German luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz announced the launch of its new EQS EV in India around the second half of 2022. Adding to the excitement, Mercedes also announced that, unlike its previous models that came with pre-prepared parts, the EQS will be assembled locally in India, more specifically its plant in Chakan, Maharashtra.
While the EQS isn’t the brand’s first EV, it is the first all-electric luxury limousine by Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz was also the first company to launch a luxury electric car in the Indian market, the Mercedes-Benz EQC, which was launched in 2020.
Touted to be the ‘S class of EVs’, the EQS is built on a dedicated electric platform known as EVA and is not the existing ICE model, which is found in the EQC, EQA and EQB models.
In an interview with Reuters, Mercedes-Benz India managing director Martin Schwenk spoke about the design of the EQS, “With the EQS we see a very strong product at hand. It will set the standard for EVs in India. We believe we also have volumes behind it.” He added, “The question was now, how do we become a substantial EV brand in India? And in my view, that is only possible with local production.”
The EQS will be launched in two variants – EQS450 which is a rear-wheel drive, and the EQS580 4Matic, a dual-motor all-wheel drive. Both variants use a 107.8kWh battery that offers an impressive 770 km on a full charge, churning out 523-horsepower and 856-Nm of torque.
The interiors take on a whole new level of luxury with more space and features. One of the first things you can’t help but notice is the massive screen on the dashboard. Earlier this month, Mercedes showcased its Vision EQXX model that featured a similar screen, and while that was the brand’s vision for the future, it will be a reality in the upcoming EQS model.
Coated in a single piece of tough Gorilla Glass, the MBUX Hyperscreen occupies the entire dashboard with not one but three displays. And while most of the screen is an LCD display, the passenger display is an OLED display which provides a much better viewing experience. Apart from looking brilliant, the Hyperscreen is also a smart piece of technology. It comes packed with machine-learning-powered widgets. The screen will actually understand the driver’s behaviour and surface information based on its usage data.
While the launch of the locally assembled EQS models are said to be towards the end of the year, Mercedes stated that there might be a limited run of ‘Launch Edition’ models for the first lot of customers. These, Mercedes said, will be brought in as full CBU imports.
The reason for this is that the Chakan plant will need a few upgrades to accommodate the electric powertrain of the EQS, as well as have the staff trained to build this new model with its unique powertrain.