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There was a reason one of AMG’s most recognizable vehicles is known as "Hammer." Mercedes’ performance division has a reputation for slamming the brakes and destroying the competition with the loudest, largest engines and steely accuracy. AMG was presented with a problem when it came to developing its first electric performance sedan, a modified version of the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz EQS580. Is it enough to simply increase the power, or does an AMG EV require a bit extra snarl to complement its glide? Would you accept more whoosh-whirr in exchange for more whoosh-whirr?
The AMG EQS is just slightly different in look from the EQS580. The car’s rainbow-arch profile and short-nosed proportions don’t lend itself to the typical AMG design of wide-haunched and snarling. A closer look reveals indications of aggressiveness, like vertical chrome bars in place of the starry-sky grille up front and a flick of ducktail spoiler at the sloped rear deck’s trailing edge. Other elements like gloss black highlights, a chrome-trimmed front splitter, side air intakes (which divert air ahead of the front wheels for increased aerodynamic efficiency), and a diffuser-style rear end will likely be seen only by die-hard EQS fans. The AMG logo is the clearest indication that they aren’t dealing with a simple 516 horses, but a stampede.
This AMG EQS will go on sale later this winter, with a starting price of roughly $150,000, putting it in the upper echelon of premium electric cars. When it comes to interior and ride comfort, it wins out all competitors save perhaps the Lucid, but it can’t match with lighter-weight or more powerful options like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S or Tesla Model S Plaid when it comes to acceleration and handling. The EQS delivers on its badge promise of strength, but it isn’t a hammer.