2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ vs. 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid


Mash the Tesla Mannequin S Plaid’s accelerator at 20 mph and the burst of energy hits so arduous it pulls the pores and skin in your face taut. It is like getting an immediate facelift, however one which lasts for just a few seconds. Strive a standing begin within the Plaid’s Drag Strip mode, and it hurls itself off the road so ferociously you may expertise tunnel imaginative and prescient. We repeated that maneuver a number of instances within the title of science to substantiate that our senses weren’t mendacity. Is that this what Navy pilots really feel when catapulted off a provider? Perhaps, however this a lot is for certain: It would not get outdated.

The Mannequin S Plaid scrambles your senses with 1020 horsepower and 1050 pound-feet of torque. It’s the final, unhinged expression of Tesla’s—and its equally unhinged CEO’s—want to maintain the corporate’s getting old luxury-performance flagship sedan related as new EV opponents arrive to stalk it. The Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ sedan is a type of challengers. A Mannequin S Efficiency beat a Porsche Taycan in a comparability check a few years in the past. However how does this newest mega-muscle Mannequin S—Tesla launched the Plaid in 2021—fare towards a Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 reworked by the German firm’s vaunted AMG efficiency division?

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The AMG-ized model of the EQS sedan appears at first to be too frivolously armed for the duty. The AMG’s 107.8-kWh battery pack groups with two permanent-magnet synchronous motors to supply a most of 751 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque—and just for temporary seconds throughout launch-control begins—far lower than the tri-motor Tesla’s totals. The AMG additionally weighs 5911 kilos—1083 kilos greater than the Mannequin S. The numbers say that the EQS would not stand an opportunity in a drag race. However we’re not simply out to destroy quarter-miles right here. We’re searching for the general finest electrical luxury-performance sedan, which makes this a multi-dimensional comparability of attributes—ambiance, posh appointments, and luxury, in addition to over-the-road competence and driving satisfaction.

Pricing and Plushness In contrast

With luxurious taking part in an equal half, this competitors turns into considerably extra balanced. The EQS appears to be like like an enormous lozenge with home windows, but it surely additionally has a presence the Tesla lacks. Credit score the Benz’s cautious exterior detailing, blacked-out trim, non-obligatory 22-inch turbine-style wheels, and the massive three-pointed star in its blanked-off pseudo-grille. It begins at $148,495. Our check automobile had a handful of choices together with carbon-ceramic brakes on the entrance axle ($5450), these great-looking wheels ($1850), and laminated aspect glass ($1010), which introduced the entire to $159,055. Whether or not it is the EQS’s weird-science form or its Mercedes face, it will get seen—particularly by different EV drivers juicing up at our native charging station.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+

Highs: Posh personified, muscle-car fast, glorious real-world vary.
Would not steer like an AMG ought to, would not deal with like an AMG ought to, not sufficient AMG on this AMG.

Tesla Mannequin S Plaid

Highs: Warp-your-vision acceleration, nonetheless appears to be like good, recharges in a flash.
Unpredictable when pushed arduous, brakes no match for the ability, the yoke is a joke.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The Mannequin S, by comparability, has been in the marketplace for 11 years, and it creates about as a lot pleasure within the normal populace because the sighting of a UPS truck. The Plaid appears to be like like each different Mannequin S, so solely Teslarati will acknowledge that that is the one with the power to warp your worldview. The Plaid goes for considerably lower than the EQS, with a base value of $131,440. Ours had the non-obligatory sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires on 21-inch wheels ($4500) and dark-gray paint ($1500), which introduced the entire to $137,440.

