Mercedes-Benz is giving up the growl.
The German luxury automotive brand on Thursday debuted its first-ever electric sedan, the Mercedes-Benz EQS.
The company is describing the EQS as a sibling of the recently redesigned high-end S-class, which is typically considered the brand’s most luxurious ride. But the slightly shorter vehicle, which Mercedes has been teasing in advertisements, has its own electric architecture.
The EQS is expected to compete directly with electric cars like the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan. It will debut as a 2022 model and while a starting price hasn’t been announced, car-research site Edmunds recently estimated $110,000.
Missing the trademark engine roar associated with high-performance gas-powered models, the EQS will nonetheless deliver significant power, albeit with a quiet electric motor.
The first versions sold in the U.S. will be the EQS 450+ with 329 horsepower and the EQS 580 4MATIC with 516 horsepower, both with a top speed of 130 miles per hour. A future performance version will deliver up to 630 horsepower.
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Mercedes-Benz debuts Hyperscreen:56-inch curved screen inside new electric car
“The biggest surprise is maybe there is no surprise – it really rides and feels like a Mercedes through and through,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius told reporters. “Everything you would expect from a Mercedes you will get from this electric car as well. It’s not a lesser product just because it’s an electric car. It’s equal to the S-class.”
The EQS is part of the brand’s plan to convert more than half of its sales to electric drive systems “as soon as 2030” and go “carbon neutral” with its entire car fleet within 20 years.
Källenius declined to be more specific on when Mercedes will phase out gas cars altogether, but he allowed that the time is coming. Other automakers, including General Motors, Jaguar and Volvo, recently announced target dates for eliminating gas engines. Tesla is already all-electric.
“We have not set the date because it’s a little bit difficult to know when … it will be all-electric,” Källenius said. “I can say this: We’re going to be ready.”
In one particularly bold claim, Mercedes said in a statement that the EQS is “the most aerodynamic production car in the world.” Engineers often focus on aerodynamics for electric vehicles to boost their battery range by reducing drag.
The EQS has electric range of up to 478 miles based on European ratings, which typically are higher than U.S. range estimates. It was not immediately clear what the estimated range would be for the American market.
The vehicle also comes with the brand’s new Hyperscreen, a 56-inch-wide digital display that nearly spans the width of the vehicle, featuring the infotainment system and digital instrument cluster. Mercedes announced the Hyperscreen at the virtual Consumer Electronics Show in January.
It’s the first Mercedes vehicle to enable over-the-air software updates, a feature popularized by Tesla that allows automakers to improve or fix aspects of their vehicles without owners needing to visit dealerships.
Other features include:
• Back and passenger doors that can be opened with a finger tap using the touchscreen.
• Compatability with more than 90% of U.S. public charging stations.
• A voice recognition system that works with 27 languages.
• A system that actively assists the driver with parking, including steering, braking and gear changes.
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