DENVER—Trying again 5 years, I am unsure anybody would have fairly predicted the place the electrical automobile market was headed. Vehicles just like the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Mannequin 3 appeared to level towards mass-market EVs turning into an increasing number of widespread. As a substitute, EVs have gone additional upmarket, with gross sales costs pushed larger and better by a mixture of provide shortages, huge batteries, and a frothy market of collectors combating automotive FOMO.
It is not likely that shocking, on condition that revenue margins for large luxurious automobiles are a lot bigger than for small, mass-market ones. Which is why every thing seems so costly, as each startups and established automakers convey their first EVs to market. Just like the Mercedes-Benz EQS for instance, which is a extremely aerodynamic electrical various to the S-Class sedan that impressed us after we examined one earlier this 12 months. Now we have tried a extra excessive model of that automobile—the $147,500 Mercedes-AMG EQS sedan.
Like different automobile firms, Mercedes is within the strategy of determining what electrification means for all its numerous divisions, and that features AMG. Initially an aftermarket tuning firm, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has been completely owned by the Germany automaker since 2005 however nonetheless continues to work its tuning magic on mercs, together with some expertise switch from its all-conquering System 1 program.
The Mercedes-AMG EQS sticks to the twin-motor structure of the EQS 580. They continue to be everlasting magnet synchronous motors, however with new windings that permit for higher present. The management software program has been rewritten, too, all with the objective of permitting the motors to spin sooner and due to this fact ship extra energy. On this case, 649 hp (484 kW) and 700 lb-ft (949 Nm) by default, with bursts of 751 hp (560 kW) and 752 lb-ft (1,109 Nm).
Delivering that rather more energy requires asking extra of the 107.8 kWh (web) battery, and so the sooner powertrain is considerably much less environment friendly, shaving the EPA vary estimate all the way down to 277 miles (446 km), though that is a determine others have discovered conservative in testing.
In apply on a mixture of roads round Denver, I averaged 2.5 miles/kWh (24.9 kWh/100 km) on a automobile carrying 22-inch wheels. I in all probability might have bettered that by staying in consolation mode, which optimizes vary, however in sport and sport+ modes, AMG-specific battery wiring and battery administration prioritize energy supply over vary effectivity. And why trouble with an AMG until you are going to drive it in sport and sport+ modes?
AMG has additionally fettled the suspension in comparison with the common EQS. There is a new rear beam axle, together with a brand new subframe and new motor mounts and different parts like wheel carriers and management arms that will also be discovered on different AMG fashions. And there is AMG-specific software program controlling the air suspension, which makes use of separate valves to manage compression and rebound.
The upshot is a faster 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of three.4 seconds, which feels very quick for nearly everybody. Nevertheless it does not really feel as quick as another equally priced EVs—a Tesla Mannequin S Plaid would present it a clear pair of heels, as would a Lucid Air Grand Touring. Or a Porsche Taycan Turbo. And a Taycan or Audi e-tron GT positively feels extra nimble on a twisting street, regardless of the AMG EQS’ rear-wheel steering, which might add as much as 10 levels of steering angle on the again wheels to extend low-speed agility and high-speed stability.