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[Test Drive] All-electric Mercedes-AMG sedans raise bar for performance EVs

German carmaker’s muscle EVs combine luxury with dynamic driving

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : June 7, 2023 - 09:25

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Mercedes-Benz Korea holds a test drive event for the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ and Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ for local media at the AMG Speedway in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. (Mercedes-Benz Korea) Mercedes-Benz Korea holds a test drive event for the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ and Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ for local media at the AMG Speedway in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance brand under German auto giant Mercedes-Benz, is well known for crafting luxurious motorsports-inspired vehicles with monstrous engines.

And the brand has kept these signature traits for its EQ lineup, boasting the fastest acceleration among Mercedes EVs.

Mercedes-Benz Korea hosted a media test drive at the AMG Speedway in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, last week. With a 4.3-kilometer circuit with 17 turns, the AMG Speedway is the world’s first track to bear the German automaker’s high-performance brand.

The two EVs -- the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ and Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ -- looked similar from the outside. The one-bow design with the frameless doors, as well as big wheels on the side create a slick, sporty exterior from the front to the back. The interior of the two vehicles also resembles each other as they both feature futuristic touch screens -- the MBUX Hyperscreen -- stretching across the entire width of the front row.

The view from the front row of the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ Mercedes-Benz Korea) The view from the front row of the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ Mercedes-Benz Korea)

Once the driving began, the EVs lived up to the AMG name. The EQE, easily surpassed 200 kilometers per hour on the circuit's longest straight. The only downside was that the body of the vehicle shook sideways when braking hard at the end of the straight.

According to the automaker, the EQE can reach 100 kph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. Equipped with a 90.56 kilowatt-hour battery, the car has a range of up to 354 kilometers on a single charge, according to the Korean government’s authorization.

A Mercedes-Benz Korea official said the EQE has been equipped with an optimized battery cooling system to control the heat from the vehicle, which has been assembled with AMG-designated electric motors capable of producing 950 Newton-meters of torque and generating a maximum output of 460kW.

Throughout the circuit, the EQE’s AMG-specialized air suspension gave a sense of comfort as it automatically adapted the car’s suspension to the driving conditions and speed even.

Mercedes-Benz Korea holds a test drive event of Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ and Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ for local media at the AMG Speedway in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on June 2. (Mercedes-Benz Korea) Mercedes-Benz Korea holds a test drive event of Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ and Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ for local media at the AMG Speedway in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on June 2. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

The EQS, which has the same torque as the EQE, did not feel any slower than the lighter model despite its bigger frame. According to Mercedes-Benz Korea, it takes 3.8 seconds for the EQS to reach the 100 kph from a standstill.

Equipped with a 107.8 kWh battery, the EQS can drive up to 397 km per charge. Its motor has a maximum output of 484 kW and a top-end speed of 220 kph. The brake of the EQS felt more solid than that of the EQE when trying to suddenly slow down the vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz Korea highlighted the EQS’s rear-axle steering function that supports up to 9 degrees of steering angle to create a steering radius of 11.5 meters, an equivalent level of a small vehicle for agile and stable steering. The AMG Speedway circuit’s 17 corners did not pose that much of a problem as the EQS’ dynamic sports driving was backed up by its first-class steering capabilities.

Mercedes-Benz Korea said it plans to launch the Mercedes-AMG EQE sports utility vehicle in the local market in the second half of this year to expand the high-performance brand’s portfolio.