Mercedes-Benz EQS put to the test: the world’s quietest electric car

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You will never forget your first ride in an EQS. Once the gear is engaged, the cabin glides silently through the city like never before. The drive: laboriously decoupled. The environment only penetrates very weakly through the soundproofed double-glazed windows. The high-tech air filters let in neither fine dust nor odors.

Mercedes once said “A luxury of the future will be privacy”. Back then, the focus was on autonomous cars as part of the F 015 show car. The EQS shows what it means in series production. It’s the quietest car I know and, given its 2.5 tons, probably the most efficient too. It is based on the long-announced pure electric platform, which is soon to produce an EQE. At the premiere of the EQS, Stuttgart’s engineers wanted to show what they can do and where their future path will lead.

Let’s speak frankly: The EQS is not a nice car. The EQS is hardly noticeable in road traffic (especially in the darker paintwork). On the contrary, when you look at it, you think it is much smaller than it is because the proportions are so unusual. The gaze slips away like the wind. There is no such thing as a classic engine snout, as we are used to from luxury sedans. Standing in front of the EQS amazes me at how deep the short snout comes down. No one knows whether this design will grow dear to our hearts over time or not. However, it shows very clearly what Daimler is about: inner values. Anyone looking for a car to show off is wrong here, although the EQS in white or two-tone paint is a bit more noticeable. The world of the EQS revolves around the occupants, i.e. the cabin. And there is nowhere better than this.

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The two-tone paintwork from the prototype makes a difference.
(Image: Daimler)

An electric drive with a reduction gear is louder than most people think. Above all, it makes a lot of noises that we find unpleasant. Therefore, like a combustion engine, it is usually stored somewhat decoupled. However, there are different levels of effort involved. Daimler decouples the engines in the longitudinal axis in rubber mounts. These rubber bearings are in turn located in a subframe, which in turn is decoupled from the chassis in the transverse axis via hydraulic bearings. In order to make good use of this sound insulation, the air conditioning compressor is attached to the front drive.

At the back the whole thing again, with the difference that the power electronics are on top of the motor. There, its cover plate could bring sound into the cabin like a loudspeaker. That is why the developers swapped the sheet metal for a sandwich composite of two sheets with plastic insulation in between shortly before the series was released. In addition to this decoupling of the structure-borne sound, there is a thick attenuation of the air-borne sound. There are houses that are much more noisy than this car. The soundproofing package known from the Mercedes E-Class is likely to be the cheapest option in the EQS.

The biggest sources of noise on the car are the tires. Depending on the car, they drown out all other noises from around 20 km / h. Like the engines, Mercedes decouples the wheel suspensions from the chassis so that the loudest tire noises on the motorway are those of the other cars. The second largest source of noise in the car is the wind. The form of the EQS, which takes a bit of getting used to, can play a big role here. The car glides through the wind like a penguin through water. In the heavy rain in Switzerland, when driving behind you could see from the spray how smooth the air flows around the car.

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(Image: Clemens Gleich)

Without a cross wind, the side windows remain almost dry and the mirrors clear. Two clean, clear eddies form at the stern. The few remaining insects are quite safe from him, because the air flow leads them past the pane. Despite its larger frontal area, the EQS offers minimally less resistance to the wind than the Porsche Taycan, which is also very good here (cWA 0.50 to 0.51 m²). Reason: a cWValue of 0.20 – record for a production vehicle.

Mercedes combines the quiet gliding with the current status of their driving aids. For the most part, the car regulates the longitudinal direction by itself, reads signs, accelerates at the end of the town, gently decelerates to a speed limit or a turn-off instruction from the navigation system. The technology on the autobahn mostly takes on the transverse control alone; On narrow country roads or in the city, the driver has to steer more himself. Daimler consciously limits the angular speeds of the steering interventions, because less steering intervention leads to a smaller error if the data is misinterpreted. Anyone who wants to understand why this is so can watch the videos of Tesla’s new beta, which produces very large, dangerous errors if misinterpreted.

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