First Drive: The Electrifying 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS
AMG performs its magic on Mercedes’ new all-electric EQS sedan
WRITTEN BY Howard Walker
JANUARY 3, 2022
Acceleration Mercedes AMG-style is typically an all-hell-breaks-loose assault on the senses. The unruly thrust, the jolt, the edge-of-control terror. And all accompanied by that snarly, earth-shaking V8 soundtrack that’s part Godzilla, part feral Rottweiler.
That’s what makes this 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS – the first all-electric AMG sedan – so astonishing: squeeze the throttle to unleash the Kraken of 751 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of thrust and all you hear is… silence.
Yes, your body being catapulted back into the contoured seat tells your brain you’re going fast. Fast as in zero-to-60 in 3.4 seconds. But the silence, the lack of short, sharp transmission shifts, and the absence of soaring, crescendo-ing engine revs give no sensory indication of speed.
Then, you take a quick glance at the speedometer and holy-crap – what feels like 60mph is showing an “ever-so-sorry, officer” 120mph.
Of course, Tesla’s Model S Performance with Plaid mode and up to 1,020hp, along with Lucid’s new Air Dream Edition Performance with 1,111hp and others, definitely give the EQS AMG a run for its money.
But somehow, the portly 6,000-pound Benz, with its sumptuous interior and bold style, makes the super-sedan’s remarkable performance feel extra special.
As the EQS badge suggests, this new AMG version is based closely on Mercedes’ just-launched all-electric sedan. Same skateboard platform packed with Duracells, same pair of permanent magnet motors – one on each axle – delivering 4Matic+ all-wheel drive.
But naturally, the performance artisans at AMG have worked their magic on the EQS. Those electric motors get new windings, more juice and new inverter software to amp-up the power to 649-hp and 700 lb-ft.
They also added a “Race Start” package – think launch control – to the standard AMG Dynamic Plus mode that briefly amps-up everything to 751hp and 752 lb-ft.
They also scattered their pixie dust over the suspension, with AMG-tuned adaptive dampers, stabilizer bars, and control arms. Bigger brakes, too, with the option of carbon ceramic stoppers and massive 17.3-inch front rotors.
See this wind-cheating projectile on the street and, while the AMG changes are on the understated side, you’re left with no doubt that this is something special. I love the humongous 22-inch turbine-style rims, the shiny-black AMG Panamericana grille with those vertical silver blades, and gloss-black for the front splitter and rear diffuser.
Climb aboard and the salami-thick AMG wheel, with its squared-off bottom and perforated leather, is a joy to grip. Sit back in the new sports front seats and there’s more-pronounced bolstering for extra lateral support.
And prepare to be shocked and awed by the standard 56-inch glass Hyperscreen that sprawls across the dash, with its AMG-specific screens showing an abundance of performance data and even lap times.
A pedal-to-the-metal test drive between Palm Springs and L.A., mixing rainy freeways with a short stint on a snaky mountain backroad, showed off the towering performance and remarkable agility of this new AMG EQS.
The standard all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering does wonders in making this 17-foot-long, 6,000-pound luxe sedan feel much smaller on the road. And laser-precise steering lets the big Benz slice through corners as if it’s running on invisible rails.
Alas, driving with such gusto doesn’t help extend the range. But with restraint, expect the AMG EQS to whirr along for over 270 miles with full batteries. Find yourself a 200kW fast-charger and you’ll get another 186 miles of range in just 19 minutes.
While there’s no official word on pricing yet, don’t expect much change from $150,000 when the super-sedan goes on sale next Spring.
Yes, there’s so much to admire about this new electric AMG – staggering performance, dynamic handling, bold style and that quality interior. And I didn’t even miss the V8 rumble.