Manufactured in Alabama instead of Germany, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is often referred to as the all-electric counterpart to the internal combustion-powered GLS. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that this zero-emission SUV stands out distinctly in several key aspects.
From the Mercedes-Benz EVA platform to its aerodynamic features and everything in between, the EQS SUV proves to be a distinct entity from its combustion-engined sibling, the GLS. Notably, it’s also heftier than its internal combustion counterpart, with the EQS 580 4MATIC tipping the scales at 2,810 kilograms (6,195 pounds) compared to the GLS 580 4MATIC’s 2,640 kilograms (5,820 pounds).
In the video, the electric SUV is even heavier due in part to the fitment of larger wheels wrapped with 275/40R22 tires, replacing the standard 275/45R21 rubber. Although Mercedes collaborated with Cooper to develop these tires specifically for the EQS SUV, the Zeon CrossRange MO-S tires are not known for their sporty performance.
Cooper tires and a massive 2.8-ton electric SUV don’t make for an ideal combination during emergency maneuvers. The test performed by the Spanish motoring publication, km77.com, is known as the “moose test” and derives its name from the minimum entry speed of 77 kilometers per hour (47.8 miles per hour) required to pass the test.
Surprisingly, the EQS SUV was only able to achieve a speed of 66 kilometers per hour (41.0 miles per hour) during this test, which is a rather concerning result. To provide context, in Sweden, where the moose test originated, the speed limit on roads outside built-up areas ranges from 70 to 100 kilometers per hour (43.5 to 62.1 miles per hour). Additionally, the moose is Sweden’s most iconic animal.
It’s worth noting that electric vehicles are particularly popular in Sweden, with more EVs being sold than plug-in hybrids, traditional hybrids, and internal combustion vehicles. This makes the EQS SUV’s performance in the moose test even more disappointing.
Fernando Rios of km77.com observed minimal understeer at 66 kilometers per hour, but the vehicle’s reactions were notably sluggish. Increasing the speed resulted in significant understeer, which is expected for a vehicle of this weight and ground clearance.
Had the EQS SUV been equipped with higher-quality tires, such as those from Michelin or Pirelli, it might have come closer to the 70-kilometer-per-hour mark. However, Mercedes opted for more affordable Cooper tires instead of premium options. The ethos of “the best or nothing” may have held in the past, but it seems different in the automotive landscape of 2023.
The EQS SUV, codenamed X296 (compared to X167 for the GLS and X294 for the EQE SUV), is available in various configurations. The EQS 450+ SUV comes with rear-wheel drive, while the EQS 450 4MATIC SUV and higher trims feature dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD). The range-topping EQS 680 Maybach 4MATIC SUV boasts 649 horsepower and 950 Nm (701 pound-feet) of torque.
All variants feature battery packs with a net capacity of 108.4 kWh. The EQS 450+ SUV claims the longest driving range with a WLTP-rated 671 kilometers (417 miles) or an EPA-rated 305 miles (491 kilometers). In the United States, the rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ is priced at $104,400 excluding destination charges.
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