Mercedes EQS driving on a hill in a green landscape

The Green Lane: Mercedes-Benz EQS Review

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'It makes the ground-breaking Tesla Model S look old hat'

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The Green Lane: Mercedes-Benz EQS Review

Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders consider the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS – with augmented reality

interior of the Mercedes EQS

Image courtesy of Mercedes EQS

[JS] The exterior is a bit of a jelly-mould but I’ve never seen anything like the interior.

[JT] That bland styling hides a funky cockpit loaded with futuristic gizmos – and a loving, virtual companion who’s happy to talk. This is probably the most advanced luxury saloon a lot of money can buy.

OK, just how much?

Well, this is the first Mercedes built from the ground up on a dedicated, all-electric platform. It’s been lauded for revolutionary technology and huge battery power. However, it’s the whacky interior and computer-generated personal assistant that give it real character.

And the price?

From around £80,000 up to £155,000, or thereabouts. However, the EQS has one of the most advanced interiors I’ve experienced in any car. It makes the ground-breaking Tesla Model S look old hat, especially when equipped with a one-piece display that curves across the entire dashboard.

What’s that all about?

The optional Hyperdisplay stretches 55-inches and includes three screens, all controlled by the very latest Mercedes MBUX operating system. This high-tech apparatus can be linked to the Mercedes Me app and allows ‘over-the-air’ updates that don’t need a trip to a dealership.

I think Mercedes might have difficulty recycling that sort of technology when the vehicle reaches end of life.

I can’t argue with that, although it has just passed the company’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which examines all environmental aspects of the car. It’s an environmental check that gives information on everything from consumption to the use of renewable raw materials and recyclates. There’s a pdf on the Mercedes website.

Exterior view of the Mercedes EQS

Image courtesy of Mercedes EQS

It seems every manufacturing is starting to take sustainability seriously these days.

Yes, it’s the buzzword right now. Over 80kgs of the EQS is made from recycled and renewable raw materials. It’s also hyper-efficient on the road with such a slippery – if dull – design, while the roof of the factory where the EQS is made has 12,000 solar panels and is built from recycled concrete.

What’s the deal with augmented reality?

The car has an Augmented Reality Head-Up Display, which flashes a snake of directional arrows onto a live camera image, posted on the 18-inch OLED centre screen as the EQS approaches a junction. The blue chevrons are also projected onto the base of the windscreen.

What are all the screens about?

In front of the driver is another 12.3-inch screen that can be set up with the ‘classic’ speedo and tachometer display, a whacky ‘sport’ setting, or ‘understated’ – which offers just the bare driving essentials. Facing the passenger is a similar sized screen that allows then to operate their own functions, like music and navigation. There’s even a television setting that instantly dims out if the driver is tempted to turn his head to try and watch.

exterior view of Mercedes EQS in a verdant landscape

Image courtesy of Mercedes EQS

I noticed the ambient lighting that wraps around the cockpit and pulses different shades, depending on the sport, comfort or eco setting of the motors.

Yes, and because the electric EQS is eerily silent on the road, drivers can opt for their own sound experience. I chose relaxing Silver Waves, while Vivid Flux seems to replicate a conventional V8 engine. Access to the eight-core, 24GB memory dashboard is via fingerprint recognition on the centre console. And Mercedes seems to have thought of everything because in the same unit is wireless charging for an iPad, as well as a smartphone.

There’s so much technology crammed into this car I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of what was available

My favourite features included automatic closing doors – the driver shuts theirs by pressing the footbrake. Craziest of all is Energising Comfort, designed to give tired motorists a lift after a long stint behind the wheel. The system turns the centre screen into a giant lava lamp, vibrating the seats and opening the air vents to pump a ‘cool breeze that will whisk you away to the seaside’.

Shame about the bland exterior styling then

Indeed, it’s ultra-streamlined to produce a record-breaking drag coefficient of just 0.20Cd. At least it helps the EQS 450+ cover a massive range of up to 484 miles, which is up there with the very best.

So we both agree the EQS is a gamechanger for German marque then?

Yes and it will spawn a whole series of electric cars, all based on a similar EV platform. The technology is astounding and with the entertaining Mercedes personal assistant beside you, there’s really no need to be alone in a car ever again.

Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design

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Main image: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz EQS