2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV

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With the luxury saloon EQS and the sporty executive saloon EQE, Mercedes-Benz has entered a new, all-electric era in the upper market segments as well. The EQS SUV, the third model series with this architecture developed for electric vehicles, will soon follow. The SUV offers plenty of space, comfort and connectivity for up to seven passengers in its avant-garde, luxurious interior. Thanks to powerful electric motors, responsive 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode, the EQS SUV is also capable of tackling light terrain with ease.

The new EQS SUV shares the long wheelbase (3210 millimetres) with the EQS Saloon, but is over 20 centimetres higher. The dimensions in detail: 5125/1959/1718 millimetres (length/width/height). The interior dimensions benefit from these generous SUV dimensions and from the advantages of the purpose design tailored to the electric platform. The second row of seats can be electrically adjusted as standard. Up to four golf bags fit in the boot. A third row of seats with two additional individual seats and extensive comfort features for all passengers is available as an option.

The EQS Saloon is the current aerodynamics world champion for production cars. Its purpose design with smooth underbody and usually closed radiator shutter was a good starting point for aerodynamic measures on the EQS SUV. The optimisation of SUV-typical flow details led to a hitherto unique combination of spaciousness and aerodynamic efficiency.

All EQS SUVs have an electric drive train (eATS) on the rear axle, and the versions with 4MATIC also have an eATS on the front axle. In the 4MATIC models, the Torque Shift function ensures intelligent, continuously variable distribution of drive torque between the rear and front electric motors and thus the use of the most efficient eATS in each case. The electric motors on the front and rear axles are permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). The advantages of this design include high power density, high efficiency and high power constancy.

The EQS Saloon was the first model series from Mercedes-Benz in which completely new vehicle functions can be activated in several areas via over-the-air updates (OTA). With the EQS SUV, this offer is significantly expanded. For example, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist or MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Augmented Reality Navigation can be activated at a later date.

With the EQS SUV, Mercedes-Benz is taking a major step towards zero-emission mobility and is moving a step closer to fulfilling Ambition 2039. The model is produced in a completely CO2-neutral way. The EQS SUV puts real solutions for emission-free mobility, intelligent resource conservation and responsible circular economy on the road.

The chassis of the new EQS SUV has a four-link axle at the front and an independent multi-link suspension at the rear. The AIRMATIC air suspension with continuously adjustable damping ADS+ is standard equipment. The vehicle level can be raised by several centimetres. In addition to the DYNAMIC SELECT modes ECO, COMFORT, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL, the 4MATIC versions feature OFFROAD, a further mode for off-road driving. Furthermore, rear-axle steering with a steering angle of up to 4.5 degrees is standard. It provides plenty of manoeuvrability in the city and agility over land. Optionally and also via an OTA update, a version with up to 10 degrees steering angle is available.

The principles of Integral Safety, in particular accident safety, apply regardless of the platform. Like all other Mercedes-Benz models, the EQS SUV therefore has a rigid passenger cell, special deformation zones and modern restraint systems. The European version of the EQS SUV is the first Mercedes-Benz model to be able to detect whether rear seats are actually occupied. If a passenger in the rear is not wearing a seat belt, the driver receives a specific warning. Another new feature at Mercedes-Benz is what is known as the occupant presence reminder. This system can indicate children who may have been overlooked in the rear of the vehicle. In vehicles for Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the reminder is on board as standard.

Mercedes me Charge is one of the largest charging networks worldwide: it currently comprises over 700,000 AC and DC charging points, including around 300,000 are in Europe. Since 2021, Mercedes-Benz has ensured a subsequent offset with green electricity when customers use Mercedes me Charge to charge their cars in Europe. High-quality guarantees of origin ensure that as much green power from renewable energies is fed into the grid as is withdrawn via Mercedes me Charge. The new Mercedes me Charge function Plug & Charge makes charging the EQS SUV at public charging stations that support Plug & Charge convenient.

Navigation with Electric Intelligence plans the fastest and most convenient route, including charging stops, based on numerous factors and reacts dynamically to traffic jams or a change in driving style, for example. This includes a visualisation in the MBUX infotainment system as to whether the state of charge of the battery is sufficient to return to the starting point without charging. Charging stations along the route that have been added manually are given preference in the route calculation. Proposed charging stations can be excluded. The estimated charging costs per charging stop are calculated.

With ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL Plus, Mercedes-Benz thinks holistically about air quality in the EQS SUV. The system is based on filtration, sensors, a display concept and air conditioning. The HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter has a very high filtration level to trap fine particles, microparticles, pollen and other substances entering with the outside air.

With intelligent software, MBUX fully adapts to its users and provides them with personalised suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions. With what is known as the zero layer, the most important applications are always offered on the topmost level within the field of vision, according to situation and context.

The highlight of the interior is the MBUX Hyperscreen (special equipment). This large, curved screen unit spans almost from A-pillar to A-pillar. Three screens sit under a common cover glass and merge visually. The 12.3-inch OLED display for the front passenger gives them their own display and control area. In Europe, and in a growing number of countries, the front seat passenger is also able to watch dynamic content while the vehicle is on the move. This is because Mercedes-EQ is able to rely on an intelligent, camera-based blocking logic: If the camera detects that the driver is looking at the passenger display, the system automatically dims the dynamic content.

The Dolby Atmos sound system® takes the audio experience in the EQS SUV to a new level. Individual instruments or voices of the studio mix can be placed all around the listening area. A new kind of sound animation thus becomes possible: This is because while conventional stereo systems usually have a left-right dynamic, Dolby Atmos can use the entire space and create a 360-degree experience.

The interior dimensions and variability

The new EQS SUV shares the long wheelbase (3210 millimetres) with the EQS Saloon, but is over 20 centimetres higher. The interior dimensions benefit from these generous SUV dimensions and from the advantages of the purpose design tailored to the electric platform. A third row of seats with two additional individual seats and extensive comfort features for all passengers is available as an option.

