My Car Quest

May 23, 2024

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS – An Electric Car With The Looks to Beat Tesla

by Wallace Wyss –

Warning: it’s just a concept. But I can say that if the production model is only 12 months away that this must be close to the final production car. I think it is a beautiful advance for Mercedes and has what German automakers need to blunt Tesla’s startling success in Europe (and Tesla will be able to lower prices there once their new German factory is operational…)

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

Up until now European concepts for electric cars looked well, weird. As if everyone that bought an electric wanted everyone else to know, yup, this is the car of the future. This one looks beautiful; you don’t care what the engine is. The main appeal besides design will be supreme quietness.

Design Critique of the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

FRONT A lit-up grille is something I’d think about at Christmas but it’s too corny for year ’round. I like the earlier grille motif, like the ’52-’53 300SL cars before they reached mass production. Nice to tie in retro in a subtle way.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

SIDE A full length pinstripe is too retro and if it’s planned to be lit (by bulbs) or reflected, a tad cornball/circus glitz. The best feature is the use of two tone to “thin” the upper darker line on the side so the car looks more shapely. The chrome band that surrounds the side windows (except for the bottom line) also gives more emphasis on the overall shape. We all love the four door pillarless hardtop in theory but that might have to be sacrificed with the addition of a B-pillar because they will mean less shoring up of the chassis is necessary. Like saving 300 lbs.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

REAR The dozens-of-little-dots is cool and subtle but is it legal? You want more lens because psychologically potential buyers might not think they’ll emit enough light though I am sure the LEDs are bright enough to meet the laws.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

INTERIOR Having that divider all the way to the rear really daunts buyers who might want to put three passengers in the rear on occasion. The all digital dash is way too space age, rocket ship (beam me up, Scotty!) That steering wheel might be good for a race car with two turns lock to lock but in a passenger car it seems too radical.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

The success of the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS will depend on:

1.) Looks

2.) Price

3.) Driving range

It’s on driving range the car be a-hurtin’ – only 300 miles. As of August 2020, the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus has an EPA range of 402 miles (647 km), higher than that of any other battery electric car. So if you’re sending a player out to bat who is 25% deficient, to me it’s hardly worth thinking about. Maybe pricing it below $100,000 would sway some as I have heard Model S Teslas are over $130,000.

This inequity in driving range lends credibility to the oft heard saying that “Tesla is two years ahead of everybody else.” Maybe Mercedes will have to buy some more technology (license it instead of taking time to develop it themselves) to make a great leap forward in that department. And if Tesla (now building a plant in Germany) leaps to 500 miles, well, that’ll be all she wrote for the EQS, if range is leading the consumer’s check-off list.

The car does have two plusses–two powerful electric motors that enable all-wheel drive, and the ability to “pilot itself” on the highway, though it remains to be seen how much of that ability will be legal on US highways. Some cars with driverless features require you to put your hands on the wheel every so often.

We will be able to see how Mercedes electrics sell first with the EQC crossover which precedes the EQS.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS

Pricing is the key

One price we read Mercedes might charge for the EQS was $96,000, which is up to $30,000 below the Model S fully loaded. The magic “cut off line” for pricing should be below six figures, but there’s the chance of a little reverse Karma in effect if you price it too far below because people think “well, it’s not as good a car if it’s so cheap.”

Hard to tell by a Concept but they are saying it has a combined 469 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque, which out on the road is 427 Cobra type acceleration–zero to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. This car’s same all-new platform will be the basis of future EV models from Mercedes.

And so it goes. I personally want the car to succeed, so as to force Tesla to come up with new exteriors but fielding a product having only 3/5 the range of a Tesla Model S could rain on their parade big time.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Co-host of KUCR FM radios Autotalk, Wyss has been a consultant to five automakers.

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Photos compliments of Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS - An Electric Car With The Looks to Beat Tesla
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Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS - An Electric Car With The Looks to Beat Tesla
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS is beautiful but will it have the range and the price to compete with Tesla?

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