Mercedes-Benz finally pulled the camouflage off its 2022 EQS electric sedan, and the two-tone paint job is sure to raise some interesting questions. The German automaker is still keeping several key details under wraps, such as the pricing, but as we said earlier, the EQS is a bold break from the current crop of minimalist electric vehicles with its big battery, huge infotainment screen, and richly appointed interior.
When it arrives at dealerships in the fall of 2021, the EQS will be the first long-range EV from Mercedes available to buy in the US, beating out the EQC compact SUV, which has been delayed indefinitely. As such, it will be the first of nine other EVs that the automaker plans to release by 2022. And as a close relative of the segment-defining S-Class, there’s a lot riding on the EQS and the company’s high-stakes effort to define the luxury EV market.
The Verge got the chance to drive the EQS last week, so we’ve already seen much of what Mercedes is announcing today up close. That includes the automatic front and rear doors, the 56-inch Hyperscreen with the company’s MBUX infotainment system, the augmented reality heads-up display, and the various other luxury vehicle accruements that felt both necessary and superfluous in equal parts.
This is our first look at some of the exterior details of the EQS, as Mercedes had previously kept the front and rear section under wraps. Gone is the all-digital front end we saw with the Vision EQS concept car, replaced with a “black radiator grille” with a “three-dimensional star pattern” that is also found in Mercedes’ AMG lineup.
The headlights are connected by a light bar, a design that is becoming popular among EVs across different brands. There’s no hood ornament like you would find with the S-Class, but the EQS did keep the air vents on either side of the grille, eschewing the flat, vent-less face of the Tesla Model 3 and other EVs.
The two-tone paint scheme in the images provided by Mercedes is certainly a choice, and it may prove divisive depending on your opinion about dueling exterior colors. It’s not completely out of the blue, though: Mercedes does offer a two-tone finish on its Maybach S-Class. And there is something to be said for an attempt to think outside of the monochromatic box. That said, this won’t be the only finish offered and a quick trip to Mercedes’ online configurator is sure to reveal other options.
The EQS will be available in two trim levels to start out: the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ and dual-motor, all-wheel drive 580 4MATIC. Frustratingly, Mercedes did not reveal pricing information for either variant, though we should expect both to sell for over six figures. (By way of comparison, the base model of the S-Class is priced at $110,000.) Both models will come with a 107.8kWh battery pack, though Mercedes has said it also plans to sell a version with a smaller, 90kWh battery as well.
Built on a brand-new electric vehicle architecture for Mercedes, the EQS is expected to get 770 kilometers of range — or 478 miles — based on the European WLTP cycle. That number will most likely drop when it’s eventually tested by the US EPA, though it could still beat out the longest range Tesla Model S. Regardless, it’s plenty of range for daily driving or even medium to longer trips and will certainly set the standard for the luxury EV market.
Of course, EVs still represent a small fraction of overall car sales, and luxury vehicles alone won’t spur the mass adoption that policymakers say we’ll need to begin transitioning away from polluting gas-powered cars. But with the right combination of power, range, and affordability, Mercedes and other automakers will have their work cut out for them as we move closer to an all-electric future.