The space offered by the EQS SUV (length/width/height: 5125/1959/1718 millimetres) is generous. Headroom in the first row of seats with sliding sunroof is 1035 millimetres, in the second it is 1030 and in the third 900 millimetres. Shoulder room and elbow room in the first and subsequent rows of seats are also above average.

The second row of seats can be electrically adjusted fore and aft by up to 130 millimetres as standard. As a result, the knee room in the second row of seats is between 830 and 960 millimetres - a comfortable level. The backrests of the second row of seats recline electrically: by 14 degrees to the front and 4 to the rear. The corresponding switches are located in the doors on the right and left.

Because the second row of seats is electrically adjustable as standard, the luggage compartment can be continuously expanded from 645 litres (for maximum legroom) to up to 880 litres. This means that even with five occupants, up to 24 crates of mineral water or four golf bags can be transported. With the second row of seats folded down, the luggage compartment offers a generous volume of up to 2100 litres. With an optional third row of seats, there is generous boot space available too: There are up to 800 litres behind the second row of seats and 2020 litres when they are folded down. If all seven seats are used, a volume of 195 litres remains behind the third row of seats.

The seat backrests can be divided and folded down in a 40:20:40 ratio. They can also be electrically adjusted in inclination. In the so-called cargo position, they angle up more steeply. Larger objects can then be transported without folding them down. The cargo position can be activated with switches in the interior. The height under the open tailgate is 1978 millimetres. Even tall people have sufficient headroom for loading.

As an option, the EQS SUV has a third row of seats with two additional individual seats. The seats in the EQS SUV fold up from the load floor mechanically. With the seats folded, the floor is level. In combination with the third row of seats, an EASY ENTRY function is standard in the second row of seats. For easier access all the way to the rear, the backrest thus moves forward beyond the usual adjustment range, by up to a total of 290 millimetres.

The exterior design

The EQS SUV is the first all-electric premium SUV from Mercedes-EQ. The innovative and holistic design is based on a new vehicle architecture. It differs from vehicles with internal combustion engines at first glance: highest demands on function and aerodynamics are combined with innovative aesthetics in the unmistakable purpose design. Sensual Purity is reflected in generously modelled surfaces, reduced joints and seamless transitions (seamless design). Even as a seven-seater, the EQS SUV impresses with its dynamic proportions.

The front is combined into a 'Black Panel' unit. Headlamps connected by a light band and the deep black radiator grille (Black Panel) form the face. While three light dots form the striking daytime running light signet on the EQS Saloon, there are three small triangles on the EQS SUV. Another special feature is the structured surface of the light modules illuminated from behind: A three-dimensional hexagon pattern in combination with the daytime running lights ensures recognition. LED High Performance headlamps are standard, DIGITAL LIGHT with light band is available as special equipment.

The exclusive look of the Black Panel radiator grille with the central Mercedes star can be enhanced further still: In conjunction with AMG Line Exterior, it is also available as special equipment with a three-dimensional star pattern (Mercedes-Benz Pattern). This references the original star of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company, which was registered as a trademark in 1911. In addition to its unique look, there is also a function behind the Black Panel surface: the various sensors of the driving assistance systems such as ultrasound, camera and radar are integrated. Seamless design is particularly evident in the front design with the reduced joint pattern and an overlapping bonnet. The front bonnet underlines the dynamics of the EQS SUV with power bulges.

Striking lines

The dynamic silhouette defines the side view of the EQS SUV and demonstrates its aerodynamic efficiency from afar. It begins with the round front end, flows dynamically over the steeply raked A-pillar and the roof contour to the rear spoiler. This is always black, which reduces the visual height of the vehicle in profile. The C-pillar is moved far back to communicate the spacious interior. The side window surface is generously framed by a three-dimensional chrome strip. The large wheels in dimensions from 20 to 22 inches, together with a muscular shoulder section, give the EQS SUV a sporty, robust character. Exclusively reserved for this model are two 22-inch rim versions with high-sheen finish and multi-coat black/high-gloss paint: For one, light-alloy wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design and, AMG light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design for another. Most wheels are extremely optimised in terms of aerodynamics and contribute to the overall efficiency of the car.

The exterior mirrors sit on the shoulder for aerodynamic and aeroacoustic reasons. The SUV-typical wheel arch claddings are black, as are the side sill panels, which reduces the visual volume of the vehicle. A running board is optionally available, which also offers aerodynamic advantages and thus has a positive effect on the electric range. On EQS SUVs without this special equipment, a three-dimensional chrome trim structures the lower area.

Flush door handles are standard. A panoramic sunroof is available as an option. It consists of two modules that together form a very large glass surface and thus ensure a lot of transparency and light in the interior.

The service flap for washer fluid has been integrated into the side of the left wing. The front bonnet is only opened by the workshop for maintenance work, such as replacing the cabin air filter.

Light band with LED lamps in 3D helix design

The highlight at the rear is the elaborately designed interior of the LED lights. The elements of the tail light have the shape of a curved 3D helix. In combination with the light band, this results in an unmistakable light signature for Mercedes-EQ.

The tailgate merges smoothly into the bumper. The colour of black wheel arch linings continues in the lower area of the rear bumper. Below it is a high-quality chrome element in diffuser look and with an aerodynamically optimised spoiler lip on the underbody.

Electric drive

With a range of up to 660 kilometres (according to WLTP) and an output of up to 400 kW, the EQS SUV also meets the requirements of a luxury SUV in terms of power delivery. All EQS SUVs have an electric drive train (eATS) on the rear axle, and the versions with 4MATIC also have an eATS on the front axle. In the 4MATIC models, the Torque Shift function ensures intelligent, continuously variable distribution of drive torque between the rear and front electric motors.

The modular drive concept allows a wide range of maximum total outputs from 265 to 400 kW. Depending on the vehicle equipment and configuration, WLTP ranges of up to 660 kilometres1 are possible.

