Mercedes-AMG EQS53 debuts in Munich – takes aim at the Tesla Model S Plaid
All-electric EQS53 may not be a full-house AMG, but it still cranks 750bhp
Mercedes-AMG has been busy at this year’s Munich motor show, debuting both its first plug-in hybrid and its first all-electric model in the form of this, the EQS53. It will top the EQS range, and as the name suggests is the S-class-sized all-electric model that’s based on Merc’s new bespoke EV platform. Yet while this is AMG’s first battery-electric car, it’s not one developed specifically by AMG from the ground up, making it less dynamically focused than a Porsche Taycan Turbo S and more of a rival to Tesla’s Model S Plaid.
While in pictures the new EQS53 might not look ostensibly different to lesser models, it has picked up some generous lifts in power and performance. Like the EQS580, the 53 comes with an electric motor on both axles, but produces a combined 750bhp and 752lb ft of torque. There is a caveat to this (like with so many high-performance EVs) in that those figures are only accessible for short overboost periods on EQS53 models fitted with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus pack. During normal operation the motors otherwise produce 648bhp and 701lb ft of torque, figures shared with EQS53 models without the optional package.
As fitted, AMG Dynamic Plus models are able to reach 62mph in 3.4sec (3.8sec for models without), and go on to a limited 155mph top speed. To hit these numbers the AMG’s electric motors do not need to be preconditioned Tesla style, but AMG does insist on a minimum of 80 per cent battery charge, which is new for EVs. Both motors front and rear are bespoke to the EQS53, and feature internal improvements in their construction to reliably perform at this higher operating window.
As with other EQS models the motors are fed from a 120kWh battery pack, of which 107.8kWh is useable, mounted in a flat casing underneath the main cabin. The 400V electrical system does trail Porsche’s 800V one in the Taycan, but the maximum 200kW charging capability is still strong enough to add up to 186 miles of charge in 15 minutes. Total range on the WLTP cycle is rated at between 326 and 359 miles, representing a small drop compared to the 400 miles achievable by lesser single-motor models.
AMG has also been fiddling with the chassis, engineering its own rear axle, subframe and engine mounts specific to this EQS53. Suspension is of the air spring kind, as in all EQS models, with adaptive dampers and rear-wheel-steering systems all integrated as standard. Brakes are composite iron/steel as standard, but a very chunky set of 440mm ceramics with six-pot calipers up front are optional.
And it’s an option you might fancy ticking, as the massive battery pack makes the EQS53 astonishingly heavy, hitting the scales at 2655kg. Now the EQS53 was never going to be a trackday car, but this huge weight will make it much more of a fast cruiser – in a similar sense to AMG S-class models of traditional form. Yet with AMG being AMG, it still does have the option of the Track Pace assistance module, which records more than 80 data inputs such as speed, acceleration and brake force to help coach the driver on track. It’ll also display sector and lap times on the internal displays – in a 2655kg electric limo, remember.
The rest of the EQS53 doesn’t stray far from the standard car, with an interior presentation dominated by Merc’s hyperscreen, which is essentially three separate displays integrated into the one piece of glass that stretches across the dashboard. Interior trim and inlay finishes have been AMG-fied, with new colour combinations, bright stitching and optional carbonfibre inlay.
The exterior design is largely unchanged, save for some new 21- and 22-inch wheel designs, a slightly larger rear lip spoiler and new aero elements at the base of both front and rear bumpers. One typical AMG design element that hasn’t been forgotten is the vertical vanes on the grille which have been, erm, reimagined for the EQS, imbedded into the glazed mask that is usually blank or covered in tiny Mercedes-Benz stars. We’re not sure which we prefer.
Local pricing and availability have yet to be set in the UK, as even standard EQS models have still to be allocated final pricing and specifications. With most EQS models expected to crack £100,000 though, we suspect this range-topping 53 model will go that bit higher, likely breaching the £130,000 of its potential rivals the Tesla Model S Plaid and Audi RS e-tron GT Vorsprung.