Mercedes EQS electric car set to get fake bonnet grille

BERLIN: The slow-selling Mercedes-Benz EQS is not winning any prizes for good looks, which is probably why the maker has opted to make the electric limousine look more purposeful - with a new fake grille.

Although electric cars typically don't need a grille for ventilation, the EQS is reportedly set to get a regular, S-Class-style grille as part of a midlife revamp which will also give buyers the chance to order the grille-mounted three-pointed star emblem.

It seems many customers do not like the smooth, bar-of-soap looks of the car, despite a wow-factor cockpit and loads of high-tech gear. Sales have been slow, say dealers and the car is rare even on German roads in the manufacturer's home market.

With electric propulsion there is little need for a grille intake since there is no combustion engine to cool - but try telling that to customers of a status-symbol brand that builds designed to impress.

A grille is still an important design component and many manufacturers are instantly recognisable from this feature alone.

"Some [customers] will want to keep a more sporty look and have the star integrated in the panel, and some we believe will want to have the more traditional look," Mercedes chief executive Ola Källenius said in an earnings call, according to Britain's Autocar magazine.

The refresh will also bring rear "executive seats" and a new battery to boost range. It's believed the EQS may get the 118 kW battery from the EQS SUV. The updated EQS is set to become available in June.

Mercedes has not commented on the new grille's availability but some voices in the industry say it could herald a new direction of styling and a return to conventional visuals.

Industry media spy shots of two EQS prototypes appear to confirm the front and rear changes.
Autos Mercedes-Benz