Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the EQS SUV—the third model after the EQS and EQE sedans based on this architecture developed for electric vehicles. The electric SUV offers plenty of space, comfort and connectivity for up to seven passengers; with its electric motors, responsive 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode, the EQS SUV is also capable of tackling light terrain.
The new EQS SUV shares the long wheelbase (3210 millimeters) with the Sedan, but is more than 20 centimeters higher. The dimensions in detail: 5125/1959/1718 millimeters (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 trunk. A third row of seats with two additional individual seats and extensive comfort features for all passengers is available as an option.
With a range of more than 600 kilometers (according to WLTP) and an output of up to 536 hp, the EQS SUV meets the requirements of a luxury SUV in terms of the drive system. 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 drive outputs from 355 to 536 hp. Depending on the vehicle equipment and configuration, WLTP ranges of more than 600 kilometers 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 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 with multiple accelerations without a drop in power characterize the drive philosophy of the EQS SUV. This includes a sophisticated thermal concept with some novel features. A 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- (strong 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 press the brake pedal for this - literally one-pedal driving. Up to 5 m/s² deceleration can be achieved, 3 m/s² of which is due to 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 optimized efficiency. Depending on the requirements, the torque distribution is regulated:
Energy efficiency: When driving at a constant speed, an optimization 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, the operating strategy enables stable and neutral handling.
Snow and ice: For maximum traction and driving stability on snow and ice, the operating strategy is able to detect 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 optimized for unpaved roads, inclines and terrain.
The battery. The EQS SUV has a lithium-ion battery with 12 cell modules and hardcase cells. With the capacity of 107.8 kWh, sufficient energy for ranges of more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) according to WLTP can be achieved.
Battery development is a decisive factor in Mercedes-Benz's electrification strategy. The EQS Sedan 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 155,000 miles with a remaining capacity of 70%.
The highly efficient batteries were developed entirely in-house by the team of experts at the Mercedes-Benz Battery Center of Competence. The software for the intelligent management system was also developed and programmed in-house.
The optimized 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 optimization 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.
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.
The battery sits in a crash-protected area in the underbody, embedded in the body shell structure including an extruded aluminum 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 behavior 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, Alabama. The production of the high-performance lithium-ion batteries for the EQS SUV and the EQE SUV is carbon-neutral. The energy storage units are assembled into a complete system on an approximately 984 yard long production line with more than 70 workstations. The individual components are assembled in a fully digitized production process, including up to twelve cell modules and the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. Mercedes-Benz is creating around 600 new jobs in Bibb County.
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 €1 billion in the expansion of its global battery production network. To localize key suppliers, Mercedes-Benz is partnering with 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 US. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the middle of the decade.
Chassis. 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 centimeters.
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.
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 visualization 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.