The first pure-electric Mercedes-AMG is now on sale in Australia, and the company has started from the top.
The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ is the Affalterbach tuning arm’s take on the hyper-aerodynamic Mercedes-Benz EQS, a 5.2-metre-long fastback that is effectively an electric alternative to the S-Class.
Just take a look at this thing; it’s hard to mistake for much else – reminiscent as it is of a wireless Apple mouse viewed side-on. Its radical design and execution makes it a real flag-bearer for Australia’s top-selling luxury brand.
“The AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ is the first all-electric ambassador in the performance segment, made in Affalterbach,” says Mercedes‑AMG GmbH chairman of the board Philipp Schiemer.
That word, “ambassador”, is really the key here. It signposts what we can expect to see from the tuning arm as Mercedes-Benz whooshes into its battery-driven future.
The top-of-the-range AMG EQS 53 beats its more humble luxury- and long-range-focussed EQS siblings to market by a few months, and stands apart with its AMG-specific electric motors, sound generator, unique displays and drive modes, and rejigged suspension.
What is the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 like on the inside?
Approach the car and when it unlocks, the flush door handles pop out and give you access.
The EQS 53’s interior does not have the traditional Mercedes-Benz limo interior that emphasises sumptuous old world material choices and the solidity of a double-brick cottage.
Rather, it’s largely about the latest in flashy tech, through the pretty dash does nicely blend into the upper door trims in an almost unbroken curved line, replete with light piping and silver metallic trim offsets.
The inside is dominated by its ‘hyperscreen’, a set of three screens (two touch-sensitive) under a single glass cover that stretches nearly pillar-to-pillar ending in turbine-like vents, spanning 1.41-metres across. It’s absolutely mind-boggling for a production vehicle.
The first of these is the driver’s instrument cluster with more display modes or software skins than you can poke a stick at – including a full-width map option – which you adjust with touch-sensitive sections on the novel five-spoke steering wheel.
This information-dense display is backed by a head-up display that projects your speed, lane-assist active guidelines and other data onto the windscreen – and is capable of tapping into the ‘augmented reality’ sat-nav with animated arrow instructions that grow as you near the target.
The big centre touchscreen running the latest MBUX system has beautiful graphics and as you would expected offers ample processing power, banishing lagginess when pinching, swiping, zooming or flicking through screens.
What’s under the bonnet?
The AMG EQS derivative has permanently excited synchronous electric motors at both front and rear axles, meaning fully variable ‘AMG Performance’ all-wheel drive.
Standard power and torque outputs are 484kW of power and 950Nm of torque.
If that isn’t sufficient, the AMG Dynamic Plus option bumps this to ‘boost’ jolts of 560kW and 1020Nm specifically in the Race Start mode – effectively an EV launch control system – so long as the battery has the requisite state of charge (75 per cent).
How much does the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 cost?
The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ is now on sale priced at $328,400 before on-road costs, which is about bang-on equal with the Mercedes-Benz S580L 4Matic halo.
While that’s a high price of entry for the time being, Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed non-AMG versions of the EQS for the Australian market, which no doubt should undercut the AMG EQS 53 by some margin.