The electric motors on the front and rear axles are permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). On a PSM, the rotor of the AC motor is fitted with permanent magnets and therefore does not need to be supplied with power. The magnets - and thus the rotor - follow the rotating alternating current field in the stator windings. In the EQS SUV, Mercedes-Benz uses a so-called pull-in winding for a particularly strong magnetic field. The motor is referred to as synchronous because the rotor turns at the same rate as the magnetic field of the stator. The frequency is adjusted in the power electronics inverters to the speed requirements of the driver. The advantages of this design include high power density, high efficiency and high power constancy. The motor on the rear axle is particularly powerful due to its six-phase design: it has two windings with three phases each.

Cooling: sophisticated thermal concept for high load capacity

Consistently high performance and multiple accelerations without a drop in power characterise the drive philosophy of the EQS SUV. This includes a sophisticated thermal concept with some special features. A so-called rotor cooling system in the shaft of the rotor cools it from the inside. Other cooling elements in the cooling circuit are fins on the stator, a needle-shaped pin-fin structure on the inverter and a transmission oil heat exchanger. This additionally brings more efficiency during cold driving, as it contributes to the heating of the transmission oil at the start of the drive and thus reduces friction in the transmission.

Intelligent energy recovery: one-pedal driving to a standstill

The EQS SUV offers several variants of energy recovery by means of regeneration. The driver can manually select the deceleration in three levels D+ (sailing), D (standard regeneration), D- (enhanced regeneration) via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

On top of this there is DAuto: In regeneration level DAuto, the ECO Assistant offers situation-adapted regeneration - it operates in gliding mode or decelerates in such a way that the bottom line is the most efficient and comfortable driving style possible. The driver is shown in the instrument cluster and, if applicable, on the head-up display when it is advisable to take the foot off the accelerator pedal due to an upcoming event. If the indication is followed, the vehicle is decelerated with the greatest possible energy recovery rate until it comes to a standstill if there is another vehicle ahead, for example. The driver does not need to operate the brake pedal for this - literally one-pedal driving. Up to 5 m/s² deceleration can be achieved, 3 m/s² of which by means of energy recovery.

4MATIC models: continuously variable distribution of the drive torques

The Torque Shift function ensures a continuously variable torque distribution between the two electric motors of the 4MATIC variants as needed and with optimised efficiency. Depending on the requirements, the torque distribution is regulated:

  • Energy efficiency: When driving at a constant speed, an optimisation process determines the most efficient all-wheel-drive distribution in each case. The calculation takes into account that a permanent magnet synchronous machine can be switched off completely under certain conditions, which reduces the base load.
  • Energy recovery power: Deceleration with the greatest possible energy recovery rate without overtaxing the grip of the wheels and thus endangering driving stability requires an adapted torque distribution. The energy recovery power of the versions with all-wheel drive is up to 290 kW. A high energy recovery rate increases the range.
  • Traction/acceleration: Here, the operating strategy distributes the drive torques just as ideally between the two axles. When cornering sportily, the operating strategy enables stable and neutral handling.
  • Snow and ice: For maximum traction and driving stability also on snow and ice, the operating strategy detects spinning wheels and adjusts the torque distribution accordingly. Since both motors are controlled independently of each other, torque can still be provided to the other axle even if traction is lost on one axle.
  • Off-road: In the OFFROAD driving mode, the all-wheel-drive distribution is optimised for unpaved roads, inclines and terrain.

Extensive testing: special test benches at Mercedes-Benz

On its way to series production, the EQS SUV covered many test kilometres, including at the Test and Technology Centre (PTZ) in Immendingen. The systematic validation of the overall vehicle serves to guarantee the high quality standards and is one of the extensive measures in the development process of every Mercedes-Benz model series. Stops included tough winter tests in Scandinavia, chassis and powertrain tests on proving grounds, public roads and on the high-speed test track in Nardò, as well as integrated overall vehicle heat testing in Southern Europe and South Africa. The EQS SUV was also on test drives in China, Japan, Dubai and the USA.

In the process, it completed the same demanding testing program as any other vehicle that can proudly wear a star. In addition, a number of tests were carried out specifically for electric cars, covering important development priorities such as range, charging and efficiency. Of course, special attention was paid to the e-drive and the battery.

In addition, there were several million test kilometres on a total of more than two dozen test benches in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim and at the development site in Nabern. Testing takes place on pure eATS test benches, where the current comes from a special DC source, a so-called battery simulation, and on eDrive system test benches: Here, the testing also includes the battery and the complete charging components of the vehicle. The route profile/test bench profile was modified compared to the combustion engines, for example, to take into account the torque load on the transmissions in both directions - a special load case determined by the high energy recovery power. In addition, there is the special hot/cold testing of the power electronics.

The battery

The EQS SUV has a lithium-ion battery with up to 12 cell modules and pouch or hardcase cells. Thanks to the 107.8 kWh capacity, sufficient energy can be provided for ranges of up to 660 kilometres according to WLTP. The innovative battery management software, which was developed in-house, allows updates over the air (OTA). This keeps the energy management of the EQS SUV up-to-date.

Battery development is a decisive factor in Mercedes-Benz's electrification strategy. After all, the battery is the heart of an electric car and makes a decisive contribution to, among other things, the range and thus the driving characteristics of the electric vehicle. The EQS Saloon marks the launch of a new generation of batteries with significantly higher energy density. The new batteries set standards in terms of performance, efficiency and charging capacity.

They also meet the high Mercedes requirements in terms of safety, durability and sustainability. Mercedes-Benz issues a battery certificate for its high-voltage batteries, and thus a performance guarantee to customers: A term of 10 years or 250,000 kilometres with a remaining capacity of 70 percent.

Comprehensive battery expertise

The team of experts at the Mercedes-Benz Battery Centre of Competence has developed the high-efficiency batteries entirely in-house. The software for the intelligent management system was also developed and programmed in-house. The battery system for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Saloons.

