• The 516-hp EQS580 went 10 miles farther than its 340-mile estimate, and the 751-hp AMG EQS went 13 miles farther than its 277-mile estimate.
• Many factors are at play, but a big one is that we suspect Mercedes—like other German brands that have done it—is conservative with its EV range estimates.
Welcome to Car and Driver's Testing Hub, where we zoom in on the test numbers. We've been pushing vehicles to their limits since 1956 to provide objective data to bolster our subjective impressions (you can see how we test here).
It's rare that an electric vehicle beats its EPA range estimate in our 75-mph real-world test. How rare? Well, we've run range tests on more than 50 EVs to date and so far only seven—about 13 percent—went farther than advertised. The latest to join this select company are the Mercedes-Benz EQS580 and the Mercedes-AMG EQS, which exceeded their combined EPA figures by 10 and 13 miles, respectively.
Both Mercedes models have an electric motor powering each axle and a 107.8-kWh battery pack. The 516-hp EQS580 is expected to travel 340 miles on a full charge, and the 751-hp AMG EQS is expected to go 277 miles, according to the EPA. For the failed mathematicians out there, that's a difference of 63 miles. And, in our highway-range test, we saw nearly that same gap, where the EQS580 covered 350 miles and the AMG EQS traveled 290 miles.
The EQS models' percentage of EPA range achieved is 103 and 105 percent, respectively but it's notable because so few EVs have done it since we first started testing highway range in 2016. The list of other overachievers currently includes the Audi e-tron Sportback, the Audi e-tron GT (and RS variant), the base-model Porsche Taycan, and the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo. Among those, only the Porsches achieved a higher percentage of their EPA ranges than the Benzes—112 percent for the wagon and an impressive 124 percent for the sedan.
What's noteworthy about that group is they all come from German brands. What's equally notable is that the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S are missing, despite the Tesla being the first to crack 300 miles of real-world range after a 320-mile result, and the Lucid being the first to break the 400-mile mark after covering 410 miles at a steady 75 mph. The truth is, both the 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring and 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range we tested fell woefully short of their EPA range estimates. The Lucid missed its 516-mile rating by 106 miles, which is only 80 percent of its EPA estimate. The Tesla missed its 412-mile rating by 92 miles—only completing 78 percent of its EPA range.
So, what's the difference between the Germans that outperformed their EPA-rated ranges and the Americans that didn't? Simply put, we suspect the former group is much more conservative than the latter when it comes to estimating how far their respective EVs will go with full batteries. Specifically with the EQS duo, their 107.8-kWh net capacity is only 3.9 kWh more than the Model S Long Range's (103.9 kWh) and 4.2 kWh less than the Air Grand Touring's (112.0 kWh). Still, Mercedes's combined EPA estimate for the EQS580 is a startling 176 miles lower (about 34 percent) than Lucid's estimate and 72 miles lower (about 17 percent) than Tesla's. The gaps are even wider between the two American models and the AMG EQS, but you get the picture.
Of course, other things played a part in the Benzes beating their EPA-rated ranges, but it's difficult to quantify each contributing factor. Both models are super slippery thanks to their aerodynamic-focused, cab-forward design that helps deliver incredibly low drag coefficients of 0.20 for the EQS580 and 0.23 for the AMG EQS.
Tires also have a big impact on range. While our AMG version wore Michelin Pilot Sport EV rubber that's designed for sporty handling and low rolling resistance, our EQS580 wore surprisingly aggressive Goodyear Eagle F1 Assymmetric 5 summer tires and still beat its EPA rating. Perhaps there's a way to squeeze even more range out of Mercedes' electric luxury barge? Either way, for now, the Benzes are part of an exclusive club of range beaters.
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