Has Mercedes-Benz’s performance division created a high-performance, luxurious electric super sedan that can outperform Tesla’s 1020 horsepower spaceship?
The Model S Plaid’s 1020 horsepower and 1050 pound-feet of torque will make you lose control of your senses. It is the most irrational manifestation of Tesla’s—and its similarly irrational CEO’s—desire to maintain the business’s aging luxury-performance flagship sedan competitive while new EV rivals approach it.
One of these rivals is the sedan Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+. A Model S Performance recently defeated a Porsche Taycan in a side-by-side comparison test. But how does this most powerful Model S—Tesla unveiled the Plaid in 2021—compared to a Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 that the German automaker’s renowned AMG performance division has modified?
At first glance, the EQS sedan with AMG upgrades appears underequipped for the job. Far less than the tri-motor Tesla’s output, the AMG’s 107.8 kWh battery pack combines with two permanent-magnet synchronous motors to deliver a peak of 751 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque—but only for a few seconds during launch-control starts. Additionally, the Model S weighs 1083 fewer pounds than the AMG at 5911 pounds.
Pricing of the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S plaid
This battle becomes substantially more balanced when luxury has an equal voice. The EQS has a presence that Tesla lacks, but it also resembles a huge lozenge with windows. The Benz’s attention to detail on the exterior, blacked-out detailing, optional 22-inch turbine-style wheels, and the huge three-pointed star in its blanked-off pseudo-grille deserve praise. Starting price is $148,495.
The price of the test vehicle was $159,055, which included a few options like front carbon-ceramic brakes ($5450), those gorgeous alloys ($1850), and reinforced side glass ($1010). No matter what draws attention, the EQS attracts attention—especially from other EV drivers filling up at our nearby charging station.
Comparatively, the Model S has been available on the market for 11 years and is just slightly more exciting to the general public than seeing a UPS truck. Only Teslarati will be able to tell that the Plaid is the one that has the power to alter your perspective because it appears identical to every other Model S. The Plaid costs $131,440 as its starting price, which is much cheaper than the EQS. The price of the test vehicle increased to $137,440 with the addition of the optionally available sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires on 21-inch wheels ($4,500) and dark-gray paint ($1,500).
Interior of the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S plaid
The AMG’s cabin was the epitome of luxury, rivaling the lavish interior of any gas-powered S-class. Its dove grey and sable brown interior, down to the slabs of natural-finish wood trim adorned with intricate metal inlays, provided the luxurious air of a luxury yacht’s cabin. The few buttons and switches that are present have lovely finishes, and the turbine-style HVAC vents located on the dash are works of beauty.
Then there is the Hyper screen infotainment touchscreen, a swoop of glass that spans the dashboard from door to door and contains the instrument cluster and the majority of the controls, including a screen for the front passenger to operate. It appears to function no worse than other touchscreens, fades in direct sunlight, and gathers more fingerprints.
Another aspect of luxury is extensive space, and both cars have plenty of it in the front and back. However, the EQS is a significantly larger vehicle. With a 207.3-inch length and a 126.4-inch wheelbase, it is 9.6 inches longer than the Plaid and provides limo-like rear legroom. Its back seat is also more pleasant to sit in than the Plaid’s since it is higher off the ground, and its rear headrests are plush pillows. Both vehicles have extensive standard equipment lists filled with driver assistance technology, but the EQS includes several luxuries that the Plaid does not, including as soft-close doors and massaging front seats.
Performance of the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S plaid
Luxury is, of course, only part of what these two EVs claim to be. To all of us, this is the entirety of the driving experience, not just straight-line thrills, and their goal is to blend premium ambiance with performance. It should come as no surprise that the Plaid and AMG EQS approach tasks extremely differently. If you lightly press the upper righthand pedal, the Tesla is as passive as a potted plant during routine driving. Although the yoke steering will drive you crazy whenever you need to grab a grip of the steering lock and instead find air, it boasts a firm ride and snappy steering response.
It’s strange and frightening to use the Plaid’s incredible power and 1.08 g’s of lateral grip akin to those of a supercar on a difficult road. Tesla’s age is evident when driven aggressively. Its chassis is unsteady and uncommunicative, and its steering is lifeless; you never know what it will do next. After a little over a mile, a “brake overheating” warning emerged, forcing to reduce the pace.
This was due to the huge speeds the Plaid attained between turns on the narrow two-lane. In the instrumented tests, the brake-fade issue has often appeared. On a straight road, the Plaid is a wobbly handful if you get even close to its controlled top speed of 162 mph. The Plaid’s promise is used, but it brings more anxiety than joy.
Even though the AMG EQS’s 0.92-g cornering effort is far less than the Plaid’s, it feels much more secure and pleasurable to drive aggressively. However, it also has a heavy gait, as if it were trying to dance while carrying ankle weights. The large 22s occasionally thwack road spots and pavement swells while in Comfort mode, but it nearly floats over them. Even in Sport Plus mode, it responds slowly to steering inputs, even tightening the dampers. Although the optional carbon-ceramic stoppers didn’t fade no matter how hard it was driven the brake pedal always feels soft.
Charging of the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S plaid
The EPA calculates that the Plaid will travel 348 miles and the AMG EQS 277 miles on a single charge. However, the Plaid was able to travel 280 miles on the 75 mph highway range test while the EQS reached 290. They also gain miles at roughly the same pace when connected to DC fast chargers. For the increased convenience of the huge Tesla Supercharger network, we’ll give the Plaid bonus points.
Since the EV industry is developing so swiftly, the AMG EQS’s reign as the best electric luxury-performance sedan may not last long. Recently released on the market, the Lucid Air has drawn attention. More participants will undoubtedly join them.