Mercedes-amg EQS 53

Mercedes’ performanc­e division’s first all-electric series-production car comes with great expectatio­ns


CHANGE PETRIFIES US; REMOVES US from our comfort zone; whips away the security blanket we’ve clung onto oh-so-tightly to for oh-so-long; leaves us feeling vulnerable and afraid of what comes next. We liked it just the way it was. Why did someone have to change it?

Progress is the answer (or the justificat­ion, depending on your level of cynicism) and, in our automotive world, fear-inducing change comes in many forms. When Porsche announced in the mid-90s that the 911 would no longer rely on the atmosphere to keep its flat-six cool, the hand-wringing was so severe it could strip the skin from the gnarliest of knuckles. The switch to automatic or double-clutch gearboxes at the cost of the manual gearbox? Less of a polarising change, more of an answer to market trends but a change that still left many questionin­g the pursuit of faster shift-times when all we want is a more immersive driving experience.

SUVS and crossovers at the cost of estate cars and hatchbacks? Manufactur­ers will tell you it’s what the customer wants, but when the large majority of car buyers don’t actually know what they want, it makes it easier for said manufactur­ers to push them into cars from which they can maximise profit rather than sell them something that will do everything they need for less.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings us to electric cars, of which the EQS 53 on these very pages is Mercedes-benz’s very latest top model; Mercedes’ electric S-class. It might not be the most evo of EVS, but we’ve always admired the S-class for being brilliantl­y fit for purpose and therefore its new electric alternativ­e should be afforded the opportunit­y to shine.

It’s not what you would call a looker, though. Its Panamerica­na front grille certainly provides an aesthetic boost over the regular EQS models, but in the pursuit of low drag the EQS 53 is a bit of an anonymous blob of a car, lacking the confidence of Mercedes of the past and the presence of a traditiona­l S-class. If you were being especially cruel you’d call it Mercedes’ Ford Sierra moment. It certainly doesn’t command your attention like a £157,000 car

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