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Test Drive: Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV Night Series

Electrified luxury expands beyond the driving experience

by Josh Rubin

The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV is a vehicle that epitomizes multiple segments of the Mercedes-Benz line-up. As a Maybach it has the most thoughtful, thorough and luxurious colors, materials, finishes and feels. As an EQ it’s not just an electric drivetrain, it’s a celebration of technology using the most advanced screens and systems. And as an S it’s the largest and most aspirational vehicle of its ilk. We recently test drove this car on Vancouver Island and stepped the experience up even one more level by choosing the limited edition Night Series trim. In short, the experience glimpsed a ride to the moon for a black tie gala—fast, fancy, future fun!

The interior of the Maybach EQS SUV Night Series reflects a meticulous choice of materials and craftsmanship. Econyl carpeting lines the lower surfaces and vegetable-tanned black Nappa leather with contrast stitching is used for the seating and upper touch points. A matte-finished, natural-grain, dark gray, herringbone pattern wood offers an elegant trim that’s more understated than it might sound. The seats are infinitely adjustable and incredibly comfortable for the driver and passengers equally as it’s a car equally fit to be driven and driven in. The back seats feature ample leg room, reclining seats, leg rests and full-body massagers. Mercedes-Benz is among the manufacturers taking advantage of the opportunities to create larger interior spaces without making the overall car bigger because of the simplified architecture EVs have. As is developed for each new Mercedes-Maybach, the EQS SUV has a custom scent gently distributed through the air conditioning system. Called “No. 12 MOOD Ebony” it has subtle freesia and powder top notes on a sandalwood and clove base and evokes optimism, freshness and sensuality.

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

As an EQ, this car isn’t just electric. EQ has come to represent advanced technology in all the ways available to a vehicle. The Maybach EQS SUV has large OLED displays integrated under a single glass surface that spans the full width of the dashboard. The central display features Mercedes’ newest “zero layer” interface that’s centered around navigation and dynamically adjusts access to the functions its driver uses most often. Augmented reality is also featured on both this display and in the large, color heads-up driver display to overlay navigational graphics that scale in size to show exactly where the turn is as it’s approached. Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles there are various drive settings to control the steering, suspension and acceleration, however as a Maybach it also includes a mode that’s optimized for the passengers’ optimal comfort. And regardless of the mode you’re in, as an EV with two motors pushing 700 lb-ft of torque and yielding 649 hp, it’s real fast with a seamless delivery of torque. The driving experience can be equally thrilling as it can be serene. An advanced suspension system, coupled with the battery pack’s low center of gravity, ensures precise handling and stability. The inclusion of comprehensive driver-assistance features enhances safety and convenience, ensuring an engaging yet effortless drive, regardless of the setting.

The exterior design of the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV is a deliberate balance between Maybach’s classic elegance and the modern, aerodynamic aesthetics associated with electric vehicles. The front is dominated by a prominent grille, embellished with the Maybach emblem embedded below the upright Mercedes star, while its streamlined silhouette highlights its electric nature. A signature Maybach two-tone paint finish signals its provenance for those who might not immediately see the Maybach badges. That said, the Night Series features 950 Maybach logos (as counted by Daniel Golson) on the outside of the car in various patterns on elements like the b-pillar and black chrome wheels but not including the puddle lights and other digital renderings. The mesh patterned wheels in particular are impressively over the top and like nothing we’ve seen before. Black chrome also elegantly and stealthily trims the windows, bumpers and air intakes.

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Regarding that aforementioned fantasy trip to a gala on the moon, Mercedes-Maybach also announced an unexpected and intriguing partnership with Space Perspective, the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceflight experience company, to enhance the journey of space travelers from the ground to the edge of space. Mercedes-Maybach will provide all-electric vehicles for ground transportation of Space Perspective’s Explorers, aligning with both companies’ commitment to sustainability. The partnership also extends to exploring integrations of design and hospitality to enrich the overall experience, bringing the luxury and refinement of Mercedes-Maybach to the transformative space adventures offered by Space Perspective. Spaceship Neptune, Space Perspective’s innovative spacecraft, features in Mercedes-Maybach’s global brand campaign, underscoring the synergy between luxury automotive and space travel. With a focus on sustainability, innovation and unparalleled experiences, this collaboration sets a new standard for luxury travel from Earth to space.

The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV Night Series will be available later this fall with pricing just announced to be $204,900, a $25k premium over the $179,900 tag on the non-Night Series version.

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