This is Mercedes-Benz’s vision of how the future of luxury, sustainable mobility might look like, and while some of the styling flourishes might seem excessive, the Vision EQS show car does give us some pointers as to the company’s take on how we’ll be transported in the future. With flowing, sculpted lines – Mercedes calls it a ‘stretched “one bow” design’ – it says it takes its progressive luxury design philosophy of the EQ electric vehicle line-up into a new dimension.
While the EQS’s dramatic looks and plethora of three-pointed star-shaped LEDs are most likely to grab your attention, it’s what the EQS is built on that is most significant. It’s an entirely new platform that can be used for a variety of different models thanks to its scalable architecture. The batteries are installed deep in the floor between the axles, and thanks to the nature of this modular system the wheelbase, track and battery size are all variable, making it suitable for an entire range of EQ models.
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In the case of the EQS there are a brace of electric motors – one on each axle – with a combined output of ‘over 350kW’ (that’s 470bhp in old money) and a torque output of 560lb ft. That’s enough to endow the EQS with a 4.5sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of around 125mph. Thanks to a 100kWh battery capacity Mercedes reckons the EQS will have a WLTP-equivalent range of around 435 miles, and once charging technology catches up a 350kW charger could replenish the batteries from zero to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes.
The low, sleek shape is constructed from a mix of materials – steel, aluminium and carbonfibre, plus a proportion of recycled materials. The shape is accentuated by huge 24-inch wheels pushed to the extremities to increase passenger accommodation, and the exterior features a swathe of LEDs in a ‘lightbelt’ that stretches around the car giving the impression of a black panel glass passenger cell floating over the lower part of the car. At the front there’s a digital grille consisting of 188 individual LEDs in the shape of three-pointed stars, and the theme is continued at the rear where there are a further 229 similarly shaped LEDs. This plethora of LEDs apparently allows the EQS to ‘provide a new level in precise signalling’, while the role of the traditional headlamps has now been taken over by a pair of holographic-lens items, each featuring a further 500 LEDs.
Inside you’ll find the usual range of concept car excesses all backed up by a reassuring mix of sustainable materials. There’s microfibre cloth made from recycled plastic bottles, maple wood trim, artificial leather and a roof lining constructed from a textile produced from recycled ocean waste. Overall the interior design is said to take its inspiration from the world of luxury yachts and this is personified by the wood trim that runs from front to back, forming a sculpted shape that cohesively links both parts of the passenger compartment.
The Vision EQS also previews the digital interior and MBUX infotainment systems of future Mercedes luxury saloons. Both the front and rear compartments feature a centrally mounted display supported by a seemingly free-floating structure that runs down the centre of the car, backed up by an additional control screen mounted in each of the four doors.
Naturally enough for a future-orientated machine it is said to feature a level of autonomous driving – Level 3 in this instance – but Mercedes says that thanks to the sensor systems this could be scaled up to fully autonomous driving in the future, but we’ll have to wait and see which other elements of the Vision EQS filter down to future Mercedes-Benz production models.