The brand's first car to be developed from the ground up as an EV is shaping up quite nicely.
Mercedes must be getting closer to the world premiere of its hotly anticipated EQS because the three-pointed star is intensifying its teaser campaign. It was only on Tuesday when the German luxury brand dropped a smartphone-friendly video shot in portrait mode previewing the screen-heavy interior and now we're being given a closer look at the exterior.
Thankfully, the camouflage is all gone now. This still qualifies as a teaser image because Mercedes deliberately lowered the brightness. However, we fiddled with the photo's settings and bumped up the exposure and brightness in our quest to unlock more design details. Having launched the stunning first-generation CLS in 2004 after a preview a year earlier with the Vision CLS concept, the Stuttgart-based squad sure knows how to infuse some coupe cues in a saloon's roofline.
Gallery: 2022 Mercedes EQS new spy photos
Actually, the EQS is not a saloon per se. It's technically a liftback because it has a more practical rear hatch whereas the smaller EQE also coming this year will have a traditional boot lid. Those door handles that remain flush with the bodywork and only pop out when you need them are not just a design fad as they serve a functional purpose – to optimise airflow for better aerodynamics to improve efficiency.
For the same purpose of making the side profile as sleek as possible, Mercedes has mounted the mirrors slightly lower on the doors rather than on the base of the A-pillars where they're usually located. Numerous spy shots have revealed there will be tiny fixed glass areas near the front and rear pillars to improve visibility. But the greenhouse itself is not necessarily generous since the glass surface is quite small in relation to the car's imposing dimensions.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA new pics and videos from Siegerland Airport
Overall, the exterior design reminds us of a spectacular concept car unveiled several years ago. Mercedes introduced the 2014 Concept IAA at the Frankfurt Motor Show as a plug-in hybrid with an extendable four-door coupe body and a drag coefficient of just 0.19. The EQS will ditch the combustion engine altogether by riding on a new platform developed from the ground up for electric vehicles.
Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius told Automotive News Europe earlier this week the EQS will play in a league of its own, without a direct rival. The EQE will take the challenging role of tackling the Tesla Model S, Audi E-Tron GT, and Porsche Taycan, while the EQS will ride solo in the premium EV segment once it will go on sale later this year:
"There will not be a luxury sedan in the market, nor is there one right now, that compares to the size, the packaging and the space as the EQS. It sits a segment above including a back seat where you can actually sit comfortably."
From the few details released about the production model, we know it will have reclining rear seats and will offer more than 435 miles (700 kilometres) of range. It's worth pointing out the number is based on the WLTP cycle, which means the US-spec EQS will probably have a lower EPA-certified range. The Vision EQS concept unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show also promised a 435-mile range, along with fast-charging capabilities at 350 kW to "fill up" the battery to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.
More than just an electric equivalent of the S-Class, the swoopy liftback will lead Mercedes' EV onslaught that will continue with SUV versions of both the EQS and EQE in 2022. Even a petrol-guzzler such as the G-Class will embrace zero emissions later this decade, while sub-brands AMG and Maybach are also planning to electrify their lineups.
Meanwhile, we're hearing the 2022 Mercedes EQS will premiere sometime in April. An electric EQB crossover is also planned for this year to complement the EQA.