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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

After decades of making elegant, luxurious sedans, Mercedes-Benz finally gave its top-of-the line model an official name in 1972: S-Class. The original W116 series of cars combined generous dimensions with ample power (particularly the 450 SEL 6.9), and advanced safety features, such as the application of anti-lock braking in 1978, establishing the template for subsequent generations. Now 50 years old, the S-Class is more comfortable, powerful, and high-tech than ever, but the industry around it is quickly making the shift to all-electric powertrains. 

Mercedes saw the fundamental shift on the horizon several years ago, created the EQ sub-brand, and designated the 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS as the flagship model. Several months ago, I had the privilege of living the luxury EV life (for a week) in an EQS 580 loaded with optional cosmetic and comfort features, including the mid-range Exclusive Trim package, the Air Balance Package, and two-tone 22-inch wheels, which brought its as-tested price up to $125,285. Pricing currently starts at $102,310 for the entry-level EQS 450+ and $125,900 for the EQS 580 4MATIC.

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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC Exterior

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

Instead of merely retrofitting an electric powertrain into the internal-combustion S-Class's sleek exterior, Mercedes made the bold choice of going with a coupe-like "one bow" design and a massive rear hatch. With its all-LED lighting and pod-like profile, the EQS looks straight out of the future. A full-width band of light connects the headlights. In place of a traditional open grille is a sealed "Black Panel" piece with the Mercedes three-pointed star surrounded by a three-dimensional constellation of smaller stars. The cab-forward fastback bodywork arches over the wheels, which are 21 inches in diameter at their smallest. A subtle spoiler tops the rounded rear end, which features another light bar that spans the distance between the taillights.

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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC Interior

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

I'll never go to a nightclub on Jupiter, but I at least have an idea of how the inside of one would look. The EQS's interior takes the flash of the conventional S-Class to a new peak. With the exception of the area immediately surrounding the outboard HVAC vents, the MBUX Hyperscreen fills the entire face of the dashboard with a single 56-inch-wide plate of aluminum-silicate glass. Behind that is a 12.3-inch LED instrument cluster in front of the driver, a 17.7-inch OLED center touchscreen for the navigation and infotainment systems (including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), and a 12.3-inch OLED touchscreen on the passenger side. That provides the lucky occupant access to entertainment and comfort settings and even the navigation system. If no one is in the shotgun seat, the driver can use the screen to display vivid pre-loaded wallpapers of Mercedes vehicles yet to come and show off to fellow drivers. 

There was useful substance under that style. By pointing my finger at the sensor in the overhead console and drawing it backward, I was able to retract the shade for the panoramic moonroof and prepare for a relaxing evening drive home from the office on the EQS's standard AIRMATIC suspension. All I needed to set the atmosphere was my voice. I woke up the MBUX infotainment system with the words "Hey, Mercedes," told it to tune to SiriusXM channel 67 to get jazz flowing out of the 710-watt, 15-speaker Burmester 3D Surround Sound system, then had it activate one of the 10 massage modes that come standard with the front seats. Even the second row was comfortable. It offered plenty of legroom and headroom. The only catch to the rear hatch was the absence of a power rear sunshade.

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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC Performance

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

The transition to electric power hasn't made the S-Class any less of a highway juggernaut. Its pair of electric motors have a combined output of 385 kilowatts; in internal-combustion terms, the EQS 580 has 516 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. A single-speed automatic transmission and infinitely variable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-wheel steering transfer all that battery-powered brute force to the road. Pedal down, the EQS 580 surged ahead with a fury made even more menacing by the near absence of sound - at least to my fellow drivers, some of whom must've been startled by the Graphite Grey Metallic bolt that suddenly and semi-silently shot past them. Inside, it felt and sounded as if I was taking off in a spaceship because I had selected one of the available EV Sound profiles to make my launches into multi-sensory experiences. 

According to the EPA, the EQS 580 can return 92 city, 99 highway, and 95 combined MPGe and travel 340 miles when its 107.8-kWh battery pack is full. One night, I pulled into a charging station with the battery at 32 percent. At the time, I was commuting 500 miles a week back and forth from the office, so I made sure to unlock the full charge mode to give myself the maximum amount of range and find out how long topping off the battery would take. Unfortunately, I couldn't utilize the full capabilities of the EQS's onboard 200-kW DC charging system because the station had a 150-kW limit. I saw it hit a peak of 149 kilowatts, then gradually throttle back the juice to a low of 19 kilowatts on the way to 100 percent. Getting to that point took 52 minutes and put 77.47 kilowatt-hours back into my test car at a (manufacturer-covered) cost of $33.11.

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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC Safety

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

Aside from the head-up display and laminated safety glass with infrared protection, all of the safety and driver assistance features on my press loaner were standard equipment. The EQS 580's long list of those includes seven air bags, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Front and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, and Evasive Steering Assist. As of right now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not put the EQS through its series of crash tests.

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2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC Overall

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC

The day is coming when the Mercedes S-Class will be exclusively an EV. The automaker's switch to electron elegance is off to a great start. The 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC is distinctive, tech-rich, comfortable, and potent enough to give the S-Class an outstanding start to its next 50 years. Visit your closest AutoNation Mercedes-Benz dealership to learn more about it.

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Derek Shiekhi | June 21, 2022

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 4MATIC Specs

Layout

4-door
5-passenger
AWD

Powertrain

Dual electric motors
516 hp, 631 lb-ft

MPGe

95/99
(city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating

N/A


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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.