 12.3-inch unit for the passenger.
The EQS SUV should also adopt Mercedes’s Level 3 autonomous driving technology, which will allow the car to drive itself with limited driver supervision at speeds up to 60km/h, when in slow-moving traffic.
Mercedes is yet to confirm any technical details about the EQS SUV, but we expect it’ll be available with a similar range of battery packs and electric motors as the saloon, given it will use the same platform – a brand new dedicated electric car platform called EVA.
The EQS sedan is available with either a 90kWh or 107.8kWh battery pack, the larger of which offers a maximum range of 770 kilometres. We expect the SUV’s less aerodynamic shape will make a dent in that figure, but a range of at least 650 kilometres should be achievable.
Mercedes has confirmed specifications on two of the EQS sedan’s powertrains, called 450+ and 580 4MATIC. The first features a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, which develops 245kW and 569Nm. The second features an electric motor on each axle which gives four-wheel drive and an output of 384kW and 855Nm.
However, Mercedes is working on an AMG-badged performance electric powertrain which develops 560kW. The system will first appear on the EQS sedan, although it could easily be transplanted into the EQS SUV if it winds up being based on the same EVA underpinnings. There’s certainly a business case for a high-performance version of the EQS SUV, too, as Mercedes already makes a 450kW AMG 63 version of the GLS.