Mercedes Starts Building Its Tesla Model S Fighter

The first series-production examples of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS have begun rolling off the assembly line in Sindelfingen, Germany, ahead of deliveries later this summer. The electric luxury sedan was revealed in full form earlier in April, showcasing a number of dazzling pieces of tech including a Hyperscreen option spanning the entire dash and rear-axle steering. The EQS is now being built at Factory 56 alongside the new gas-engine S-Class, which itself has received a complete redesign for the 2021 model year and was unveiled late last year.

When it goes on sale, the EQS will be offer in single-motor, rear-wheel-drive form as the EQS450+, good for 329 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, and in dual-motor form as the EQS580, serving up 516 hp and 616 lb-ft of torque, this time with 4Matic all-wheel drive. In the WLTP cycle the EQS has been rated at 479 miles, while the EPA figure will be announced closer to the its North American launch and will likely land above the 400-mile mark.

“The future of our global Mercedes-Benz production network begins with EQS production in Factory 56: This future is CO2-neutral, sustainable, fully digitalized, connected, and highly flexible,” said Jörg Burzer, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for production and supply-chain management. “The start of production of the EQS is a highlight in our unprecedented electric vehicle initiative in the production area. In 2022, a total of eight Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles will be produced at seven locations on three continents.”

The EPA figure may turn out to be a bit of a nail-biter for Mercedes, as the longest-ranged Model S is currently rated at 402 miles. Like it or not, bragging rights will be on the line in the US market, despite the myriad factors affecting the resulting range. We’re buckling down for a long autumn of side-by-side range tests of the two electric flagship sedans, especially when the Lucid Air arrives on store shelves as well later this year.

Those who may find 516 hp in the dual-motor versions of the EQS to be merely a good starting point—with its 4.1-second launch time to 60 mph—may wish to wait for an AMG version whose performance numbers (and dollar numbers) have yet to be announced.

Whichever version you have your eye on, plan to bring around $100,000 to the dealership for an EQS, before options. Concrete pricing for the EQS will be announced closer to launch, but the EQS is expected to start right around the century mark prior to goodies like the Starfleet-grade Hyperscreen.

The EQS is destined to be endlessly compared to the Tesla Model S, which has been on sale for almost a decade at this point, receiving some updates along the way. Curiously enough, the Model S has suffered a production halt dating back to the start of 2021, along with the Model X, with Tesla citing supplier issues. The Fremont-based automaker revealed a modest exterior update to the Model S earlier this year, along with a far more extensive interior update featuring a new screen and the option of a yoke-style steering wheel.

Tesla aims to restart production of the Model S quite soon, but even the absence of these two models did not prevent Tesla from having a profitable first quarter in 2021, albeit largely thanks to sales of emissions credits to other automakers.

As important as the EQS sedan may appear at the moment for Mercedes, the real volume when it comes to EVs is still expected to come from luxury SUVs priced around the $50,000 mark. So as dazzling as the EQS may be from a technological standpoint, and as tempting as it may be to see the EV space race confined to luxury sedans as in the previous decade, its smaller and boxier EV siblings like the EQB are bound to be even more important for the automaker in the coming years.

Which electric Mercedes model do you expect to become most popular in the next five years? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Read Full Article