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First Drive: Mercedes-AMG EQS Delivers Neck-Straining Speed in a Disarmingly Smooth Ride

The German automaker quotes a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds for this 152,546 euro EQS variant.

Mercedes-AMG EQS Robb Rice

From the time AMG formed in 1967, and for nearly 40 years after, Mercedes-Benz shared a formidable relationship with the Affalterbach-based tuning house responsible for some of the era’s most memorable fire-breathing brutes. Flash to the present day and Mercedes not only owns AMG outright, but it’s leveraged the future of its electrified-performance range through AMG’s inaugural production EV spinoff, the Mercedes-AMG EQS.

If the standard-issue EQS is an electron-powered alternative to the stalwart S-Class sedan, then AMG has done here what it historically has for S-Classes throughout the decades: amped up the experience, specifically to the uprated tune of 751 hp and 752 ft lbs of torque. Not that you’d know it from this model’s styling, which is more soft-spoken than the AMGs of yore and leaves us longing for a stronger visual wallop. And while closing the door provides the reassuring, thunking solidity Mercedes is renowned for, the car’s plastic air vents are a far cry from those found in certain British luxury sedans.

Mercedes-AMG EQS

What the 751 hp Mercedes-AMG EQS lacks in visual punch, it more than makes up for in acceleration.  Robb Rice

But this is an AMG, which means the main attraction is performance, particularly the neck-straining acceleration induced by launch control: The pair of motors are not only tuned to produce more power, they’re also dialed to send more of it toward the rear axle—just like in sporty internal-combustion-powered cars. Mercedes quotes a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds, though this 152,546 euro EQS variant (with US pricing yet to be announced by press time) feels quicker than that in a straight line.

Mercedes-AMG EQS

The interior of the Mercedes-AMG EQS.  Robb Rice

The electric sedan heightens the sensation of speed using speakers inside and out; the auditory drama can be set to Authentic or a more aggressive Performance selection. But it belies what the seat of your pants tells you. This is a disarmingly smooth ride paired with seamless forward thrust, likely more refined than most AMG traditionalists prefer but succeeding in the one way that every memorable AMG-tuned Mercedes has succeeded since 1967: It’s the more compelling car.

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