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Mercedes-AMG Reportedly Doing a High-Performance EQS EV to Fight Tesla's Model S

Would you buy the electric AMG instead of the Tesla, or is that just ludicrous?

Kelly LinWriter

Mercedes is gunning for Tesla with the EQS, essentially the S-Class sedan's electric equivalent. But, to compete with the higher-performing variants of the Tesla Model S, the EQS will need to offer a potent variant—and that is where the brand's AMG division enters the picture. According to a new report from Autocar, Mercedes is planning an AMG-badged, performance-focused EQS.

The EQS concept debuted last year with 469 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque, but an AMG model would be much more powerful. How much more? It will have the potency of the existing S63 4Matic, Autocar says, citing a "high-ranking Mercedes engineer." That means we should expect well above 600 horsepower from the AMG EQS's all-electric powertrain.

Mercedes-AMG has its work cut out for it. The Tesla Model S P100D was the quickest production car our colleagues at MotorTrend have ever tested when they evaluated it in 2017. Packing 680 horsepower and 791 lb-ft of torque, the Tesla zipped from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds. Now, Tesla is preparing a "Plaid-capable" drivetrain that's rumored to make around 800 horsepower and greater than 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

In addition to the EQS, Mercedes is expected to make AMG versions of the smaller EQE sedan and the electric G-Class off-roader. These three AMG vehicles will likely share the same high-performance driveline, much like today's 63-badged AMG models share a common twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, one source told Autocar.

We question whether the AMG EQS will be able to compete with Tesla in terms of power and acceleration, but it should have Tesla beat in other ways: If last year's EQS concept is any indication, the model will have the sumptuous interior you'd expect from Mercedes (the Tesla's interior is aging). The automaker behind the class-leading S-Class luxury flagship sedan should be more than capable of turning out a quiet, smooth, and supremely comfortable experience from the new EV. Of course, not everyone is a fan of its otherworldly exterior design, but we'll see how that develops as the production model nears. As for the Mercedes-AMG EQS variant, expect it to arrive sometime in 2022.