New Mecerdes EQS packs S-Class tech, is most aero-efficient road car

The new Mercedes-Benz EQS will be the world’s most aerodynamically efficient road car yet, according to its maker.

In an announcement ahead of the electric-powered luxury saloon’s planned unveiling on 15 April, Mercedes-Benz said the fourth model from its EQ sub-brand will boast a drag co-efficient “starting at 0.20”.

The benchmark figure, measured in Mercedes-Benz’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Sindelfingen, Germany, places the new headlining EQ model ahead of its both its electric-powered and combustion-engine saloon car rivals for outright aerodynamic efficiency.

In January 2021, Telsa claimed a drag co-efficient of 0.208 for the facelifted Model S, bettering the 0.21 of the Lucid Air.

It also establishes the EQS as the most aerodynamically efficient Mercedes-Benz road car yet ahead of the A-Class saloon and seventh-generation S-Class, both rated at 0.22.

The 0.20 figure was achieved in combination with 19in AMG wheels and with the Sport driving mode, says Mercedes-Benz.

The EQS is the first model to be based on Mercedes-Benz’s EVA platform, which is also planned to underpin the upcoming EQE saloon, EQE SUV and EQS SUV, among other upcoming models.

The new platform uses a skateboard-style architecture that has allowed Mercedes-Benz to provide the upmarket saloon with its own distinctive cab-forward proportions, with the A-pillars set well forward, a shorter bonnet and boot than the latest S-Class and a heavily curved roofline – the so-called ‘one bow’ design lineage as Mercedes-Benz describes it – to give it a coupé-like profile with short overhangs.

The new Mercedes-Benz model adopts a smooth-surfaced design devoid of body creases. A key element used to achieve the record-breaking aerodynamic figure is an uncharacteristically low front end featuring a fully enclosed black panel grille, as previewed on the EQS concept car revealed in 2019.

The front corners are also heavily tapered to reduce the frontal area, while the cooling ducts have air shutters that open and close, depending on the cooling requirements of the electric driveline and brakes.

The large bonnet of the new 5m-plus saloon wraps around into the flanks, placing its shutlines in a more efficient position for lower drag and less turbulence than the more conventional bonnet of the S-Class.  

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Customers will be able to specify the new EQ model with Mercedes-Benz’s digital MBUX Hyperscreen. Consisting of three separate displays integrated behind a single curved panel 141cm wide, it is controlled by the latest version of the MBUX operating system, whose eight-core CPU features 24GB of RAM and supports over-the-air software updates.

Other options include a head-up display unit featuring augmented reality functions, a Burmester surround sound system with 15 speakers and output of 710W and a high-efficiency particulate filter as part of a so-called Energising Air Control system.

The cab-forward proportions and flat floor are claimed to liberate greater accommodation than that of the S-Class, with an AMG trim line offering sporting touches, including more supportive front seats. The standard rear seat is designed for three-across seating, although the centre seat is raised and the glasshouse tapers inwards.

The EQS will be offered with a comprehensive sound package with four different modes: Silent, Silver Waves, Vivid Flux and Roaring Pulse – the last of which has been conceived to replicate the sound of a traditional combustion engine.