The EQS SUV has a lithium-ion battery with up to 12 cell modules and pouch or hardcase cells. In terms of cell chemistry, a major step towards sustainability has been achieved with this generation of batteries: The optimised active material consists of nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1. This has reduced the cobalt content to less than ten percent. The continuous optimisation of the recyclability is part of Mercedes-Benz's holistic battery strategy. The aim is to be able to dispense entirely with materials such as cobalt through the use of innovative post-lithium-ion technologies.

Intelligent operating strategy for more efficient charging

The battery is integrated into the intelligent thermal management of the EQS SUV. If the intelligent navigation with Electric Intelligence is activated, the battery is preheated or cooled as needed while driving to reach the optimal temperature for efficient charging at the charging point. The desired temperature range of the battery is achieved with the aid of the cooling circuit and a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) booster heater integrated into it.

Complex protection concept for safety

Mercedes-Benz AG applies very high safety standards to all its models. This means that, in many cases, internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards exceed legal requirements. The crash-related requirements in particular are aligned to the "Real Life Safety" philosophy. In the process, findings from internal accident research are incorporated into the development specifications. Alongside verification of crash behaviour, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at the systems level.

The battery sits in a crash-protected area in the underbody, embedded in the body shell structure including an extruded aluminium profile on the side. In extrusion, a heated block of metal is forced through dies and transformed into a continuous profile, which is then cut to fit. In this way, highly complex profiles can be produced that are precisely tailored to the requirements. The housing with energy absorbing structures at the front and side as well as a rigid, double-walled base plate provide additional protection for the modules. The test criteria include, among other things, the battery behaviour under impact load and in the event of foreign object penetration. Overheating and overcharging were also simulated and tested. In addition, there is a separate, multi-level safety system for everyday operation. This includes, for example, temperature, voltage or insulation monitoring as a continuously monitoring safety system. If a fault occurs, the battery is switched off.

Production: battery systems from Bibb County

On 15 March 2022, Mercedes-Benz opened a state-of-the-art battery plant in Bibb County, not far from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA). Production of the high-performance lithium-ion batteries for the EQS SUV is CO2-neutral. The energy storage units are assembled into a complete system on an approximately 300-metre-long production line with more than 70 workstations. The individual components are assembled in a fully digitised production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. Mercedes-Benz is creating around 600 new jobs in Bibb County.

New safety and training concepts were developed for the employees at the Bibb County plant. Mercedes-Benz attaches particular importance to operational and occupational safety. For example, every team member who has access to the battery plant must complete comprehensive high-voltage safety training. Mercedes-Benz spends a lot of time and money on these special training courses, the more so as they are repeated regularly.

With the new plant, Bibb County will become part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which includes factories on three continents. These include the locations in Kamenz and Stuttgart (Germany), Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Jawor (Poland). The individual factories supply the respective local vehicle production and are also ready for export if required. Mercedes-Benz is investing more than one billion euros in the expansion of its global battery production network.

To localise key suppliers, Mercedes-Benz is partnering with one of the world's leading battery technology companies: Envision AESC. Envision AESC will supply the Mercedes-Benz battery factory in Bibb County with high-performance battery modules from a new plant in the USA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the middle of the decade.

The production

In a few months' time, production of the new EQS SUV will begin at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA). The battery plant in nearby Bibb County, which just opened in March, supplies the batteries for the new Mercedes-EQ model. Production at both sites is carbon-neutral.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been the production site for large SUVs bearing the three-pointed star since 1997. Mercedes-Benz will soon also produce the all-electric EQS SUV exclusively at the North American plant - as part of its global initiative to produce eight all-electric vehicles at seven sites on three continents. The EQS SUV will be integrated into the running series production of the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant. The highly flexible production system of Mercedes-Benz makes it possible to assemble different models and powertrains on a single production line. This is evident in what is known as the "wedding station", for example, where bodywork and powertrain come together. This "full-flex wedding" comprises several modular stations that allow joining different powertrain variants with the respective vehicle bodies on the same assembly line. For example, the EQS SUV is produced on the same line as the conventionally powered SUVs, allowing the plant to adapt quickly to changes in customer demand.

Local battery production is a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz's electrification initiative. The new battery factory, which opened in nearby Bibb County in March, produces the battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-metre-long production line with more than 70 workstations. A host of components is assembled into a complete system in a fully digitised production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. The battery for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Saloons. With the new plant, Bibb County will become part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which includes factories on three continents. When running at full capacity, up to 600 employees in two-shift operation produce batteries in the six digits annually.

Thanks to comprehensive digitisation with the MO360 production ecosystem and the consistent application of Industry 4.0 technologies, the Tuscaloosa and Bibb County plants operate flexibly and highly efficiently. MO360 obtains real-time information from the most important production processes and IT systems of the approximately 30 Mercedes-Benz passenger car plants worldwide, and integrates important software applications.

As of this year, all of the Mercedes-Benz owned passenger car and van plants worldwide produce on a CO2-neutral basis, including the Mercedes-Benz plants in Alabama.

Mercedes-Benz has invested more than seven billion dollars overall in Alabama since the 1990s. This includes one billion dollars in the construction of the new battery factory in Bibb County, in the logistics centre and in the flexibilisation of the production sites. At present, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) employs a workforce of about 4500 and in addition secures some 11,000 more jobs at suppliers and service providers in the region. Since 1997, about four million vehicles rolled off the assembly line at the plant in Tuscaloosa. In 2021 alone, it was some 260,000 SUVs. About two thirds of the annual production output is exported, making MBUSI one of the biggest vehicle exporters in the USA.

Aerodynamics

After the EQS and the EQE, the EQS SUV is the third Mercedes-EQ to be based on the modular architecture for large electric vehicles. The optimisation of SUV-typical flow details, for example through turbulators and aerodynamically shaped running boards, delivered a hitherto unique combination of spaciousness and aerodynamic efficiency. To this end, the purpose design with smooth underbody and usually closed radiator shutter of the current aerodynamics world champion for production cars EQS was a good starting point, even if an SUV can never achieve the aerodynamic drag values of a saloon.

