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“It wasn’t one of the main goals in the development spec book to have off-road capabilities. As we drove, we saw very excellent behaviour from the vehicles on the ice in Sweden and also on the off-road courses,” said Rocker. 

“We were very excited and a little bit surprised how this big and heavy vehicle managed icy roads and driving in Sweden and so on. We did test drives on dunes near Las Vegas, on the ice in Sweden and in other off-road areas so we developed the capabilities of the vehicle during the development phase. It was a very interesting process and we’re very happy with the result and what the vehicles can do.”

Design

At 5125mm in length, 1959mm in width and 1718mm in height, the EQS SUV is 82mm shorter, a scant 3mm wider and 105mm lower than the Mercedes-Benx GLS SUV. It also rides on a wheelbase that is 75mm longer than its combustion-engined sibling, at 3210mm – the same as that of the EQS saloon. The exterior draws heavily on the smooth-surfaced design first established on the three-year- old Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV and which is reflected on the more recent EQS and EQE saloons.

Key styling elements include a blanked-off black panel grille that extends well into the lower section of the front bumper (optionally with a star pattern treatment), angular LED headlights (optional with Mercedes’ Digital Light functionality) and a horizontal LED light bar across the leading edge, all of which provide a clear family resemblance to other EQ models.

As on the EQS and EQE saloons, the EQS SUV’s large clamshell-style bonnet is designed to be opened only during servicing, with the filler for the windscreen washer integrated into the driver’s-side front panel.

In a departure from the EQS and EQE saloons, the doors are framed. They also feature flush handles as standard across the range. Narrow running boards will be offered as optional equipment, and these are claimed to contribute to aerodynamic efficiency by smoothing the airflow along the side of the new model. The firm has yet to reveal a drag co-efficient for its latest EQ model, although officials suggest it is the most aerodynamically efficient SUV in its ranks, thanks in part to a completely flat undertray as well as a heavily shrouded tailgate.

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