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TRACK TESTED: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ Punches Below Its Weight

TRACK TESTED: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ Punches Below Its Weight

Our new EV range leader is an also-ran at the drag strip

  • The all-electric 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ has a single electric motor driving the rear wheels that delivers 329 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque.
  • The 450+ comes standard with adaptive air suspension, rear-axle steering and summer tires, a recipe that usually makes for supernatural handling.
  • Higher-performance EQS models are available, but the 450+ won't be wowing anyone with its speed.

Just a short time ago we reported that the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ set a new record in Edmunds' real-world EV range test, traveling 422 miles on a single charge. But the entry-level EQS 450+ has just 329 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque to motivate its considerable mass, which doesn't bode well for track-test performance. In the name of science, though, we took the EQS 450+ to the track and let it loose. Here's how the big new Benz accelerated, braked and handled at the limit.

How does the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ perform?

First of all, we should note that our test car was about as close to a bare-bones example as you can get. Massaging seats and fancy ambient lighting were the only significant options our vehicle came equipped with. Features aside, every EQS 450+ comes with a single electric motor that essentially delivers those 329 horses straight to the rear wheels since the EQS doesn't use a transmission.

One of our favorite games to play when going through our vehicle safety checks at our test track is, "How much does it weigh?" Electric vehicles in particular can be pretty tricky since their batteries add considerable mass for their size. We recently tested a twin-turbo V8 S-Class with all-wheel drive and had it up on the scales. Which do you think weighed more, the S-Class or our stripped-down EQS 450+? Perhaps you guessed the EQS, but would you believe it outweighs the V8 S-Class by more than 400 pounds?

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Test Car
Breaking Distance
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+10/18/215,500 lbs5.7 sec14.1 sec @ 99.9 mph111 ft0.95 g
2021 Mercedes-Benz S 580 4Matic9/20/215,069 lbs4.7 sec12.9 sec @ 110.8 mph129 ft0.86 g
2020 Genesis G90 Ultimate03/16/204,842 lbs5.7 sec14.3 sec @ 98.2 mph128 ft0.87 g
2020 Tesla Model S Performance11/16/204,934 lbs2.9 sec11.0 sec @ 120 mph109 ft0.97 g

Launching the EQS is pretty straightforward. You just press the brake hard to initiate the auto hold feature and then mash the accelerator without any pedal overlap. We experimented with "power braking," where we overlap the brake and accelerator, but that only seemed to slow it down. Our best run was a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds and a quarter mile of 14.1 seconds at 99.9 mph. By EV standards in this price range, that's unremarkable at best. In fact, it's neck-and-neck with not only the gas-powered Genesis G90 noted in the table, but also the 2021 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T, which hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds en route to a 14.2-second quarter mile at 99.8 mph.

If you select Dynamic drive mode, there's a little more theater, as the sound that's played in the cabin helps create a sense of acceleration. But it made no difference in our times.

The EQS unsurprisingly feels very stable at speed, but we wish the brakes delivered a little more stopping confidence. It felt similar to the Tesla Model S Plaid, where we had to use most of the brake pedal's travel to reach maximum braking power. But by the actual measurements, the EQS does just fine, stopping in 111 feet from 60 mph. That's pretty darn good for a car that weighs 5,500 pounds. Summer tires definitely help here, an advantage the Genesis G90 didn't have.

The 450+ comes standard with an adaptive air suspension and rear-axle steering. Rear steering can make a car handle like magic, but that's not the case for this EQS. We think it primarily helps shorten the turning circle and aids in high-speed stability. The suspension is pretty soft even in the most dynamic setting, but it's not floppy. Steering is accurate but rather numb, and it feels a bit light even in the heaviest setting. The tires deliver ample cornering grip, pulling an admirable 0.95 g average around our skidpad, and there's a good sense of balance from front to back. But the 450+ is definitely more luxury sedan than sport sedan. We anticipate that changing with the sportier variants coming out shortly.

Edmunds Says

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ is a solid full-size luxury EV with incredible real-world range. We awarded it high marks in our EV rankings and look forward to testing both the EQS 580 and AMG variants in the near future. Stay tuned.