Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 Review: Silent Assassin
My first memory of AMG was a silver-coloured E63 laying down stripes on the road with a bellowing V8 soundtrack as an accompaniment. The utterly ridiculous display of performance sent an uncontrollable shrill of laughter from deep in my stomach that I haven’t since forgotten. In many ways, AMG has always been about loud V8s and the embodiment of the German muscle car phenomenon. However, the onslaught of tighter emissions has made AMG look beyond eight-cylinder powertrains, opting to dip its toes into the world of electric vehicles. It had to happen sooner rather than later but the first electric Mercedes to wear the AMG badge also happens to have an ‘S’ in its moniker which means it is indeed a big deal for the German automaker.
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I was sceptical of the Mercedes-Benz EQS 53 AMG at first but it did blow me away as to how an electric performance car can be possible. This is the fastest iteration of the EQS but promises more than straight-line histrionics. That said, the absurd performance is probably the reason you’d buy one in the first place. With the $7,690 AMG Dynamic package, you uncork the full 760bhp and 1020Nm while also dispatching 100 km/h in only 3.4 seconds. That’s similar to many supercars and the EQS 53 AMG does it with nonchalant ease albeit with a piped soundtrack in the ‘Sport Plus’. With launch control activated, your intestines are re-arranged as your brain scrambles to process the rate at which the car is covering ground.
Yet somehow it is involved like an AMG and much more sporting than the petrol equivalent S63 AMG. The EQS 53 is the driver’s choice as you sit low and the ride is surely tuned towards offering a mix of performance/comfort rather than just a luxury barge with a big engine stuffed into it. Like any modern AMG, there are a gazillion settings and AMG-specific drive modes along with tuned suspension which makes it a lot more athletic than the standard EQS. The steering is light but AMG has dialled in additional feedback while the brakes- a traditional EV bugbear are fine as well.
You can hustle it down a street with the finesse of a sports sedan although hard cornering does show the weight or the size. Speaking of which, the four-wheel steering does make living with one much easier and the ride isn’t troublesome despite massive AMG wheels. A pair of electric motors and a huge 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery provides ample range with nearly 400km plus with aggressive driving. The official figure is 587km but with the acceleration on offer, that won’t happen with your right foot dictating terms. The car also gets AMG-specific wiring and battery cooling technology while charging is much faster too.
Does it look different enough to the standard EQS? The AMG bits are subtle and the enlarged grille and wheels do add muscle to the EQS shape, however, it’s the interior that really caught our attention. The massive 56-inch hyper screen is beautiful to look at and use with three different screens. There are also AMG-specific displays, a thick AMG sports steering wheel and sportier seats.
Overall, the EQS 53 is an interesting start to the wave of electric AMGs but while the madness has been toned down, the overall package is way more appealing than a petrol S63 AMG. The performance is absurd but there is enough driver involvement on offer despite its girth and it is a lot more than just a faster EQS. We approve.