The latest weapons from this renowned German brand accelerate with a ferocity rarely seen before on Australian roads.
The seat belts tighten tighter, automatically locking your torso in place when you activate the starting system in Mercedes-AMG’s first electric car.
There’s a blockbuster in the form of a light show and a synth score as you prepare to launch.
Then it happens.
Like a jet fighter ejected from an aircraft carrier, the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 crashes into the asphalt with 560kW and 1020Nm of unbridled fury. This jet does not have an afterburner, but it does have permanently excited synchronous motors, needle fin ceramic inverters and specially wound stators. Just as Mercedes-AMG used to crow about the new V8, it now boasts a rear electric motor that combines two windings of three phases each. This is the new language of sports cars. However, acceleration to 100 km / h in 3.4 seconds is fast in any dialect.
The Merc has a price tag to match its performance, which is $328,400 plus travel expenses (about $350,000 in transit).
It has a 107.8 kWh battery with a claimed range of 585 kilometers. Built on a 400-volt architecture, the EQS receives a 200 kW charge, which allows it to increase its range by 300 kilometers in 19 minutes. Equipped as standard with front and rear motors with a combined output of 484kW and 950Nm, the EQS requires owners to spend an additional $7,690 to upgrade to 560kW and 1,020Nm of thrust.
Customers can also consider ceramic brakes ($9990) and a really impressive head-up display that projects arrows and street names into your line of sight ($2690). You can go all out with the comfort package ($9,290), adding luxuries like rear infotainment screens and a “sleep mode” that reclines the driver’s seat to take a nap at charging stations.
It’s all built on standard features, including four-zone climate control, massage seats, a panoramic sunroof and a power lift rear that covers a truly huge trunk.
This is not the most attractive Benz. The game has odd proportions. Its wheelbase is about 36 centimeters longer than the latest Toyota LandCruiser, as well as an unconventionally curved arched roofline. But this bar of soap has the slipperiest aerodynamics on the road, and its huge wheelbase provides a luxuriously spacious interior.
The beauty lies within, where premium materials framed by soft ambient lighting combine with a truly huge digital display. We usually discuss display size in inches, but Mercedes says its “hyperscreen” is a staggering 1.4 meters wide. Three huge screens lie under a single piece of glass that spans the width of the dashboard, where a huge central OLED display is surrounded by horizontal elements for the driver and passenger.
There are vehicles on the road too.
Mercedes’ full range of driving assistance features come standard, including active air suspension and adaptive dampers that change behavior based on your preferred driving mode.
If mind-blowing acceleration is the EQS’s main feature, then the second hit is the four-wheel steering system, which turns the rear wheels to mind-blowing angles. Cars this length should feel unwieldy in the city, but the otherworldly turning circle of the EQS beats the newest Honda Civic by over a meter.
It’s an incredibly comfortable car for everyday driving—almost silent, comfortable, and comfortable on the road. The ride is bouncier than the petrol S-Class (but more stable than regular AMG models), and you really feel the effect of its 2.6-tonne mass as you approach corners at speed. Powerful brakes and overbearing traction work in its favor, although it lacks the feedback and precision of polished sports sedans.
Brilliant on its own, the EQS is hard to put into the Mercedes family. It’s smarter but less posh than the S-Class and faster but less intuitive than the brand’s previous catalogue.
If a V8-powered AMG at full throttle sounds like a live rock concert, the digital EQS tune is electro-funk from a smartphone speaker. Technically impressive, the EQS doesn’t have the beefy looks, heartbreaking song or dynamic athleticism of the best AMG models.
The first electric Mercedes-AMG is a new kind of high-performance car that points to a future of fast but less compelling driving.
MERCEDES-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC + VITALS
PRICE Approximately $350,000 per vehicle
STRENGTH Twin electric motors, 484 kW and 950 Nm
GUARANTEED/ SERVICE 5 years, unlimited mileage, $3250 for five years
SAFETY 8 airbags, front and rear automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keeping and blind spot assist, rear cross traffic alert
RANGE 585 kilometers
BAGGAGE 580 liters
SPARE Repair kit
Originally published as 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 review