Mercedes takes the fight to Tesla with new EQS flagship sedan
LONDON - Mercedes-Benz has revealed the electric "sibling" of its flagship S-Class sedan, taking the fight to market-leader Tesla in the battle for market share as electric car sales take off.
The EQS is the first in a family of Mercedes-Benz cars built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform built from the ground up.
The EQS is available in two versions - a EQS 450+ with a single rear axle motor and 245kW on board and a perkier EQS 580 4Matic with a motor on each axle and a system output of 385kW. According to claims, the EQS 450+ takes 6.2 seconds to get to 100km/h and the EQS 580 doing its dash in a respectable 4.3s. Sure, this won’t scare off any Teslas, but the company is planning a 560kW version which should boast spellbinding acceleration.
Mercedes says you can expect a range of up to 770km in the EQS, depending on conditions of course.
The vehicle will also come with an ‘Electric Intelligence’ navigation system, which helps drivers plan the fastest and most convenient route, also taking charging stops into account among many other factors that also take advantage of cloud computing. The system can react dynamically to traffic jams or a change in driving style, Mercedes says, and even factors in the ambient temperatures at charging stops.
The interior of the EQS has been described as a “Digital Deep Dive Design” in which almost the entire dashboard is a giant screen.
This cockpit also takes Artificial Intelligence to the next level. Depending on the equipment level specified, the car has up to 350 sensors of various types, which are used as “sensory organs” in all parts of the car. They measure distances, speeds and accelerations, lighting conditions, precipitation and temperatures, seat occupancy as well as the driver's eyelid movements or the passengers' language. This wealth of information is processed by control units that, controlled by algorithms, make decisions at lightning speed.
"We set the bar very high," with this car, Daimler Chief Executive Ola Källenius told reporters. "Customers in this segment expect a blend of hi-tech innovation and modern luxury... and that's what we're trying to achieve with the EQS."
In a client note earlier this week, Deutsche Bank referred to the EQS as "Mercedes' Tesla fighter" and said the car "will likely set the benchmark in terms of technical features, as well as design and quality," for both traditional carmakers and newer entrants like Tesla.
Mercedes sales chief Britta Seeger said the launch of the EQS coincides with demand for electric vehicles that is growing faster than company executives once forecast.
"We thought by 2030 that half of our sales will be electric vehicles" and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Seeger said during a conference call. "What we currently see... is a stronger request of customers for EVs. We are even more positive that this jump can be a little bit faster."
IOL & Reuters