It’s true than no one will buy either of these Mercs to toss it around in a track. And yet testing the handling of those two big, soft, comfortable machines that represent the past, present, and future of automotive luxury on a circuit does have a certain appeal.
The first car in this test is Mercedes’ scion of luxury, the S-Class. Powered by a 435 hp (441 PS/324 kW) straight-six engine, it gets 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque and has a curb weight of 4,553 lbs (2,065 kg).
The all-electric EQS, meanwhile, is at the leading edge of technology and features the largest battery currently available on sale. At 108 kWh, though, it means that this EQS weighs in at a stunning 5,467 lbs (2,480 kg). Although other versions make ridiculous amounts of power, this one, with just one motor, delivers just 330 hp (335 PS/246 kW). It does, however, make a healthy amount of torque at 420 lb-ft (570 NM).
Despite the torque advantage, the EQS would seem to be at a disadvantage on a circuit because of its extra weight and its paucity of power. Despite that, though, host Mat Watson says he thinks the EV is more fun to drive. While the S-Class does what you’d expect it to by being safely neutral and understeering slightly, the EQS is kind of playful in comparison.
“The [EQS] actually moves around a little bit more underneath you so you can get it rotating into a corner better,” says Watson. “I’m actually preferring it. I’m preferring the feeling of driving this quickly. It’s just a little bit more playful, a little bit more responsive.”
Will that relative advantage in dynamics amount to a better lap time, though? Find out in the video below.