Drive journalists have been let loose to build their ideal specification of AMG’s first series-production electric car.
Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our configurator challenge, we let the Drive team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal combination for a certain model.
This week’s challenge centres on the Mercedes-AMG EQS53, the first high-performance electric Mercedes to be sold in Australia – and one of the most expensive, with a base price of $328,400 plus on-road costs.
Let us know what your ideal 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQS53 would look like in the comments below (configure yours here), and the cars you’d like us to configure next.
James Ward, Director of Content
I’ve gone full Bruce Wayne sled with my EQS53; Obsidian Black with the AMG Night Package and requisite 22-inch wheels. I think the black emphasises the techno nature of the EQS, and reaffirms it as a limo…
To balance yin with yang though, I’ve opted for the light Neva Grey interior with open-pore walnut trim. I’ve also optioned the AMG Dynamic Plus package, and the augmented-reality head-up display.
Like this, the EQS showcases the sleek modernity of the black AMG on the outside, but a classic Mercedes pairing of light leather and wood on the inside.
Total price: $342,770 plus on-road costs
Kez Casey, Production Editor
Maybe it’s just me, but I consider the EQS to be one of most unfortunate looking cars to ever come from Mercedes-Benz, so I’ve done my best to hide its lumpen form with a coat of Obsidian Black paint.
Points to AMG for the 22-inch multi-vane wheels though, these look gorgeous. For some reason MB will only let you package red calipers with rear tinted windows (because those two things are supposedly related) so I’ll leave mine in unseen anodised silver.
Oddly for an AMG product, there’s no outrageous red or yellow trim options. If you’re adventurous there’s a hospital waiting room-spec brown and grey combo, but if you’re like me and you’re not, there’s black and grey as seen here. That pairs with carbon-fibre trim on the console and doors.
Beyond that, there’s not much else to add – apart from the AMG Dynamic Plus package that bumps outputs to 560kW and 1020Nm, of course. Despite a relatively short options list, that’s still a $13,000 bill on top of the already weighty $328,400 price of entry.
Paul Gover, Senior Journalist
Susannah Guthrie, Senior Journalist
Call me boring, but I reckon the EQS53 looks its best in plain old white, so I opted for the only standard exterior paint option: Polar White.
I also added the AMG Night Package ($3990) so I had privacy glass at the rear. To inject an extra pop of colour, I upgraded the brakes to the bright yellow AMG ceramic composite units ($9990).
Inside, I loved the crisp, clean look of the nappa leather interior in Neva grey and Balao brown, even if it is a completely ridiculous choice given I have a one-year-old. But a girl can dream.
I can’t go past a good wood finish, so I added the walnut inlays, and then fancied up my driver experience with the MBUX augmented reality head-up display ($2690).
Even without factoring in the costly interior trim changes, I’m already up over $345,000 before on-road costs, so I better stop there.
Emma Notarfrancesco, Senior Journalist
My EQS53 is finished in Sodalite Blue Metallic (a no-cost option), while the exterior gets the AMG Night Package – a $3990 option. This adds AMG gloss black exterior accents, along with 22-inch matte black/silver AMG light-alloy wheels, and red brake calipers.
Inside I’ve chosen the AMG nappa leather black/space grey upholstery, with brown open-pore walnut wood trim. Interior options include the $9290 Energising Comfort package, which includes a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear-seat entertainment system, two wireless headsets, Energising Package with wellness programs, Energising Coach application, and an Energising Air Control Plus air purifier.
Other highlights include ceramic composite brakes ($9990), an augmented-reality head-up display ($2690) and AMG carbon-fibre interior inlays ($2990).
Altogether, I’ve added $28,950 worth of options to the $328,400 plus on-road costs starting price of the EQS.
I, like my colleague Kez, believe the EQS53’s looks leave a lot to be desired. This is why I’ve decided you need to go all-out on specification to distract yourself.
I’ve always been a big fan of Benz’s ($1990) Hyacinth Red so that covers the exterior, though the interior choice was harder. There was a nice light grey colour that reminded of the mid-2000s S-Class and CL-Class, but I wasn’t such a fan of the brown colour it automatically selected for the centre console and dash-top. In the end I went straight black upholstery which is inoffensive enough.
There are relatively few options boxes to tick but I opted for the $9990 carbon-ceramic brakes, $2990 carbon-fibre inlays, and $2690 augmented head-up display. I’m most excited about that latter selection which handily puts your navigation instructions right in your face on the windscreen.
I’ve also selected the $7690 AMG Dynamic Plus package which unlocks higher outputs from the twin motors because, what are EVs for if not ultimate warp-speed straight-line acceleration?
Jordan Mulach, Journalist
I decided to change things up from the usual choices of black, white and silver by choosing Nautic Blue Metallic – unique but equally hard to keep clean. I also think it’s one of the best blues out there, but that’s just me.
Instead of 22-inch pothole finders, I picked the 21s because they both look better and provide a touch more sidewall protection for the roads this car will be used on most of the time.
Because I’m prone to eating while driving, white seats are a no-no, but I feel pairing the black leather with a bit of brown adds a unique look, even if it is matched with carbon fibre. You’ve got to save every gram in a two-tonne EV.
There are heated outer rear seats just in case I ever end up in the back, and a heated steering wheel for when I’m not.
You’ve also got to have the AMG Dynamic Plus package and high-performance ceramic brakes just in case that track day bug bites.
Alex Misoyannis, Journalist
It’s been a bit of a wait, but AMG’s first series-production electric car – not its first altogether; that was the 2013 SLS Electric Drive supercar – has arrived in Australia.
Unsurprisingly, it’s not cheap, priced from a shade under $330,000 before on-road costs. But if you’re going to spend that much on an electric AMG limo… what are a few optional extras to your back pocket?
That’s why my AMG EQS53 configuration is close to fully loaded, with a few exemptions. On top of the $328,400 base price, I’ve added the $7690 AMG Dynamic Plus package for the full 560kW power output, plus $3990 for the AMG Night Package, which includes nicer 22-inch wheels (which I’d option regardless), black accents and red brake calipers.
Finished in Manufaktur Hyacinth Red metallic (a $1990 option, unsurprisingly), my EQS53 also features the augmented-reality head-up display ($2690), carbon-fibre interior inlays ($2990), a 22kW onboard charger ($2490), and an AC wallbox for my garage ($1450).
I don’t need the $9290 Energising Package, nor the $9990 carbon-ceramic brakes; I’m sure the steel brakes will do the job well enough.
All up, it’s $351,690 plus on-road costs – or likely close to $375,000 drive-away, once all government charges are included.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.