Behind the very good aerodynamic performance is a lot of detail work. Great attention was paid to the development of the non-visible details in particular, for example on the underbody. One of the special features of the EQS SUV is the innovative design of the rear diffuser with a pronounced spoiler lip. The design cancels the undesirable flow interaction of the underbody and the form of an estate car rear end without reducing the angle of departure.

For the optionally available running boards, the designers and aerodynamicists were inspired by the underbody of Formula 1 cars. It drops down in the non-visible area on the underside. This directs the airflow behind the wheels and results in a measurable aerodynamic advantage.

Because the axles are installed differently than in the saloons, the underbody panelling with the covers for the electric drive trains (eATS) had to be redesigned. This includes a new sealing concept, but also striking details such as the jagged turbulators in the front part of the underbody. They detach the air vortices in a targeted manner. The flow is directed downwards from the wheel wells. Herringbone-shaped air outlets on the rear floor improve the contact of the underbody flow and direct the rear flow in a desired direction.

Several thousand computational runs were performed in the virtual wind tunnel alone. Below are more details of the aero development:

  • Aerodynamically favourable dimensional concept and tyres with optimised geometry
  • Aerodynamically optimised wheels and tyres
  • Continuous seals in the front area, e.g. between service flap, Black Panel and headlamps
  • Streamlined design of the A-pillar
  • Wheel spoilers at front and rear
  • Distinctive side spoilers with all-round spoiler lips.

Extensive sealing and insulation measures reduce wind noise

In an electric car without the usual level of noise from the engine, wind noise is more noticeable by the occupants. That's why the aeroacoustic behaviour is particularly important. In this area, too, the new EQS SUV is one of the best vehicles in its class.

Lots of fine-tuning in the details: in order to reduce or prevent low-frequency noises that can be perceived as reducing comfort, numerous cavities in the car body were filled with acoustically effective foam, for example.

The high-frequency components of the wind noise have also been reduced in the EQS SUV through improved seals on the door handles, the windscreen bracket and the exterior mirrors. The aeroacousticians paid special attention to the seals of the transitions between the six side windows. Another contribution is made by the A-pillar with a specially shaped trim element at the transition to the windscreen. In its development, both modern flow simulations and external noise measurements by means of a special microphone array in the wind tunnel were used. The A-pillar designed in this way not only improves the aeroacoustics, but is also important for a low cd value and in keeping the windows free of dirt.

The Acoustic Comfort Package further enhances noise comfort. This includes acoustically effective laminated glass on the side windows of the doors. On the panoramic roof, various wind deflectors, covers and seals with improved geometry ensure low noise levels despite the large roof opening.

The interior design

The EQS SUV combines a particularly generous sense of space with a luxurious and avant-garde interior design. In addition to the MBUX Hyperscreen, the designers relied on consistent digitisation for many other elements. New is an innovative hybrid trim piece: The wood trim elements with Mercedes-Benz Pattern as aluminium inlays are the modern, high-quality interpretation of this classic inlay technique.

Like the EQS Saloon, the EQS SUV is based on an all-electric platform. For the designers, this went hand in hand with the vision of systematic digitisation of the interior. The optional MBUX Hyperscreen impressively implements this vision: the entire instrument panel is one ultimate widescreen. The real glass appears to extend three-dimensionally across the entire width of the vehicle in a wave-like pattern. The high-resolution screens merge seemingly seamlessly under the shared glass cover.

The vent band spans across the entire width at the top and is very slim at the same time. These extreme proportions, together with the glass wave of the MBUX Hyperscreen, create the avant-garde architecture of the cockpit.

The dominant outer vents have a turbine design. They deliberately play on the theme of "hyperanalogue" through the contrast between high-tech precision mechanics and digital, glass display world. The intricately designed turbine blades distribute the airflow efficiently.

The front section of the centre console joins the instrument panel and is free-standing in space. It is a visual reference to the new drive architecture - due to the electric powertrain, no transmission tunnel is necessary. Because the distance to the centre console is greater, the high-quality stowage tray in the centre of the footwell offers more space for accessories than its counterpart in the EQS Saloon.

Flowing leather surfaces with intricate seam patterns create a lot of stowage space in combination with a large cover made of real wood. The visual impression is both modern and luxurious.

The base model without MBUX Hyperscreen has a slightly different centre console. There is a soft armrest in the rear section. It is first visually interrupted before being transitioned into the floating central display.

The design of the door panels borrows from the interior design of modern living spaces. Doors and their centre panels emerge from behind the dashboard, spanning the entire space. A surface-mounted modular body floats like a sideboard in front of the door panel. It accommodates all necessary door elements such as armrest, door module, handle and map pocket. Circular ambient lighting completes this floating, avant-garde aesthetic in the dark.

The Electric Art equipment line includes luxury seats with lavishly crafted covers. Piping emphasises the hand-finished character. In combination with AMG Line interior, the customer receives SUV sports seats with non-integrated head restraints.

The second row of seats have luxury head restraints as standard on the outer seats. A third row of seats is available as an option for the EQS SUV.

Colour & trim: avant-garde and tradition for a special ambience

Technologically pioneering as well as traditional materials and colours lend the interior a special atmosphere.

The modern, delicate NEOTEX structure combines the look of nubuck leather and high-tech neoprene. It is found on the instrument panel, the armrest and the seats of the Electric Art Line.

Seven coordinated colour combinations in the interior emphasise the generous sense of space. The EQS SUV is immersed in a progressive and luxurious colour scheme of warm and cool tones. Colours such as balao brown-neva grey and space grey-macchiato beige add the finishing touches to the soft and emotive design.

The trim parts make a decisive contribution to the aesthetics in the EQS SUV. New features include the innovative wood trim elements with Mercedes-Benz Pattern as aluminium inlays. The star pattern is lasered into open-pore ash wood. A stainless steel sheet is pressed on from the back and pushed through the star-shaped cavities - the modern interpretation of an inlay with a quality and precision previously unknown in this segment.

