Electric Jaguar XJ rival is spotted with reduced camouflage ahead of it going on sale next year, with a range of over 435 miles claimed
Mercedes-Benz is preparing to take on the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan and next-generation Jaguar XJ with its plush new EQS electric saloon, and fresh spyshots of a lesser disguised prototype have emerged.
The newly-spotted prototype ditches the bulky body cladding and fake lights of previous testing mules, giving a glimpse of the head and taillamp design alongside the overall body propertions.
Last week Mercedes-Benz officially confirmed an all electric range of more than 700km (435 miles) for its EQS. Daimler boss Ola Kallenius also said the new model would “set the benchmark” in terms of luxury, comfort and safety.
The EQS will compete with the Porsche Taycan and Audi’s E-Tron GT in the flourishing electric premium saloon segment. Test mules have featured a low, swooping roofline, with a slim headlight design among the more obvious visible features. It’s described as being roughly the size of the current CLS. The maker previously hinted at the styling of its first electric saloon with the EQS Vision concept at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.
The latest addition to Mercedes’ forthcoming EQ electric vehicle line-up will join the EQC mid-sized SUV and EQA family hatchback in showrooms in 2021. According to officials, the EQS name implies a level of luxury, comfort and features consummate to the company’s traditional S-Class.
It will head what the engineering boss of the EQ sub-brand, Michael Kelz, suggests will be a 10-strong electric model range by the middle of the 2020s.
Whereas the EQC is based on existing underpinnings from the GLC and the EQA is set to use a modified A-Class platform, the range-topping EQS will be the first EQ model to benefit from Mercedes’ dedicated Modular Electric Architecture (MEA).
Among the key engineering solutions included in the aluminium-intensive MEA platform is a flat floor structure.
In terms of proportions, it has a much shorter bonnet and a more heavily raked windscreen than the S-Class. In combination with the flat floor structure and a near-three-metre-long wheelbase as well as less intrusion from the gearbox and transmission tunnel than in conventionally powered models, this is expected to provide the EQS with greater interior space than Mercedes’ current range-topper.
The heavily curved roofline and relatively shallow glasshouse is similar to that seen on the CLS, while the fastback-style rear contains a liftback-style bootlid similar to that of the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupé.
The EQS is expected to be powered by two electric motors – one on the front axle and the other at the rear – providing permanent four-wheel drive. In the EQC, this set-up delivers more than 400bhp and some 516lb ft.
Mercedes has confirmed the EQS will be produced at its main Sindelfingen factory on the outskirts of Stuttgart. It’s the third plant in Germany earmarked to produce an EQ model, with the EQC set to be built in Bremen and the EQA at Mercedes’ compact car plant in Rastatt.
An additional EQ model, likely a GLB-based EQB SUV positioned below the EQC, will be produced at the Smart factory in Hambach, France.