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    Mercedes-Benz EQS 53 AMG 4MATIC+ First Drive Review

    Authors Image

    Bilal Ahmed Firfiray

    7,885 Views
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Side View
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Rear Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS Right Rear Three Quarter

    Why would I buy it?

    • Looks like a spaceship, goes like one too
    • Perfectly livable high-performance luxury electric sedan
    • Big battery reduces range anxiety

    Why would I avoid it?

    • Needs fast charger for the big battery pack
    • Braking performance could be better
    • Sensible non-AMG versions will be available soon

    What is it?

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Not so long ago, if a Three-Pointed Star wore an AMG badge, it had an angry, rumbling V8 under the hood. But here we are with the all-electric AMG. It is the second car under the EQ sub-brand, and the EQS is Mercedes-Benz’s way of showing the world what our ‘electric future’ is capable of.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    How the W124 500E was a benchmark back in its day, the AMG EQS 53 sets a new standard of what a fast, high-performance, luxury sedan can be. One that forges three realms – electric, ultra-luxury, and performance – together in an out-worldly manner. But does the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 set the benchmark for what we could expect from fast, luxurious, EVs? Let us dive deeper to find out.

    Is the cabin any good?

    Dashboard

    Three screens! So basically, all it has are screens for a dashboard. Occupying the centre space is the largest of the three with all the physical buttons pushed near the armrest on the centre console. Boasting the latest MBUX interface, there are controls on the steering wheel which are no different to operate from what you get in, say, the new C-Class. An interesting feature about the third screen on the dash is that it gets activated only when someone is sitting in the front passenger seat. This touchscreen also has the same interface that you get in the middle. Meanwhile, the driver’s display comes with a plethora of configurations.

    Dashboard

    Although it’s quite low-slung, the AMG EQS is still an easy car to get in and out of. We were also surprised to see how easy the EQS is to manoeuvre around town and it’s not intimidating to drive either, but more on that later. It’s an AMG and hence with the familiar-looking steering wheel (familiar because it's the same as on the C300d) comes two circular dials for drive modes, like the ones you get on AMG GT. Plus, everything inside is wrapped in rich Nappa leather. Behind the wheel, the rear visibility isn’t good and you can neither see the end of the sloping bonnet over the tall dashboard. Now, with the lack of a physical gearbox, the centre console looks like it is floating in the air with a large spacious compartment below it. Even the centre console has two cup holders, a wireless charger, and more space for knick-knacks.

    Second Row Seats

    For rear seat passengers, there’s ample legroom and just about enough headroom. The two seats also get an electronic recline along with a heated and cooling function. But the raised floor and limited under-thigh support don’t make for an opulent place if you prefer to be chauffeured around more often. Then, there’s not much vanity either. You do get a removable tablet in the folding centre armrest (for music, cabin light, and AC controls), a wireless charger, and a panoramic sunroof, but there are no entertainment screen or fancy front seat reclines that you get in the S-Class. However, the 710 Burmester sound system with 15 speakers makes even the boring radio station sound like an acoustic masterpiece.

    Bootspace

    And if you ever decide to move a house in the EQS AMG, you can easily do so. For the notchback opens up to a whopping boot space of 650 litres, and that’s before electrically folding down the split seats.

    Is it nice to drive?

    Front View

    The EQS is underpinned by the new EVA2 electric platform (the EQC was EVA1). In terms of numbers, the AMG EQS 53 has a 400volt, 107kWh battery pack that powers two electric motors – one on each axle – with specific variations to also make it qualify as AMG’s 4Matic system. The combined output of the two motors comes to 560kW (around 762bhp). Then, it is capable of catapulting to 100kmph from a standstill in 3.4 seconds, provided the battery is over 70 per cent, with the top speed clocked at 250kmph.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    No matter how many times you do the acceleration run in the AMG EQS it will always be comical and you can never get used to it. Or get enough of it. After all, it’s an AMG GT4-Door Coupe on multiple doses of steroids. As with any other electric car, you get all the available torque right from the word go. And here we have tectonic-shifting 1,020Nm of it, so dab the throttle pedal and you can feel the blood reaching the inner craniums of your brain. Calling the acceleration surreal would be an understatement. On our tested VBox run it was – 3.7 seconds. That’s like rearranging your guts in the time it takes you to sneeze.

    Right Side View

    Yet, the AMG EQS is a perfectly liveable (and likeable) super saloon. There are four drive modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual – which alter the throttle response and steering. In a typical AMG fashion, these modes can be switched through the rotary dials on the steering. In the Comfort mode, the acceleration is quick but not as gut-wrenching and is best suited for everyday usability. Even the ride quality becomes more absorbent and pliant even for not-so-perfectly-paved road surfaces despite its 21-inch wheels. In fact, this aero-wheel is wrapped in special EV-compatible Michelin tyres of 275/40 profile.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    In the other modes, the ride does stiffen but isn’t unbearable, all thanks to the air suspension. Another advantage of the air suspension is the ride-height increase which can be done on the go if you spot a bad road patch or unduly speed breaker ahead. Now, the EQS is a pretty long car. But helped by rear-wheel steering, it wraps around tight spaces decently and you never feel its 5.2m length to be an issue when driving or while parking it in the city confines. Even those tight U-turns don’t give you the jitters.

    Left Side View

    That said, it has three levels of brake recuperation – zero, normal, and high. In the third and highest setting, the EQS can be driven in one-pedal mode. Moreover, there are a host of driver aids as well like auto braking, blind spot alert, lane assist, and evasive steering. And all of them work phenomenally well to keep you from a very expensive insurance claim.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Lastly, the claimed range of the EQS 53 AMG is between 530-580km, which is achievable up to 80 per cent in real-world conditions, given its massive battery pack. No range anxiety there. But charging the ginormous 107.8kWh battery pack would be a task if you don’t have the 200kW fast charger access.

    Should you buy it?

    Front View

    Talking about price point, this EQS in 53 AMG spec sets you back by Rs 2.45 crore, ex-showroom. But Mercedes has brought these to our shore in limited numbers, and all of them have already been sold out. Nonetheless, Mercedes is trying to show us the future of electric luxury cars with this one. But if you are interested still, the locally-assembled versions of the EQS, which will go by the 450+ and 580 guises, will go on sale shortly after this review is published.

    Left Side View

    To round things off, consider this, if the current EV scenario is a food chain, the EQS AMG sits at the very apex of it. It is fast. It looks fitting for an AMG badged rocketship. And yet it can be your daily driver. Especially for those who want to be a part of the zero-emission brigade, they can consider the EQS instead of the other offerings on this food chain, namely the Porsche Taycan S, Tesla Model S, BMW i7 and the Audi E-Tron GT RS.

    Rear View

    Pictures by Kapil Angane

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