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Mercedes-Benz Unveils its Fully-Electric EQS SUV That Will Be Built in the U.S.

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【Summary】Mercedes-Benz unveiled its highly-anticipated, EQS electric sport utility vehicle on Tuesday. The sleek battery powered SUV will be built in the U.S. at the automaker's assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and will go on sale in the fall. The EQS SUV set the bar high for electric vehicles and is poised to compete with the Tesla Model X, and other premium electric models.

FutureCar Staff    Apr 19, 2022 11:30 AM PT
Mercedes-Benz Unveils its Fully-Electric EQS SUV That Will Be Built in the U.S.
The new EQS electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz goes on sale later this year.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its highly-anticipated, EQS sport utility vehicle on Tuesday. The sleek battery powered SUV will be built in the U.S. at the automaker's assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and will go on sale in the fall. 

The sleek EQS is the third fully-electric vehicle under the EQ sub brand of Mercedes-Benz following the launch of the EQS sedan and EQE sedan. The EQS SUV is built on the same platform as the EQS and EQE. 

The EQS SUV will also be launched in Europe by the end of the year.

The EQS SUV set the bar high for electric vehicles and is poised to compete with the Tesla Model X, and other premium electric models. The 7-passenger EQS SUV offers plenty of space and comfort, with a luxurious and well-appointed interior that's expected of the Mercedes-Benz brand. 

"The EQS SUV is the third vehicle on our new all-electric platform. It has everything our customers love about the EQS - and combines this with the strengths and versatility of an SUV that can seat up to seven people," said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.  "With the EQS SUV, we are continuing to consistently implement the strategy of making our vehicles more sustainable and digital - with the goal of building the most desirable electric cars in the world."

The EQS SUV also offers the MBUX Hyperscreen display as an optional interior feature. The large curved screen that spans across the entire dashboard and features three separate screens combined into one unit. The curved glass screen is made with scratch-resistant aluminum silicate. 

The 12.3-inch OLED display for the front passenger gives them their own personal display and control area for climate controls and other vehicle systems.

An optional Augmented Reality (AR) Head-up Display (HUD) shows relevant information and actions for the driver in 3D across various situations and surroundings. The AR display area has a diagonal of 77 inches and appears to float in the field of vision of the driver at a distance of roughly 10 meters. 

In Europe, and in a growing number of countries, the front seat passenger is also able to watch dynamic content like movies while the vehicle is in motion. As an extra layer of safety, the system is connected to a camera that monitors the driver to make sure their eyes are on the road ahead. If the driver happens to look at the display on the passenger side, the screen will automatically dim.

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The EQS SUV offers the MBUX Hyperscreen display as an option.

The electric EQS SUV includes powerful electric motors, as well as an optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode for tackling light terrain, although we expect that many of these well-appointed models will never be taken off road. Other dynamic driving modes include ECO, COMFORT, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL. 

All EQS SUVs have an electric drivetrain (eATS) on the rear axle, and the versions with the optional 4MATIC all-wheel-drive package also have an eATS on the front axle. 

For the 4MATIC models, Mercedes-Benz added a Torque Shift function, which ensures that torque is distributed equally between the front and rear wheels.  The torque of each wheel is checked 10,000 times per minute and adjusted if necessary. Mercedes-Benz says this enables a much faster response in the versions with 4MATIC than with mechanical all-wheel drive.

"Be it family, adventurers, tech fans or music lovers, when the EQS SUV is launched in the second half of 2022, it will fulfill the wishes of many customers," said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, responsible for Marketing and Sales. "The target groups are diverse, but they are united by their active lifestyle. Furthermore, the EQS SUV simply looks good. Therefore, we believe that the EQS SUV will drive luxury and technology for our customers in this important segment."

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The electric motors on the front and rear axles are known as permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). The advantages of this design include high power density, high efficiency and high power constancy, according to Mercedes Benz.

The electric SUV comes with a next-generation lithium-ion battery with up to 12 cell modules depending on the model. The batteries are a major step in terms of the sustainability of the cell chemistry. The active battery materials are nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1. The battery system for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE sedans.

Mercedes-Benz is offering a battery warranty for the EQS SUV of 10 years or 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) for a remaining battery capacity of 70 percent.

The battery is integrated into the intelligent thermal management systems of the EQS SUV. If the intelligent navigation with Electric Intelligence is activated, the battery will be preheated or cooled as needed while driving to reach the optimal temperature for efficient charging.

The battery modules for the EQS SUV are being manufactured at the automaker's newly opened, state-of-the-art battery plant in Bibb County, which is located near the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa. Production of the high-performance lithium-ion batteries for the EQS SUV is entirely CO2-neutral. 

WLTP range for the EQS SUV is expected to be 660 km (410 miles) and an output up to 400 kW. The DC fast charging system accepts charging rates up to 200 kW to recoup around 250 kilometers (155 miles) of range in about 15 minutes. 

The chassis of the EQS SUV includes a four-link suspension setup on the front axle and an independent multi-link suspension at the rear. An AIRMATIC air suspension with continuously adjustable damping ADS+ comes standard. The vehicle's ride height can also be raised by several centimeters. 

The EQS SUV also features rear wheel steering with an angle of up to 4.5 degrees as standard. It provides improved maneuverability for  urban driving or offroad adventures. 

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The EQS SUV also supports over-the-air software updates to add new features and functions over time. For example, features such as Trailer Maneuvering Assist or MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Augmented Reality Navigation can be activated at a later date. In addition, an optional software update will add up to 10 degrees of rear wheel steering for even greater maneuverability in tight spaces.

Another notable feature is an option for digital headlights. Vehicles with the optional feature are equipped with a headlight assembly with a light module with three extremely bright LEDs. The light is refracted and directed using 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The two headlamps combined offer more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle.

Mercedes Benz did not share pricing for the EQS SUV at this time. However, the EQS sedan costs $103,000, so expect that the SUV model will be similarly priced.

Mercedes-Benz will produce the new EQS SUV and EQE SUV in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the coming months.

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The automaker is accelerating the roll-out of its EQ models and plans to have nine fully electric EQ models on sale globally by the end of the year. It's safe to say that the rollout of new fully-electric Mercedes-Benz models will give Tesla some serious competition in the premium EV space.

"In order to remain the leading luxury brand in an all-electric future, Mercedes-Benz is accelerating the market launch of its EQ models," said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Procurement. "This year, our portfolio will comprise nine all-electric Mercedes EQ models worldwide, and we have more exciting products in the pipeline."

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