Mercedes-Benz has continued to update the EQS in the years since its launch, but the next update, a prototype for which has been spotted testing, is shaping up to be the most substantial yet.

It will constitute a mid-cycle refresh for the flagship electric vehicle which arrived in the U.S. as a 2022 model, and will include changes to the exterior design, judging by the prototype.

Look for the update to be introduced in 2025 for the 2026 model year in the U.S.

Development is still at an early stage but camouflage gear on the front and rear of the prototype points to new fascia designs at both ends. The headlights are a new design and feature Mercedes-Benz star-style logos that serve as both the daytime running lights and turn signals.

2026 Mercedes-Benz EQS facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2026 Mercedes-Benz EQS facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

The design trait was first previewed on the Concept CLA-Class that Mercedes rolled out at the 2023 Munich auto show. The concept's main purpose however was to preview a redesigned CLA-Class that's also due next year, likely with a choice between hybrid and electric powertrains.

The prototype also sports cameras mounted to each of the side mirrors. This may be evidence of a new camera-based system replacing the conventional side mirrors in some markets, or possibly camera-based sensors for new automated driver-assist technologies. The EQS, together with the S-Class, already features an SAE Level 3 automated driver-assist system known as Drive Pilot starting with the 2024 model. The system lets the driver look away from the road, though only within very limited conditions. And in the U.S., the system only functions on select highways in California and Nevada.

Mercedes has already indicated it wants to integrate turquoise-colored lights to signal when a vehicle is being driven in automated mode. The automaker late last year was granted permission to test the turquoise lights in California, and to sell them to public in Nevada starting with the 2026 model year, or when the updated EQS is expected to launch.

2026 Mercedes-Benz EQS facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2026 Mercedes-Benz EQS facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

There's no photo of the cabin but changes to some of the menus of the infotainment system are likely. We could also see a voice assistant that leverages artificial intelligence to deliver a more personalized experience, something Mercedes previewed just last month during 2024 CES.

It isn't clear whether any powertrain updates are planned. The 2024 model year saw the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 grades given more power. The AMG EQS 53 remains the most powerful option with its 649 hp as standard and 751 hp (via temporary boost) with the available AMG Dynamic Plus package included.

Similar updates planned for the EQS should also make their way to the related EQS SUV, and the smaller EQE and EQE SUV which share a platform with the EQS models.