The anthracite 3D relief look trim elements with fine metal pigments and laser cut, backlit with Mercedes-Benz Pattern, also provide a special ambience. The star pattern is lasered into the plastic trim and is adaptively backlit. Wood trim elements are also available, for example, anthracite open-pore line-structure lime wood or open-pore walnut ship's deck wood.

A special welcome & goodbye scenario has been developed for the Mercedes-EQ models, which is also coordinated with the ambient lighting.

UX design: multiple display styles and modes to choose from

The MBUX Hyperscreen is available as a high-end feature. It shapes the display world in the cockpit area. The driver, central and passenger displays merge into one.

During the start animation on the screens, the new Mercedes-EQ trademark appears on the central display for a few seconds: a highly stylised blue laurel wreath encircles the lettering of the Mercedes-Benz electric brand.

The functional content and operating structure correspond to the EQS Saloon and, like there, are adapted to electric driving. Visually, all graphics are designed in a consistent blue/orange colour scheme. The classic cockpit display of the two round dials has been reinterpreted with a digital light sabre in a glass lens. All content relevant to driving can be accessed between the round dials.

An alternative display mode to the two tubes is the "Pure EV" mode: A 3D performance bar graph emotively and impressively conveys the respective driving status (Drive, Accelerate, Charge). The central object here is a "G-force puck", which dynamically moves freely in space in line with the acceleration forces.

The appearance of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).

For a calm interior impression, the content of the displays in discreet mode is reduced as much as possible and coordinated with the colour change of the ambient lighting in seven screen colour worlds. In "Assistance" mode, important events such as lane changes or specified distance control as well as the infrastructure and detected other road users (cars, motorcycles, trucks) are displayed.

MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience)

With the EQS Saloon, MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) reached a new level. The second generation of this system is also used in the EQS SUV. With adaptive software, the display and operating concept adapts completely to its users and makes personalised suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions. With the zero-layer design, the user does not have to scroll through submenus or give voice commands. The key applications are always offered on the top level in the field of vision, depending on the situation and context. This relieves the driver of numerous operating steps. The immersive Dolby Atmos® sound system revolutionises the sound experience and expands the classic surround sound. It is available with the Burmester® surround sound system.

The infotainment systems offer numerous and extensive functions. Several operating steps are often required to control them. In order to reduce these interactive steps even further, Mercedes-Benz employed artificial intelligence to develop a user interface with context-sensitive awareness.

The MBUX system proactively displays the right functions at the right time for the user, supported by artificial intelligence. The context-sensitive awareness is constantly optimised, both by changes in the surroundings and by user behaviour. The 'zero layer' offers the user dynamic, aggregated content from the entire MBUX system, and thus the associated services, on the uppermost level of the MBUX information architecture.

The navigation application with its full range of functions is therefore always in the centre of the display unit. Over 20 other functions - from ENERGIZING COMFORT to birthday reminders and suggestions for the to-do list - are automatically offered with the help of artificial intelligence when they are relevant to the customer. The developers have internally christened these suggestion modules displayed on the zero-layer interface "magic modules".

Here are five representative use cases. The user can accept or reject the respective suggestion with just one click:

  • When approaching a charging station that is enabled for Plug & Charge, the magic module 'Charging' automatically appears. The driver can then start charging immediately.
  • If someone always calls one particular friend on the way home on Tuesday evenings, in future they will always receive a suggestion regarding this particular call on this day of the week and at this time. A business card appears with their contact information and - if this is stored - their photo. All the suggestions from MBUX are linked with the profile of the user. If someone else is driving the EQS SUV on a Tuesday evening, this recommendation will not be made - or another one will be made, depending on the preferences of the other user.
  • If the driver regularly uses the hot stone massage function in winter, the system learns and automatically suggests the comfort function for winter temperatures.
  • If the user regularly switches on the heating of the steering wheel in addition to the seat heating, for example, this is suggested to them as soon as they activate the seat heating.
  • The chassis of the EQS SUV can be raised to provide more ground clearance. A useful function for steep driveways or speed bumps on the ground for traffic calming ("sleeping policemen"). MBUX remembers the GPS position where the user has made use of the "Raise Vehicle" function. If the vehicle approaches this GPS position again, MBUX automatically suggests raising the EQS SUV.

MBUX: a milestone as the interface between driver, passengers and vehicle

The EQS SUV features the latest MBUX generation. As standard, the EQS 450+ (WLTP: combined power consumption: 23.0-18.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) is equipped with a 12.3-inch driver's display and a 12.8-inch central display in portrait format. The impressive MBUX Hyperscreen is available as an option. There, the front passenger also has their own screen.

Hey Mercedes: the voice assistant can now do even more

Compared with the previous MBUX generation, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is even more capable of dialogue and learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword "Hey Mercedes". These include taking a telephone call. "Hey Mercedes" now also explains vehicle functions, and can help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found, for example. Compatible home technology and household devices can also be networked with the vehicle thanks to the smart home function and controlled from the vehicle by voice. "Hey Mercedes" is now also able to recognise vehicle occupants by their voices. Once the individual characteristics of the voice have been learned, this can be used to access personal data and functions by activating a profile.

The voice assistant in the EQS SUV can also be operated from the rear. In general, rear passengers experience the same comprehensive infotainment and comfort offerings as the driver and front passenger. They have up to two rear-seat screens plus a tablet and a wide range of intuitive controls.

MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus: comfort like in the front row

Screen content can be quickly and easily shared with other passengers. Selection and modification of navigation destinations also is possible from the rear seats. MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus comprises two 11.6-inch displays with touch controls on the backrests of the driver and front passenger seats. The MBUX rear tablet is also optionally available. It is a fully fledged tablet and can also be used outside the vehicle. In addition, apps (Android) can be installed. With this convenient remote control, all rear seat entertainment functions can be comfortably controlled from any seat position.

Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, the MBUX Interior Assistant recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It interprets which way the head points, hand movements and body language and reacts with appropriate vehicle functions. As well as enhancing operating convenience, the MBUX Interior Assistant improves safety. If it is switched on, the vehicle exit warning of Blind Spot Assist is already issued when a hand approaches the door handle. It can also detect a child seat on the front passenger seat and signal on the central display if the vehicle seat belt is not buckled.

