Update: ‘EDU 3.0’ section added.
We’ve long expected that only one of the two full-size Mercedes sedans, either the Mercedes S-Class or the Mercedes EQS, will move to the next generation. On July 31, 2022, JESMB published a report saying that Mercedes-Benz will have only one sedan in this segment in the future. That could be either a first-ever Mercedes S-Class Electric or the second generation of the Mercedes EQS, which was introduced in 2021.
Mercedes S-Class Electric vs. Mercedes EQS: The tug of war
This year marks 50 years since Mercedes-Benz introduced its S-Class luxury sedan. With sales of 500,000 units in just its sixth generation, there could be as many as 3 million S-Classes on roads around the world. The ‘Sonderklasse’ has stood the test of time, but it finds itself at a crossroad in life with many markets switching over to EVs.
When Mercedes-Benz released the seventh-gen S-Class in 2020, it said that this nameplate enjoys a high loyalty rate. Around 80% of customers in Western Europe and 70% of customers in the U.S. who previously drove an S-Class once again got themselves a Merc. This model series is particularly popular in China, the USA, S. Korea, and Germany.
The Mercedes S-Class is a legend in the automotive world. It’s a nameplate that has been around for five decades and shows no signs of slowing down. But some people argue that it’s time for a change. They say that the EQS (and the new nomenclature with EQ + traditional model series name) could be the way forward. Only time will tell if this is true.
The full-size EVs that Mercedes-Benz launches from 2025 will be based on its upcoming MB.EA platform. There will be two versions of the MB.EA platform: MB.EA-M (Medium) and MB.EA-L (Large). The Mercedes S-Class Electric or next-gen EQS would be based on the latter. The German automaker hasn’t revealed details of the MB.EA-M platform or the MB.EA-L platform yet. However, we think there’s a chance that the company will use all-solid-state batteries (ASSB) in the car.
All-solid-state battery (ASSB) cells
The rumored release date of the first-ever Mercedes S-Class Electric or next-gen EQS, which we will get to in the next section, indicates that customers could have an option for at least one battery pack that consists of all-solid-state battery (ASSB) cells. Mercedes-Benz is developing ASSB technology in cooperation with Taiwan-based ProLogium and plans to use it in select models in the second half of the decade.
Mercedes-Benz says that solid-state cells can deliver almost double the range of present-day NCM 811 lithium-ion battery cells. With the EQS V297’s lithium-ion battery cells allowing a WLTP/EPA range of 783 km (487 miles)/350 miles, the first-ever Mercedes S-Class electric or next-gen EQS’ solid-state batteries could better this figure with a smaller power pack.
The first-ever Mercedes S-Class Electric will employ the Electric Drive Unit 3.0 (EDU 3.0), as per a report JESMB published on October 31, 2022. The third generation of the company’s electric drive unit should be lighter and more efficient than eATS 2.0 (second-gen electric drive unit), which the company plans to use in the C-Class Electric (expected to be called EQC) and the successor to the current EQC (expected to be called EQC SUV).
According to the second report from JESMB, the first-ever Mercedes S-Class Electric or the next-gen Mercedes EQS will arrive in 2028. The Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen (Germany) could apply internally for the construction of the MB.EA-L derivatives and sees itself in a good position to be awarded the contract, as per the site. Mercedes-Benz will probably keep the S-Class Mk7 on sale beyond 2028 so that it doesn’t lose customers in countries with limited charging infrastructure, as per the report.
It doesn’t matter if it is called an S-Class Electric or EQS as long as it is a pure-electric vehicle!
Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s illustration of an S-Class Electric that introduces the flavor of the EQS to the S-Class sedan!