Mercedes-Benz has spent the last several years churning out new electric vehicles ranging from the EQA crossover to the EQS sedan in both ordinary Mercedes and high-performance AMG trim. However, with the introduction of the EQS680 SUV, it is only now that the company's premium Maybach subsidiary has added electric power to its fine-dining menu.
The Maybach's first production EV, like the GLS600 SUV and S580 and S680 sedans, is based on a conventional Mercedes vehicle rather than being a distinct product. It's the EQS SUV in this example, but the smooth imitation of Maybach's distinctive fluted grille, two-tone paint, stunning seven-spoke forged, disc-style, 22-inch wheels, lighted running boards, and a Maybach insignia on the C-pillar set it apart from the standard EQS.
That Mercedes-branded EQS was previously offered as a 355 horsepower (360 PS / 265 kW) EQS450, a 4Matic EQS 450 with the same power but significantly greater torque, or an EQS580 with 536 hp (544 PS / 400 kW). The Maybach 680 increases that to 649 horsepower (658 PS / 484 kW), while the torque increase is more modest, with the peak nudging up from 633 lb-ft (850 Nm) to 701 lb-ft (950 Nm), helping to reduce the time from zero to 62 mph (96 km/h) from 4.6 seconds to 4.4 seconds.
That is, for European and North American automobiles; Chinese versions are limited to 630 horsepower (639 PS), but there is no evidence that Sino-American ties have worsened to the point that cars destined for Beijing are being neutered in the Alabama factory in Washington. Mercedes did not mention a battery capacity, though it is very definitely the same 107.8 kWh pack used in other EQS models; we do know that the 680 should be good for 373 miles (600 km) of WLTP range, which is just slightly less than the 381 miles (613 km) stated for the Mercedes-badged EQS580.
However, with the possible exception of the V12-powered S680, the powertrain is only a supporting part in any Maybach narrative. Mercedes spends little time discussing the dual-motor innovation in the EQS680 release information. Instead, the emphasis is on refinement and passenger comfort; even the Dynamic Select driving mode system has been tweaked to accommodate, with a Maybach mode that uses data from an oscillation sensor under the rear seats to control the dampers in a way that prioritizes rear passenger comfort.
The passengers can breathe perfumed air from the standard Air Balance package, listen to the 15-speaker Burmester 4D sound system, enjoy drinks warmed by thermal cup holders, and sign important documents under the glow of a designer lamp installed in each C-pillar or the 253 individually controllable LEDs that comprise the Active Ambient Lighting System.
The standard rear seats, upholstered in more environmentally friendly vegetable-tanned leather, have ventilation, a massage function, and neck and shoulder heating. With the Chauffeur Package, the front passenger seat moves forward when the seat behind it reclines. The optional First Class seating package, which extends the front center console to the space between the two rear seats and covers it in high-gloss wood trim to match the bits of the tree on the backs of the front seats, is required for the ultimate luxury experience. A robust rear bulkhead and a fixed rear parcel shelf reduce road noise to a minimum.
Rear passengers get an 11.6-inch infotainment screen to monitor and input the navigation destination. At the same time, the triple-display MBUX Hyperscreen dashboard, which is available on cheaper EQS versions, is standard and includes some Maybach-specific visuals. When you switch the Dynamic Select controller to Maybach mode, the needles in the instrument display transform into two silk scarves flowing gently in the breeze, which is an excellent reason to avoid a speeding ticket.