Dolby Atmos®: Close to the real live music experience

The Dolby Atmos immersive sound system® takes the audio experience in the EQS SUV to a new level. Individual instruments or voices of the studio mix can be placed all around the listening area. A new kind of sound animation thus becomes possible: This is because while conventional stereo systems usually have a left-right dynamic, Dolby Atmos® can use the entire space and create a 360-degree experience.

Dolby Atmos® is offered with the Burmester® surround sound system, which has 15 speakers.

Online music: music streaming with millions of songs to choose from

Mercedes-Benz has completely integrated many music streaming providers into the MBUX infotainment system with the "Online Music" service. MBUX enables access to the personal user profile at the linked music providers. This allows customers to seamlessly access their favourite songs and playlists and discover millions of songs as well as curated playlists. Operation is intuitive using the MBUX voice assistant via "Hey Mercedes" and via touch controls on the steering wheel or central display.

Personalisation is simple and convenient

A personal profile can be created directly in the EQS SUV and synchronised with existing profile data in the Mercedes me account. By scanning a QR code with the Mercedes me App, the vehicle is automatically connected to the Mercedes me account.

Personal preferences such as a favourite radio station and preselected settings can be transferred to any seat via the personal Mercedes me profile. Up to seven different profiles with a total of around 800 parameters are possible in the vehicle. The ambient lighting can be individually set by remote configuration, e.g. from home. As the profiles are stored in the cloud as part of Mercedes me, the profiles can also be used in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the new MBUX generation.

In addition to the classic entry of a PIN, a special authentication procedure ensures a high level of security. Fingerprint, face and voice recognition are combined. This allows access to individual settings or verification of digital payment processes from the vehicle.

MBUX Hyperscreen

The MBUX Hyperscreen is the absolute highlight in the interior. This large, curved screen unit spans almost from A-pillar to A-pillar. Three screens sit under a common bonded glass cover and visually merge into one display. In addition to the zero-layer design, the MBUX Hyperscreen offers intuitive touch operation with haptic feedback and force feedback. The scratch-resistant glass is coated to make cleaning easier.

With the MBUX Hyperscreen, three displays merge almost seamlessly into one another to create an impressive screen band over 141 centimetres wide: driver's display (screen diagonal: 12.3 inch), central display (17.7 inch) and front passenger display (12.3 inch) appear as one visual unit.

The selected display style is shown uniformly on all screens; and the brightness is homogeneously adapted to the lighting conditions in the interior. The control panels for the automatic climate control system are located in the lower area of the central display. These remain permanently displayed so that the driver and front passenger can directly adjust the temperature and ventilation.

For particularly brilliant display quality, OLED technology is used for the central and front passenger displays. Their individual pixels are self-luminous; non-actuated image pixels remain switched off, which means that they appear deep black. The active OLED pixels, on the other hand, shine with a high colour brilliance, which also means high contrast values - irrespective of the viewing angle and the lighting conditions.

The central and front passenger displays also provide haptic feedback. When a finger touches certain spots on the touch screen, actuators (eight in the central display, four in the front passenger display) trigger a perceptible vibration of the glass cover. The user thus feels pulses on the smooth surface, which give the impression of a mechanical switch. Another operating aid known from high-quality consumer electronics products is the force feedback of both displays. For this purpose, a metallised foam is integrated into the device as a force sensor. Different levels of pressure on the glass change the response. For example, MBUX then jumps to another menu level.

The 12.3-inch OLED display for the front passenger gives them their own display and control area, making journeys more enjoyable and entertaining. They can watch dynamic content such as streaming video or TV during the drive. The system uses an intelligent, camera-based blocking logic that recognises if the driver is looking toward the front-passenger display. If this is the case, the system automatically dims the dynamic content. If the front passenger seat is not occupied, the screen becomes a digital decorative image. The customer can choose from various decorative images, including a starry sky, i.e. the Mercedes-Benz Pattern.

The curved glass cover is made of particularly scratch-resistant aluminium silicate glass and is coated to make cleaning easier. For example, fingerprints can be easily removed with a microfibre cloth.

Ergonomic, sophisticated, robust: the development

During the development of the MBUX Hyperscreen, Mercedes-Benz engineers carried out extensive ergonomics studies with visible light beams. The result is an optimised alignment of the MBUX Hyperscreen to reduce reflections caused by the curvature of the glass cover. In addition, the upper part of the windscreen is shaded by a tinted strip.

Other details designed with the hallmark Mercedes-Benz meticulousness include the brightness of all three screens, which is adjusted to the respective ambient conditions. A light sensor above the central display is used to determine the illumination level in the driver and front passenger areas. In addition, the camera integrated in the driver's display measures the ambient brightness. Both the brightness and the image content of the displays are then adjusted. At the same time, this algorithm is less susceptible to scattered light and thus to misinterpretation of the measurement system.

Tolerance to high temperature differences, immunity to vibrations, and protection against dust are among the tough automotive requirements for which the entire system has been designed. Age-related burn-in effects of OLED displays are countered with the help of various technical solutions. The ageing process of each individual pixel is permanently monitored and an automatic adjustment is carried out in the background to compensate for it. In addition, the displayed image information rotates slightly and imperceptibly counter-clockwise to reduce permanent strain.

Curved, bonded and printed: the production

The large glass cover is curved three-dimensionally using the moulding process. This hot forming of glass at process temperatures of approx. 650°C places the highest demands on mould making and process control and is used in the production of optical glass for camera lenses and smartphone glass covers. With the MBUX Hyperscreen, this process enables a distortion-free view of the displays across the entire width of the vehicle, regardless of the radius of the glass cover.

All displays are transparently bonded to the glass cover for a uniform refractive index curve to avoid reflections as much as possible. The central and front passenger displays are optically connected to the glass cover under vacuum. This dry-bonding process uses an adhesive material similar to double-sided adhesive tape. The LCD driver's display, which is flat owing to its design, uses a wet bonding process in which the adhesive material is liquid to compensate for the radius of the glass cover.

