Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

German carmaker Mercedes has always been at the forefront of luxury and tech in the automotive world. So when it stated back in April 2021 at the unveiling of the EQS that it was going to redefine the all-electric luxury sedan segment, we believed them.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Mercedes had approached the EQS with a new approach - ditching its previous ICE platform-based EVs for a skateboard setup with an unconventional body draped atop it and interiors that would make science fiction geeks burst out in tears of joy. Add in the usual insane attention to detail with regards to luxury and refinement and the new Mercedes EQS seems to be the definition of an S-Class in an EV suit.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

So does the new Mercedes EQS live up to those lofty expectations? We drove the new, assembled in India, Mercedes EQS 580 near Pune to find out for ourselves...

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Mercedes EQS 580 Exterior Design - Throwing Out The Design Rule Book For A Good Reason

Mercedes has ditched the usual three-box design for the EQS and have instead opted for a liftback-style sedan designed to smoothly cut through the air. The EQS may be very large in size but its minimal overhangs and smooth body have resulted in the lowest coefficient of drag for any production vehicle at just 0.20 Cd.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

At the front, the new Mercedes EQS 580 sports angular headlights that are linked by a small light bar and black panel that takes the place of the traditional grille. This panel sports a massive Mercedes three-pointed star along with many smaller versions of the logo etched across its width that are lit and provide quite the lighting profile in the dark. There is a large vent in the centre of the lower section of the front bumper that helps keep the EV powertrain cool.

The bonnet of the EQS is a clamshell unit that cannot be opened by anyone other than a Mercedes technician. This bonnet along with the heavily raked windscreen and the steeply sloping roofline helps the EQS 580 scythe through the air.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

However, the closed-off bonnet has meant that Mercedes has had to engineer a flap on the front left fender of the EQS to help top up the windscreen washer fluid. Other design highlights seen on the sides of the EQS 580 include the aerodynamic 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli rubber and the frameless doors with flush door handles.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The rear section of the new Mercedes EQS is dominated by the large lightbar style taillights that just add to the unique look of the luxury electric sedan.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The boot sports a small spoiler element and can be opened by pressing the large Mercedes badge at the rear. The sloping rear section, windscreen and all lift up to reveal a massive 610-litre boot enough to keep all the golf bags you'll ever need for a round or any luggage required for a good trip to escape the city.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Mercedes EQS 580 Interior Design & Features - The Enterprise Deck In Real Life

Attention all Trekkies, your favourite starship is now a reality. Any Star Trek fan that steps into the cabin of the EQS 580 is likely to end up melting from seeing their sci-fi dreams becoming real due to the presence of the massive 56-inch 'Hyperscreen' display that covers the dash from one edge to the other.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The Hyperscreen actually consists of three different displays under a single pane of glass. These screens include 12.3-inch displays for both the driver and the front passenger along with a large 17.7-inch touchscreen unit in the centre for the infotainment system and the HVAC controls among others. To ensure that the Hyperscreen flies through the graphics the system powering it features an 8-core processor and 24GB of RAM.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The three displays are powered by the Mercedes MBUX setup. There are quite a few sensors and some AI magic that ensure the driver focuses on the road ahead by not allowing them to view the front passenger hitting a new high score playing a game on their display.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The main infotainment display is quite large and easy to navigate with Mercedes even filtering in video from the cameras on the car to give you a real-time view of the road ahead when using navigation. Owners can link up their phones to the infotainment with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The controls on the steering wheel can also be used to navigate through the various menus and features though we found that the easier and more intuitive way to do this was to summon the voice assistant with the 'Hey Mercedes' catchphrase.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

While the front seats are very plush and quite nice places to be, it is the rear seats that are the best place to be in the new EQS. While there is space for three at the back, we know many owners would rather bring down the central armrest and make use of the tablet fitted to it to control the infotainment setup.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

There are enough recline levels to keep even the taller people at the rear clear of the sloping roofline. Add in the insane levels of knee and legroom along with the offered under-thigh support levels means that it is quite easy to nod off when you're seated in the back of the EQS 580.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

