Called the Vision EQS, the new four-door provides a foretaste of what Mercedes-Benz claims will be its most advanced production model yet when it reaches showrooms in 2021. It will be launched as a direct rival to the next-generation pure-electric Jaguar XJ, as well as the Tesla Model S and Audi E-tron GT.
As such, Mercedes design director Gorden Wagoner says the EQS will attract new customers to the brand, rather than cannibalising sales from existing S-Class buyers. "The key for EQ cars is then to develop cleanliness for a technical, digital look. It is quite free-form but still very sexy, almost like the best operating systems," he said. "You must remember that majority of buyers will not be S-Class customers making the switch, but people who are entirely new to the brand.
"The electric architecture gives very different proportions to work with, so it is a very different approach. On the exterior, we call it a one-bow design. It is almost coupe-like, a bit cab forward and quite clearly a very different proposition to the S-Class. The reason for that is that the battery pack sits the car about 15cm higher than an ICE car, and the best way to create that is with the bow - and in fact it actually looks lower as a result."