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First ride: 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQS prototype review

There are four driving modes: Electric, Comfort, Sport and Individual. The first allows for one-pedal driving with adjustable energy recuperation. Enzmann says that the EQS can harvest up to 293kW of energy from a good nudge of the brakes.

Similar to that used by the S-Class, the standard Airmatic suspension has three-channel plungers at each corner and a self-levelling feature. At speed, the ride height is reduced to boost aerodynamic efficiency.

Also in line with the S-Class, EQS buyers can add one of two all-wheel-steering systems, which offer 4.5deg and 10deg of rear-steering assistance. From the passenger seat, the EQS feels unusually agile for such a big and heavy car. There is a degree of body roll, but movement is progressive even when the driver pushes hard in tightening corners.

Most impressive are the grip and traction, aided by the Torque Shift function that balances drive between the axles faster than Mercedes’ mechanical system can.

Enzmann claims that the EQS is unparalleled in terms of refinement, and we wouldn’t argue: it’s whisper-quiet and exceptionally well settled, with the slippery shape contributing to extremely low levels of wind buffeting at high speeds. The suspension delivers impressive absorption: you feel impacts but don’t hear them. And on the 265/40-profile 21in winter tyres worn by our prototype, road noise is terrifically well suppressed.

For those who yearn for acoustic feedback from their electric car’s driveline, a sound generator offers three themes, including one that’s meant to mimic the sound of an engine.

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