The new Mercedes-Benz EQS flagship debuted in April 2021. We had our first drive in the luxurious electric sedan in July. Through it all, we had the European WLTP range estimate of 478 miles in our heads, wondering how much different the more stringent EPA rating would be. We expected it to be a bit lower, but we didn't expect a maximum range of 350 miles.
That's the official word from the EPA, and that's for the less-powerful EQS 450+ without all-wheel drive. The EQS 580+ 4Matic has an EPA range slightly lower at 340 miles. These stats are well below the Tesla Model S Long Range, which garners an EPA range rating of 405 miles. It's an even larger gap to the new Lucid Air's 520-mile range, the highest EV rating from the EPA.
Gallery: 2022 Merecedes EQS US Drive
The 500-mile version of the Lucid Air is a tad more expensive than the EQS, with a starting price of $139,000 versus $102,310 for the 450+. With considerably more range, we wonder if that price gap will matter for buyers in this segment. As for Tesla, the Model S Long Range starts at $89,990.
The US-spec EQS we just drove doesn't differ from the Euro version we drove back in July. Both the EQS 450+ and the EQS 580+ utilize a 108-kilowatt-hour battery, and each trim enjoys a very slippery 0.20 drag coefficient. The 450+ features a single electric motor driving the rear wheels, generating 329 horsepower (245 kilowatts) and 406 pound-feet (550 newton-meters) of torque. The 580+ adds an additional motor on the front to offer all-wheel-drive grip and a combined output of 516 hp (385 kW) and 611 lb-ft (828 Nm) of torque. The extra motor is why the 580+ has a slightly lower range.
Whereas WLTP range estimates are often optimistic, EPA range estimates are sometimes seen as too pessimistic. When the EPA rated the 2020 Porsche Taycan at just 201 miles, the automaker brought in an independent company to refute the results and indeed came back with a higher figure. Additional real-world tests from our colleagues at Inside EVs further supported those results.
That's not to say the EQS will indeed reach the 478-mile WLTP range. Our own experience in the EQS, both in Europe and our recent drive in the US, suggests Mercedes' flagship EV could go beyond the EPA rating. But we don't see it reaching 478 miles.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS will reach dealerships later this fall.