Ahead of its full reveal later this year, Mercedes has pulled the covers off the interior of its upcoming new flagship electric SUV – the seven-seat EQS SUV.
The new Mercedes-Benz EQS all-electric luxury SUV will pose as a rival to the BMW iX and Tesla Model X, and these new official images give us our best look yet at the exterior and interior design.
The interior shots confirm the new EQS SUV will offer the same 55.5-inch Hyperscreen infotainment system found in the EQS sedan. The system uses a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen and a third 12.3-inch unit for the passenger.
The huge screen isn’t the only interior feature taken from the EQS sedan, we can also see the same seats, steering wheel, split-opening central armrest and the ‘MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus package’ comprising a pair of 11.6-inch displays mounted on the back of the front seats.
Outside, we can see some typical Mercedes design traits from other EQ models. The frontal area is almost completely blanked off to improve drag coefficiency, and the two bonnet bulges are similar to the smaller EQA’s. Digital wing mirrors are becoming a popular method of increasing range in electric cars but we can see with this pre-production model the EQS SUV is sticking with traditional mirrors. The overall surfacing doesn’t feature many creases, like the rest of the Mercedes EQ lineup.
Also like the sedan, 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 with the petrol and diesel powered GLS SUV.
Given the EQS SUV will be offered as a seven-seater, there should be plenty of boot space if Mercedes has managed to successfully design a fold away system for the third row.
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.”
Our spies also offer a decent look at the new SUV’s interior, which looks set to receive the same 55.5-inch Hyperscreen infotainment system as the EQS sedan. 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.
Mercedes has also confirmed that an even more luxurious Maybach version of the EQS SUV has been scheduled for launch.
Britta Seeger, Mercedes’s head of marketing and sales, said during a brand electrification strategy update in 2021: “Next year we will present SUV versions of our EQE as well as of our EQS. All these cars will provide high range, first-class comfort and impressive dynamics.
“And I can promise you that we will maintain this momentum going forward. What applies to the Mercedes portfolio also applies to our incredibly strong sub brands – we want to go electric. So, you can look forward to a top-notch EQS SUV version of Mercedes-Maybach, for example.”
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 has also announced that the battery production for the new EQS SUV and the EQE SUV will take place in a new plant in Alabama, USA.
Mercedes is yet to confirm any technical details on the EQS SUV, but we expect it’ll be based on the same EVA2 underpinnings as the sedan. As such, it should be offered with a similar range of battery packs and electric motors.
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 could be achievable.
Mercedes has confirmed specifications for 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 386kW 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.