There are a host of other features controlled by a roof-mounted sensor array placed just ahead of the rear seat. The massive panoramic sunroof ensures that the EQS 580's massive interiors feel even bigger with the amount of light it lets in.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The Mercedes EQS comes packed with a host of passive safety features like 9 airbags and many ADAS systems, the latter of which we weren't really able to test out. Another safety feature on the EQS 580 is the artificial humming noise it produces when travelling under 30km/h to warn pedestrians about its imminent arrival.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The Mercedes EQS comes packed with a host of passive safety features like 9 airbags and many ADAS systems, the latter of which we weren't really able to test out. Another safety feature on the EQS 580 is the artificial humming noise it produces when travelling under 30km/h to warn pedestrians about its imminent arrival.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Mercedes EQS 580 Specs & Dimensions - Going Big

The Mercedes EQS is powered by a twin electric motor setup (one on each axle) that combine together to produce 516bhp and 855Nm of peak torque which is sent to all four wheels via a single-speed automatic gearbox.

Providing the juice to the spinning demons on the axles is a massive 107.8kWh (usable) battery pack (the largest on any EV seen in India to date) that allows for a range of 857km as per ARAI's MIDC testing cycle (676km on WLTP).

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The battery pack supports charging speeds of up to 200kW and if you find an outlet then the EQS 580 will recharge its battery pack from 10 to 80 per cent in just 31 minutes. Home charging from 10 to 100 per cent with a fast 22kW three-phase AC charger takes a lot longer at just under 6 hours.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The Mercedes EQS 580 is based on the German carmaker's aluminium-intensive Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA). Despite the intensive use of aluminium, the EQS 580 weighs in at 2,585kg. The Mercedes EQS 580 is 5,216mm long, 1,926mm wide and 1,512mm tall. The wheelbase of the EQS 580 EV is a massive 3,210mm long while the ground clearance is a rather low 134mm.

The EQS 580 features adaptive air suspension all around which automatically adjust its settings depending on which driving mode - Eco, Comfort, Sport or Individual - is chosen by the driver. The EQS 580 features a four-link setup at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. The EQS 580 rides on 20-inch alloy wheels that sport 255/45 R20 Pirelli tyres.
Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Mercedes EQS Driving Impressions - Physics Defying Smooth Operator

The twin motor setup pushing out 516bhp and 855Nm of torque of the EQS 580 allows the electric luxury barge to glide through the roads with ease. Depending on the driving mode chosen - Eco, Comfort & Sport - the EQS 580 offers different settings for the throttle response, steering and suspension.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Comfort is the option most chauffeured EQS 580 owners will choose but we recommend Sport for those looking for a bit of electric feel. In Sport mode, the dual motors dish out all their power to propel the EQS 580 from 0-100km/h in just 4.3 seconds, enough to push you into your seat.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The adaptive air suspension setup on the EQS 580 is absolutely top-notch and takes care of most bumps and potholes with ease. The EQS also learns your routes and will adjust the suspension to deal with the rough spots on a road it has learned before the driver ever sports them. The adaptive suspension also ensures that body roll is kept to a minimum when traversing around a turn.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

However, don't let the learning EQS fool you into driving like one and sending it over rough spots, as the heavy underfloor battery pack will ensure you feel every one of them. Hopefully, most drivers will be dissuaded from foolishness by the EQS 580's low ground clearance of 134mm.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

While the EQS 580 glides through the corners, you'll feel disconnected thanks to the rather vague steering setup. The rear-wheel steering though, makes getting out of tight spots a breeze.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

The brakes on the EQS 580 are quite nice when used in conjunction with the EV's regen system. There is barely any initial bite and the long travel brake pedal feels a bit odd. However, pushing down further on the brake pedal allows for a much more progressive braking feel. In fact, if you crank up the regen settings to the max, the EQS 580 can be driven using just the throttle pedal.

Mercedes EQS 580 First Drive Review - The S-Class Of EVs

Final Thoughts On The Mercedes EQS 580 - The EV S-Class Is Here

The Mercedes EQS 580 is the result of what happens when you allow the maker of the world's best-known limo to deliver a luxury EV. With its host of features including the Star Trek-like Hyperscreen system and its dual motor propulsion setup and massive battery, the EQS 580 is an electric S-Class in everything but its name.

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Read more on: #review #mercedes
Article Published On: Friday, October 7, 2022, 10:35 [IST]
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