They’re each dearly priced, however these EV supersedans are as completely different as Silicon Valley and Stuttgart. Our AMG’s inside was pure opulence, a match for any gas-fired S-class’s wealthy passenger area. Its inside, in dove grey and sable brown, had the texture of a luxurious yacht’s cabin, proper right down to the slabs of natural-finish wooden trim laced with delicate steel inlays. The turbine-style HVAC vents are dash-mounted artworks, and the few buttons and switches in proof sport stunning finishes. After which there’s the Hyperscreen infotainment touchscreen, a single swoosh of glass spanning the sprint from door to door that homes the instrument cluster and most controls—together with a display screen for the entrance passenger to play with. It would not appear to work any higher than different touchscreens, washes out in shiny daylight, and accumulates extra fingerprints than an FBI database, however the graphics are nice and, nicely, it is large.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Subsequent to the EQS’s cornucopia of plushness, the Plaid’s inside is an train in Scandinavian-esque minimalism. Suppose Volvo slightly than Bentley. Good-looking in its simplicity, its dark-leatherette-and-cloth upholstery feels prefer it belongs in a $50,000 automobile, not one costing virtually thrice as a lot. Tesla was a pioneer at stuffing many of the controls into the center-stack display screen, and now even the Plaid’s shifter lives there—and it is generally fussy. Additionally lacking are the highest and backside of the steering wheel, which has been changed with a Cessna-style yoke that makes maneuvering in tight spots annoyingly awkward. And for all its well-known tech-forward innovation and off-the-wall pondering, we want that Tesla had gifted the Plaid with a easy sunshade—one thing the EQS has—for the within of the glass roof to scale back the warmth on our noggins throughout sizzling summer time days.

Unfold-out room is one other type of luxurious, and each automobiles have lots each entrance and rear. The EQS is the a lot greater automobile, although. At 207.3 inches it is 9.6 inches longer than the Plaid and its 126.4-inch wheelbase is 9.9 inches longer, which interprets into limo-like rear legroom. Its rear seat can also be increased off the ground than the Plaid’s, making it a extra comfy place to take a seat, and its rear headrests are soft pillows. Each automobiles have equally lengthy standard-equipment lists rife with driver-assist tech, however the EQS gives some luxurious options, similar to soft-close doorways and massaging entrance seats, the Plaid would not.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Spectacular however Flawed Efficiency

Luxurious, after all, is barely half of what these two EVs purport to be about. Their objective is to mix premium ambiance with efficiency—which to us means the totality of the driving expertise, not simply straight-line thrills. Not surprisingly, the Plaid and AMG EQS go about that mission very in another way.

In regular driving the Tesla is as docile as a home plant in the event you tread frivolously on the rightmost pedal. It has a taut journey and crisp steering response—although the steering yoke will drive you loopy any time it’s essential seize a handful of steering lock and as an alternative discover air. Exploiting the Plaid’s immense energy and supercar-like 1.08 g’s of lateral grip on a difficult street, nevertheless, is like being invited to a celebration solely to reach and discover nobody else has confirmed up: It is bizarre and off-putting. Pushed arduous, the Tesla’s age reveals. Its steering is lifeless and its chassis unsettled and uncommunicative; you do not know what it may do subsequent. On a tight-cornered two-lane, the large speeds the Plaid reached between turns demanded a lot arduous braking {that a} “brake overheating” warning popped up after little greater than a mile, forcing us to again off. We would seen the identical brake-fade downside in our instrumented testing. Get wherever close to the Plaid’s 162-mph ruled top-speed on a straight street, and it is an unsteady handful. Exploiting the Plaid’s potential produces extra anxiousness than pleasure.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The AMG EQS feels far safer and gratifying to drive arduous although its 0.92-g cornering effort is much under the Plaid’s. But it surely additionally feels heavy-footed, prefer it’s making an attempt to bop carrying ankle weights. In Consolation mode it virtually floats over pavement swells, however these huge 22s often thwack seams and street patches. Even with the dampers cinched up in Sport Plus mode, it responds lazily to steering inputs. The brake pedal all the time feels mushy, however the non-obligatory carbon-ceramic stoppers by no means light, regardless of how arduous we drove.

Solely subsequent to the Plaid does a automobile that reaches 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 119 mph really feel sluggish. When not driving in its quick-fire launch-control mode, it nonetheless conjures 649 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque, so jabbing the accelerator under 50 mph could make your face really feel a bit of humorous—even when it will probably’t take almost as a few years off your mug because the Tesla can. Steering-wheel paddles conveniently management its two ranges of regen and likewise allow coasting, which is one of the best technique for stretching vary. However the difficult steering-wheel haptic buttons and sliders that function quite a lot of screens and capabilities require an excessive amount of focus and reply inconsistently.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The AMG EQS could also be simpler to hustle than the Plaid, however we nonetheless anticipated a extra participating driving expertise from one thing carrying the vaunted AMG badge. We would be high-quality with this automobile’s dynamics if it had been an ordinary EQS 580, however as the motive force’s automobile within the EQS lineup it lacks the light-footed responsiveness and haughty confidence that make most AMG-tuned fashions a pleasure to drive.

