2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS

December 13th, 2022 at 3:13pm


Mercedes is transitioning to BEVs by giving its customers cars that are almost exactly what they have right now, except that they’re electric. The look, the feel, and the controls don’t deviate very far from what is already in the lineup. Most M-B customers will feel right at home in this new breed of cars. And the AMG version of the EQS is no exception.

AMG, as you know, is all about performance. And instant max torque is what EVs are all about. So the two of them were meant for each other.

This AMG is so fast that some people will be scared to tap into its full power. There are different power modes that you can choose from on the center screen, and in full boost mode the output leaps from a heart-pounding 649 horsepower to a heart-stopping 751 hp. I didn’t do timed acceleration runs, but I can faithfully attest to the fact that this car is wicked, wicked fast.

The design is fascinating. Surely Darth Vader was the inspiration for the front end. It looks menacing, especially in black. The rest of the body is soft and rounded, as if they put this car in an oven and turned up the heat until the steel melted over the structure. Then, to offset the soft look, they added wheels of intricate complexity. Funny, but overall the car looks smaller than it is.


Like every other EV with the batteries mounted in the floor, the AMG EQS has exceptional road hugging qualities. It corners very well. But the battery pack also adds significant stiffness to the structure of the car, which helps transmit vibrations throughout the vehicle. Mercedes does a pretty good job of tamping that down, but when driving over rough pavement I noticed some buzzing coming from some of the plastic trim parts inside the passenger cabin. This is something I’ve noticed in other electric cars, too. Maybe the structure should be designed with a bit more compliance?

One thing that every EV manufacturer should take a look at is the back seat in the EQS. It provides a simple solution to a very common problem. When EV batteries are mounted in the floor, that raises the height of the floor, which also raises your feet and your knees when you sit in the seat. That means you’re sitting on your tailbone, without much thigh support. That’s OK for short drives, but on long hauls it becomes uncomfortable and tiring.

The fix Mercedes came up with is to raise the front part of the seat cushion and scallop out part of the rear where you park your butt. So, when you sit in the rear seat you get very good thigh support. What a clever solution. I’m surprised no one else has done this. Hello Tesla, Lucid? Are you listening?


On the other hand, Mercedes ought to look into the complexity and overwhelming number of buttons and switches and screens in this car and decide if it needs them all. They’re dizzying. Even garish. No doubt owners will get used to and learn what everything does over time. But after a week of driving I didn’t even come close to figuring out what everything was.

A performance car should look purposeful. It’s OK for an AMG to have a dashboard that has the complex look of a fighter jet. Or at least it was. The trend in electric cars these days is to simplify the controls, to strip buttons off the dash, and to bury everything inside menus on the center screen instead. Paging through a bunch of menus can be a hassle, but by sticking with all those buttons and switches Mercedes runs the risk of having its cars look old fashioned. Clearly, some sort of balance can be struck.

Just because people always ask, and since you will too, this car costs $144,000. The one I tested had another $15,000 tacked on top of that, bringing the total to $159,110 with destination charges. Pricey, but not out of league with other electrics with this level of performance like the Lucid Air Launch Edition or the Tesla Model S Plaid.

I can’t wait to see the sales numbers on the AMG EQS. Obviously, this is a very low volume car, so the numbers will be small. But I’m itching to know if it resonates with existing AMG owners, or if it brings new buyers to the brand. Or what.

–John McElroy

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