A Rare Peek Under the Mercedes EQS’s Hood Reveals a Bizarrely Big Cabin Filter

If you measured this car’s cabin filter diagonally like a TV, it’d be about 28.5 inches. Jason Fenske’s brief video illustrates just how huge it really is.

byAndrew P. Collins| PUBLISHED Aug 26, 2022 8:00 AM
A Rare Peek Under the Mercedes EQS’s Hood Reveals a Bizarrely Big Cabin Filter

One advantage electric cars have over their petrol-powered counterparts is the surplus of space created in the absence of an engine and everything that comes with it. Some EVs take advantage of this to increase cargo capacity, and some are taking the opportunity to experiment with other party tricks. The Mercedes-Benz EQS electric sedan, for example, has a cabin filter that looks about as big as the radiator grille of a semi-truck.

Merc's advanced cabin air filtration system in the EQS isn't news. The company released an animated video and infodump about the car's "Energizing Air Control Plus" system back in April of 2021. However, it wasn't until Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained shared a quick clip on Instagram showcasing an EQS with its hood up and cabin air filter exposed that I realized how immense it is. I mean, wow.

The fact that the EQS's hood is not supposed to be opened by owners has been documented before, and I'd seen technical diagrams of the cabin air filtration system, but getting a look at the filter in a casual Instagram video really gives you a sense of how comically massive it is. I mean, hell, it's easily twice the size of a '90s Honda radiator. Specifically, Mercedes reports it's 596 mm wide by 412 mm tall by 40 mm deep. So in America talk, that's 23.4 inches wide and 16.2 inches tall. If you measured it diagonally like a TV, it'd be like a 28.5-inch screen.

Obviously, you can see from the visual that that's huge, but for a little more context I went on the universal auto parts purveyor Rock Auto's website to look at some other cabin filters. For a 2020 Mercedes E350, for example, you can get a Fram x Arm & Hammer charcoal cabin filter that is listed at 9.13 inches long and 4.57 inches wide. A 2015 Honda Civic calls for a cabin filter that specs out at 9.298 inches long and 8.904 inches wide. You could pull part numbers for random cabin air filters all day and I'm confident you wouldn't hit one bigger than the one found in the EQS.

How much air-purifying performance you're exactly benefiting from as a passenger in a car with a filter that has an "absorption area" being "equivalent to about 150 football fields" I'm unsure. But Mercedes is proud to say its filtration system has a certification of approval from an independent evaluating outfit called OFI.

Here are some annotated diagrams from Mercedes with some status on the EQS filtration setup:

I'm guessing these specs will get increasingly relevant as we're forced to glide through increasingly polluted air. The flame-spitting cars from Mad Max look a lot more badass, but something tells me that heavy environmental insulation like this is going to be the apocalypse-proofing people will actually need in their vehicles in the near future.