But in a departure from the EQ C, which is based on existing underpinnings from the GLC, and the EQ A, which is set to adopt a modified A-class platform, the range-topping EQ S is set to become the first EQ model to be based on Mercedes-Benz’s dedicated MEA (modular electric architecture).
“We will have an electric car at the level of an S-Class, but it will not be an S-Class,” Kelz revealed to Autocar in an interview at the Geneva motor show in March.
Among the key engineering solutions included in the aluminium-intensive MEA platform is a flat floor structure.
Although heavily disguised, the early EQ S prototype, which is being used to test electric drivetrain components, hints at the shape of the future Mercedes-Benz EQ flagship. It is described as being between roughly the size of the third-generation CLS.
In terms of proportions, it uses a much shorter bonnet and more heavily raked windscreen than today’s S-Class. In combination with the flat floor structure and a close to three-metre-long wheelbase as well as less intrusion from the gearbox and transmission tunnel than in conventional combustion engine models, this is expected to provide the EQ S with greater interior space than the existing Mercedes-Benz range-topper.
The heavily curved roofline and relatively shallow glasshouse is similar to that seen on the latest CLS. However, secrecy surrounds the rear end of the EQ S, which is completely hidden on the prototype captured here. While tradition suggests Mercedes-Benz will go with a conventional boot, similar to the CLS, Autocar understands the company could provide its new electric model with a liftback-style layout similar to that of the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door.
The EQ S is expected to be powered by twin electric motors – one acting on the front axle and the other at the rear – providing permanent four-wheel drive. In the upcoming EQ C, this set-up delivers more than 400bhp and some 516lb ft. A lithium-ion battery boasting a capacity of around 90kWh is planned to provide a range of between 400 and 500km (248-311 miles).
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the EQ S will be produced at its main Sindelfingen factory on the outskirts of Stuttgart. It is the third German plant earmarked to produce an EQ model, with the EQ C set to be built in Bremen and the EQ A planned to hail from the company’s compact car plant in Rastatt.
An additional EQ model, likely a yet-to-be-revealed GLB-based EQ B SUV model positioned below the EQ C, will also be produced at the Smart factory in Hambach, France.