2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV First Look: The Most Luxurious EV?

The goal of luxury vehicles has always been to silently whisk their occupants along in a cocoon of opulence, and from what we can make of it thus far, the upcoming 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS680 SUV will accomplish that and then some. With a ton of onboard features that promise to indulge and pamper alongside a muted driving experience already intrinsic to electric cars, the Maybach-ed version of the Mercedes-EQ EQS580 will be the most extravagant EV—period— to date when it comes to market this fall.

Our first look at the concept version back in 2021 offered a glimpse of something large and over-the-top. The production version of the Maybach EV SUV Mercedes debuted so far looks to deliver on both fronts.

Large, Loud, Brash, and Luxurious

Structurally, the Maybach EQS680 is similar in scope to Benz’s other big electric-powered SUV, the Mercedes-EQ EQS 4Matic. But instead of being a six-passenger vehicle like the EQS, the EQS680 only seats four by removing the third row altogether to make room for first-class-style second-row seating. More on that in just a sec.

There’s the quiet and understated lavishness you expect from a Rolls-Royce, and then there’s the louder and brasher kind that draws the eye. The Maybach EQS680 is the latter of the two. Thanks to a closed-off grille pinstriped like a mob-boss suit, optional two-tone paint, chrome-plated B-pillar trim, blocky wheels, and the Maybach logo adorning the front fascia, this beast sets itself apart from the other lowly EQS SUV models. Admittedly, it does look a bit like a Honda Odyssey minivan in profile, but that’s no bad thing. Ain’t nothing wrong with a classic minivan shape. It just means there’s more room for everyone inside.

The Maybach EQS680 comes with standard Executive seats that offer massage, ventilation, and neck and shoulder heating. If you opt for the Chauffeur package, though, the right rear passenger can recline while the right front seat automatically moves forward for maximum legroom. There’s calf massaging, too, if you find the walk from the château to the garage too long and tiresome. Furthermore, rear-seat passengers are privy to two 11.6-inch displays mounted to the back of the front seats for content viewing or sharing. Make no mistake about it, this is an SUV you buy not to drive yourself, but rather to be driven in—preferably by someone on your payroll.

A cool thing the center console does is extend all the way from the front to the rear of the passenger cabin, something Mercedes says it designed especially for the Maybach EQS680. Resplendent with wood trim that matches the backs of the front seats, the center console houses a projector that shines the Maybach emblem onto the plush, carpeted floor. Fun! Additionally, you can ask for the optional center console that includes silver-plated champagne flutes, a small fridge, and two folding tables. Check your local open container laws before using this feature, though.

Coffee Bean Tanned Seats and 4D Sound

For front-seat occupants—the afterthought that they are (I kid)—there’s the now-familiar MBUX Hyperscreen that wears a Maybach EQS SUV-specific dark blue visual appearance. Delightfully, there are instrument dials surrounded in rose gold and seat leathers that look soft and creamy to the touch.

Speaking of seat leathers, Mercedes says this is its first car to use “vegetable-tanned leather,” meaning it utilizes coffee bean shells as tanning agents. We’ll let Mercedes tell you how it does it: “The water used for tanning is conducted in a closed circuit and flows back into natural bodies of water after recycling. The fatliquoring agents used in tanning are also exclusively plant-based. The sustainably processed leather is not preserved with salt.” All of this apparently cuts down close to 100 pounds of salt per car equipped with leather seats. It’d be nice if the seats smelled faintly like freshly ground coffee, too, though that’s probably not the case.

Then there’s sound and the car’s relationship with it.

Within, you get the Burmester, 15-speaker “4D” surround sound system as standard equipment. In particular, Mercedes calls out the two “exciters” in each seat that can apparently emulate the vibrations from sound in the seats themselves, which makes the whole experience “four-dimensional.” If you try this out for yourself and inadvertently crack the mysteries of the space-time continuum, please write in immediately. We’d love to interview you.

Sound from without is especially deadened at the rear of the car. The trunk cover has been engineered and designed to suppress noise. There’s extra insulation throughout, acoustic foam in the body shell, and laminated glass panes to further reduce exterior noise.

Powerful and Pricey

Mercedes was light on hardware details in its release announcing the Maybach EQS680, but it’d be fair to assume it will utilize roughly the same or similar battery pack and dual-motor technology as the non-Maybach EQS580 SUV. But according to Mercedes, the EQS680 will be more powerful than its non-Maybach cousin, producing a claimed total system output of 649 hp and 701 lb-ft of torque. Estimated range will also be greater, with a stated 373 miles to a charge—an extremely impressive number for such a big and heavy SUV.

Mercedes says the Maybach EQS680 will also come with air suspension and continuously adjustable damping as standard. But in place of the typical Comfort setting, the Maybach will instead offer a special “Maybach” drive mode that supposedly maximizes on-road comfort for the rear-seat passengers. According to Mercedes, “It ensures that there are only minimal body movements under the rear seats. An oscillation node is located there, so that the amplitudes are at their lowest.”

Although we’ll have to wait to access the ride and handling characteristics of the Maybach SUV, we found the dynamic experience of the Mercedes-EQ EQS580 somewhat lacking, with “significant body roll” and less than stellar refinement overall. Here’s hoping the more upscale Maybach will right those wrongs.

Mercedes didn’t include pricing or availability information yet, but seeing as there’s an 85 percent increase in price between the regular Mercedes-Benz S580 sedan and the Mercedes-Maybach S680 sedan, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Maybach EQS680 SUV started in the $230,000 neighborhood.

As such, when it comes to market, it’ll be the most luxurious (and expensive) EV to date. Sure, there are a smattering of luxury-focused EVs like the brand’s own Mercedes-AMG EQS sedan, the Lucid Air, and various Teslas. But as for something extraordinarily grandiose? Nothin’ else yet, as Bentley, Range Rover, and Rolls-Royce all have EVs in their pipelines but none are on the road. They soon will be, though. And that’ll be when the next stage of the luxury space race can truly begin.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS680 SUV Specifications
LAYOUT Front- and rear-motor, AWD, 4-pass, 4-door SUV
MOTOR 649-hp/701-lb-ft permanent-magnet electric
TRANSMISSION 1-speed automatic
L x W x H 201.8 x 80.1 x 67.9 in
0-62 MPH 4.4 sec (mfr est)
EPA RANGE, COMB 373 miles (mfr est)
ON SALE Fall 2023

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