Vary and Charging: Nearer than Anticipated

That these two automobiles have such completely different personalities makes it all of the extra stunning that they carry out virtually identically in two crucial areas: real-world driving vary and charging velocity. The EPA estimates that the AMG EQS can cowl 277 miles on a single cost and that the Plaid will go 348. However on our 75-mph freeway vary check, the Plaid had sufficient juice to run 280 miles whereas the EQS managed 290. When plugged into DC fast-chargers additionally they add miles at about the identical charge. We’ll give the Plaid further factors for the added comfort of the in depth Tesla Supercharger community.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

That is not sufficient this time. The Plaid is the EV world’s 1970 Chevelle SS 454, a muscle automobile that blows minds with its straight-line velocity. Want we remind you that just one different automobile we have examined—the $4.3 million, 1578-hp Bugatti Chiron Tremendous Sport—can high the Plaid’s 9.4-second, 151-mph quarter-mile run? The Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ is the better-balanced bundle of efficiency, dealing with, and luxurious. It is a automobile that makes you are feeling wealthy simply being in it, and it is higher—although removed from flawless—at taking part in the position of efficiency sedan if you drive it aggressively.

The EV world is evolving so rapidly, nevertheless, that the AMG EQS’s place atop this elite electrical luxury-performance sedan class may nicely be brief. The Lucid Air has simply arrived in the marketplace, and folks have taken discover. And extra entrants are certain to comply with.



2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+

Car Kind: front- and mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback


Base/As Examined: $148,495/$159,055

Choices: entrance carbon-ceramic brakes, $5450; 22-inch wheels, $1850; laminated glass, $1010; four-zone local weather management, $750; HEPA filtration for local weather management, $450; cabin perfume, $350; AMG Observe Tempo app, $250; 110-volt charging cable, $250; dashcam, $200


Entrance Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC

Rear Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC

Mixed Energy: 751 hp

Mixed Torque: 752 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 107.8 kWh

Onboard Charger: 9.6 kW

Transmissions: direct-drive


Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 17.3-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/14.9-in vented disc

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport EV

275/35R-22 104Y MO1


Wheelbase: 126.4 in

Size: 207.3 in

Width: 75.8 in

Top: 59.8 in

Cargo Quantity: 22 ft3

Curb Weight: 5911 lb


60 mph: 3.0 sec

100 mph: 7.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 11.4 sec @ 119 mph

130 mph: 14.5 sec

150 mph: 22.3 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 3.3 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.3 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 1.8 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 154 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 333 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.92 g


75-mph Freeway Vary: 290 mi


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 77/76/78 MPGe

Vary: 277 mi

2021 Tesla Mannequin S Plaid

Car Kind: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback


Base/As Examined: $131,440/$137,440

Choices: 21-inch wheels and tires, $4500; Midnight Silver Metallic paint, $1500


3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC

Mixed Energy: 1020 hp

Mixed Torque: 1050 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 99.3 kWh

Transmissions: direct-drive


Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 15.0-in vented disc/14.4-in vented disc

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

F: 265/35R-21 (101Y) T1

R: 295/30R-21 (102Y) T1


Wheelbase: 116.5 in

Size: 197.7 in

Width: 78.2 in

Top: 56.3 in

Passenger Quantity: 100 ft3

Cargo Quantity: 28 ft3

Curb Weight: 4828 lb


60 mph: 2.1 sec

100 mph: 4.3 sec

130 mph: 6.9 sec

1/4-Mile: 9.4 sec @ 151 mph

160 mph: 10.8 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 2.3 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 0.9 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 1.0 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 162 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 150 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 284 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.08 g


75-mph Freeway Vary: 280 mi


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 101/102/99 MPGe

Vary: 348 mi


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