Mercedes preps debut of EQE EV, a Tesla Model S rival

The EQS is expected to have a WLTP range of more than 700 km (435 miles), according to Mercedes. The EQS will roll off the same assembly line as the S-Class flagship sedan at the automaker’s plant in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart, starting this year. It will also be produced at Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama, starting June 2022.

By comparison, Mercedes’ EQC crossover, which is largely based on the fuel-powered GLC, has a maximum range of 462 km. That figure, however, is not directly comparable to the EQS’s range because it is calculated using the NEDC test cycle, was Europe’s testing regime before the tougher WLTP was introduced.

Mercedes has not provided the EQC’s WLTP-certified range. The automaker has repeatedly delayed the car’s U.S. launch, which analysts attribute to the EQC’s uncompetitive range.

Demand for the EQC has disappointed, with only 20,000 sold globally last year versus 47,000 units for the full-electric Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs.

Based on comments Kallenius made during Mercedes’ financial results conference last week, Mercedes sees the EQE as the more direct rival to the Model S and Taycan than the EQS. Kallenius said the EQS will be in class by itself.

“There will not be a luxury sedan in the market, nor is there one right now, that compares to the size, the packaging and the space as the EQS. It sits a segment above including a back seat where you can actually sit comfortably,” he said, adding it would also get a reclining seat.

“It will look completely different than an S-Class. It was not our goal to make a clone of a car that is based in this case on a combustion platform but to do something that looks fully and totally different,” Kallenius said.

Mercedes has said that the EQS will be its first full-electric model in the U.S.