Mercedes AMG EQS 53 EV review: An exorbitant exercise in electric extravagance
- Enormous power
- Massive in-cabin screen
- Range of over 500 kms
- Exorbitantly priced
Evolution is inevitable and Charles Darwin would swear by it. If the English naturalist from the 1800s were alive today, he would command to be driven in nothing but the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+. The AMG EQS 53+ from Mercedes-Benz is an ultra luxurious, ultra capable and ultra fast electric vehicle. But beyond all of these, it is also a ginormous show of intent from an iconic German brand that traces its roots back to the 1920s,an intent that underlines it isn't just about survival of the fittest but the dominance of the strongest.
For anyone who believes AMGs would go extinct in a world fast being taken over by electric power, the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ is a silent roar of belligerence. But in its bid to go above and beyond, and transform into a luxury electric vehicle (EV) powerhouse while still holding on to its inherent roots, has Mercedes-Benz gone mindlessly overboard?
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The flagship performance electric sedan is the first AMG that is an AMG of a vastly different kind. But then again, is an AMG even an AMG without the monstrous thunder of a four-cylinder turbo-charged V8? Let wordplay not confuse you because here's our take on the Mercedes AMG EQS 53 that now also is the most expensive electric car available in India.
Mercedes AMG EQS 53: Technical specifications and drive traits
Roars like a Lion, drives like a Cheetah - this is how I have often described several AMG models from the Mercedes camp. But the AMG EQS 53 is an entirely different species from a faraway planet. With a 107.8 kWh battery back and with 761 hp and an ungodly 1,020 Nm of torque, this car's natural habitat ought to only be the racetracks, German autobahns or the test stretches of Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats.
Let's descend to Delhi roads though.
Here, there is a clear and present need to chain this speed demon because with Race Start mode and Sport+ activated, the AMG EQS 53 rips forward like no machine I have ever driven. Zero to 100 kmph acceleration is quicker than the time it took you to read just this one sentence - a little over three seconds. But even if you choose to keep Race Mode off and persist with Sport+, this EV is ferociously fast with the takeoff itself much like that of a fighter jet off of a short runway.
The instant torque, the instantaneous response to throttle input and the hurl back effect as you buckle down on the sport seats inside the AMG EQS 53 are best experienced and perhaps beyond the scope of any descriptive words. The raw and menacing roar of an AMG engine though is surely sorely missed. The artificial sound created - more a hum - is superficial in nature and is a sorry substitute to the boisterous bang of a V8. If you expect the performance of an AMG, this EV goes beyond its call of duty. But if you want an EV to roar loud, sorry, that's just not in its DNA.
Calm things down and the Mercedes AMG EQS 53 does have a road legal version that is, well, typically Mercedes. For most parts of our drive over two days, we kept this EV firmly planted in the Comfort mode and while no bolt of lightening, the car was still impressively quick to beat its way past traffic. It is indeed evolution in progress that would make Darwin proud. The soft suspension is unlike what conventional AMG models are used to and that takes the ride quality up several notches. Yes, even by Mercedes standards.
The steering itself has been engineered extremely well to help it control the EV in every situation you may choose to put it through. The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels till 60 kmph which assists in taking tighter turns within city limits, or U-turns and parking. Beyond, all wheels turn in the same direction for enhanced stability.
The AMG EQS 53 also appears to have a low ground clearance but at least here in Delhi, it managed to escape the fury of speed breakers almost every single time. Almost.
For all the strengths of the Mercedes AMG EV though, there still is scope for improvement. And that scope is its widest in the braking department. For a car as quick as this, the brake pedal lacks a firm bite and needs to be nearly floored to quickly slow down from triple-digit speeds. The regenerative braking at its strongest is quite strong but is otherwise just about adequate. And while the steering wheel, as mentioned, has a sense of reassurance, it isn't quite excitable at high speeds on straight dashes - points that would be taken off by AMG purists.
Overall, the Mercedes AMG EQS 53 is a driver's delight while still offering a high degree of comfort to all occupants who may not have much to do in the rear seats.
Mercedes AMG EQS 53: Features and cabin highlights
There is a reason - or reasons - why I refer to the Mercedes AMG EQS 53 as an ‘exorbitant exercise in electric extravagance.’ Apar from its stunning ability to go seriously fast, it packs in just so much in its cabin that you'd be hard-pressed to fault anything.
Just take the 56-inch hyperscreen that stretches all across the dashboard of the EV. Yes, 56 inches. Measured diagonally, that's probably larger than the high-end television sets in most homes and definitely the largest screen in any car anywhere in the world.
The hyperscreen is basically an assimilation of three screens - one for the front passenger, the central display screen and the driver display. But even then, it is quite a sight to behold. The 3D map interface on the central 17.7-inch display is a visual orgy and also houses the on-screen controls for the main infotainment system. These controls are also present on the screen for the front passenger. The driver display itself is large too but would be familiar to those who have Mercedes vehicles with the MBUX system. Extensively customizable, the screen displays a multitude of drive-related information as well as navigation maps.
But while the quality of the display, the contrast and the touch response are all a solid march into the future, the screens are quite a distraction for the driver at night. Sure one can dim the brightness or turn the main and left screen off - that is also what happens when the car calibrates itself for enhanced range, but then the beauty of it all is lost.
The ambient lights do create a sense of magic and the entire interplay of customizable hues elevates the aura of being in a truly luxurious space.
Apart from these, the AMG-specific seats, the quality of materials all around, the plethora of comfort buttons - for shade, charging etc - are typical of an S from Mercedes. Here is an EV that puts the crown on the head of the driver but ensures every other place is a throne as well.
Mercedes AMG EQS 53: Styled for the future
You can look at it from a fair distance and know that that beauty of a car is an S-Class from Mercedes-Benz. The AMG EQS, in comparison, gets understated styling on the outside but that's not to say even once that it isn't attractive.
The large Panamericana closed grille at the front is flanked by swept-back Black headlight units. The EV stands on 21-inch light alloy wheels and has a slide-like design element on the roofline towards. the trunk. All of these have been done to ensure that the AMG EQS 53 is one of the most aerodynamic cars around with a drag coefficent of 0.23 Cd. And that further lends credence to the claim of around 500 kms of range. In the real world, expect a figure of around 450 kms which too is mighty impressive.
Mercedes AMG EQS 53: Verdict
The AMG EQS 53 from Mercedes-Benz is an ultra niche car in an ultra niche segment of an ultra niche category. It is a bid to not just silence purists who doubted an era minus AMG engines but to silence them in sheer awe. Here in India, the ₹2.45 crore price tag is more than likely to ensure that only a handful are ever seen on the roads. And even when seen, it would be a glance at best because of the sheer power it packs.
Being a driving enthusiast and having a fat enough wallet will combine to help the AMG EQS 53 create a super-duper exclusive club but wait up for the locally-assembled EQS as well, perhaps the more saintly twin of this demonic creation.