The black areas between the screens are printed onto the glass cover from behind using a screen printing process specially adapted to the curvature. The colour of the black print was adapted to the reflection behaviour of the OLED displays in order to achieve a homogeneous overall impression in a wide variety of lighting situations. For certain important warning lights to the right and left of the driver's display, a mask is used during the screen printing process to leave out the corresponding symbol.

The MBUX Hyperscreen is surrounded by a continuous plastic front frame. This visible part is painted in "Silver Shadow" using an extensive three-coat process. This paint system achieves an especially high-quality surface impression through extremely thin intermediate coats. The integrated ambient lighting in the lower section of the MBUX Hyperscreen make the display unit seemingly float on the instrument panel.

Extensive precautions: the safety measures

The MBUX Hyperscreen is bolted directly to the cockpit cross-member for stability: the connection to a stabilising magnesium support as the structural component of the MBUX Hyperscreen is made via aluminium brackets. Their honeycomb structure allows them to deform in a controlled manner in a crash. For reasons of side impact protection, the glass cover also does not extend all the way to the doors. In the event of a severe side impact, there are also predetermined breaking points behind the side air vents.

The Sound Experiences

Electric cars are inherently quiet. If desired, the ride in the EQS SUV can nevertheless become an acoustic experience: with a holistic sound production, the sound experts from Mercedes have made the paradigm shift from the combustion engine to the electric car acoustically perceptible. A total of three soundscapes are available. A separate interior driving sound is optionally available for each soundscape. It adjusts adaptively to the driving style and driving mode.

A variety of soundscapes allows for an individual acoustic set-up. If the Burmester® surround sound system is on board, the EQS SUV features the two soundscapes Silver Waves and Vivid Flux. Silver Waves is a sensuous and clean sound. Aimed at EV enthusiasts, Vivid Flux is crystalline, synthetic yet humanly warm. They can be selected or switched off as Sound Experiences on the central display.

Another soundscape can be unlocked using over-the-air technology. "Roaring Pulse" fits the character of the SUV particularly well. This Sound Experience is reminiscent of powerful machines, and is sonorous and extroverted.

Driver and passengers are already greeted acoustically when approaching the vehicle and when getting in. A corresponding Aura sound also accompanies the exiting and locking of the EQS SUV. Also part of the particular soundscape is the driving sound, which is reproduced by the speakers in the interior. It stirs emotions and inspires. At the same time, the driving sound is interactive, as it responds to a good dozen parameters such as the accelerator position, speed or energy recovery. The choice of driving mode also influences the driving sound; in SPORT mode, for example, the sounds become more dynamic and further effects are activated. The amplifier of the Burmester® surround sound system uses intelligent sound design algorithms to compute the sounds in real time, and the speakers reproduce them.

The algorithms and sounds for the sound design are created in-house at Mercedes-EQ. In addition to physicists, the interdisciplinary team also includes sound designers, media designers and mechatronics specialists. They work on the sound of the EQS SUV and its sibling models in the acoustics laboratory, which is completely shielded from external noise and vibrations. The sound experts determine which emotions the soundscapes evoke in real traffic during test drives. The mobile listening tests take place with interactive demonstrator vehicles, including at the new Immendingen Test and Technology Centre (PTZ).

In order to achieve an interplay between the driver's action, the vehicle's reaction and the feedback of the sound, musical composition such as harmony theory is not the only foundation. The vividness of the soundscape varies as the result of many sound dimensions. In this way, the sound design creates a holistic, multi-sensory experience that interacts with the entire vehicle. This experience is somewhere between comfortable quiet on the one hand and precise feedback with emotionally appealing design on the other.

Quiet-running and vibration comfort

The EQS SUV is designed to meet the highest standards of quiet-running. The performance specifications therefore already defined a number of measures, including special acoustic foams in some of the profiles of the body shell as well as the encapsulation of the eATS at the front and rear. The drive units are doubly insulated using rubber mounts. Ramps in the underbody panelling reduce noise from chippings thrown up in the wheel arches.

Even the design of the electric powertrains (eATS) takes quiet-running and vibration comfort (NVH - Noise, Vibration, Harshness) into account. The magnets are arranged inside the rotors in an NVH-optimised way (known as 'lamination'). This also reduces the use of rare earths. The shape of the winding, what is known as the stator tilt, also supports vibration comfort, especially at low speeds. The coils in the stator are at an angle in relation to the permanent magnets of the rotor. This reduces the occurrence of what is known as detent torques. They would lead to slight but unpleasant vibrations when driving very slowly.

In addition, the cover of the inverter has a sandwich design of three metal and plastic layers. The eATS are double-decoupled from the body via elastomer bearings.

The 4MATIC versions are equipped with an innovative supporting frame at the front axle. What is known as injection bonding is used as the joining technique. This involves joining the four main components - forged aluminium parts and extruded profile - to form a component with optimised vibration characteristics.

Highly effective spring/mass components provide continuous sound insulation from the cross-member under the windscreen to the floor of the boot. Acoustic foams are inserted into many members during construction of the body shell.

In addition, the main floor is designed with beads for NVH reasons. These prevent resonance of the surface and thus the occurrence of a corresponding structure-borne sound. Ramps in the underbody panelling reduce noise from chippings thrown up in the wheel arches.

Two acoustic dividers in the very large tailgate reduce booming noises. These could be caused by roadway excitations and are favoured by the large volume of the cabin including the luggage compartment. As in all Mercedes-Benz estate cars and SUVs, the tailgate's catch is decoupled.

Navigation with Electric Intelligence

When it comes to Navigation with Electric Intelligence, the name says it all. Because it plans the fastest and most convenient route, including charging stops, based on numerous factors and reacts dynamically to traffic jams or a change in driving style, for example. Navigation with Electric Intelligence is clever; it even calculates the expected charging costs for a charging st