If you want to know what the future of Mercedes vehicles will look like, then look no further than the S-class. The new technology that every S-class has introduced, eventually found its way into other Mercedes-Benz models. So now the question is, what new tech does the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class have?
Starting with the powertrain, the 2021 S-class will be available with an inline-6 and a V8 engine. The straight 6 will be a 3.0L that will produce 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. It will be aided by Mercedes’ EQ-Boost mild-hybrid system which can momentarily provide up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This inline-6 engine will be paired with a 9-speed automatic. The V8 will produce 496 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque thanks to a couple of turbochargers and the same EQ-Boost mild-hybrid assist. Both engines will be paired with 4Matic all-wheel-drive.
Ok, now onto the really interesting stuff. The interior of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class can be equipped with 5 screens. There’s a 12.3-inch driver display, a 12.8-inch portrait infotainment screen up front, a pair of tablets in the rear seats, and a 7-inch center console screen in the rear for vehicle, media, or seat controls. Furthermore, the new S-class will know who is driving the vehicle because there is a fingerprint sensor to authenticate the driver as well as voice recognition. The benefit of this is to reset the seat and other controls to the driver’s liking as well as make digital payments if you choose to shop through the Mercedes-Benz app.
The new and larger main infotainment screen has meant that a lot of the physical buttons have been removed. But the new touchscreen can sense where your finger is hovering before you touch the screen itself. Also, it has haptic feedback just like on a mobile phone. There are also sensors throughout the cabin that know where you’re looking. So for example if you’re turning your head to look behind, the rear sunshade will automatically retract to provide an unobstructed view out of the back.
But if you just want to relax, the S-class has you covered. The front seats come with 19 motors each to provide the ideal position for your body type as well as providing massaging for your back, shoulders, and bum. They are of course heated and ventilated as well. But it’s not just the front passengers that benefit from the seat technology, the rear occupants also have multi-adjustable seats… that is if you opt for them. There is the standard 3-person seating layout, the Comfort seats with 19 to 37 degree backrest angles, or the Executive reclining seats with a 43.5 degree backrest angle. And for those that want to “feel the base” while listening to music, the new S-class has resonators built into each outer rear seat so that you can literally feel the base.
Speaking of music, there are 3 options for audio systems. The standard sound system consists of 9 speakers and has a pitiful 125 watt output. Move up to the Burmester 3Dsurround system and you get 15 speakers with a more reasonable 710 watts of power. But for the ultimate in sound, you need to opt for the Burmester 4Dsurround system. This system has 30 speakers and 1,750 watts of power. Plus this is the only sound system of the three to feature the aforementioned resonators in the seats.
However, being involved in a crash is just as safe in those rear seats as you would be in the front seats. There are now airbags mounted in the back of the front seats that deploy during a head-on collision to protect rear occupants. The car itself is also smarter than before and can adjust to minimize the severity of an accident. For example, if it detects a side-impact collision, it will raise itself by 8 cm so that the force of the impact will be distributed more through the floor of the car rather than the doors.
Of course the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class will try to avoid a collision altogether thanks to standard safety tech like automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, evasive steering assist, blind spot sensors, and so on. It will also be available – at a later date – with level 3 autonomous driving. It will be able to accelerate, brake, steer, and make lane changes on a highway without any driver input. But you can’t just turn the system on and fall to sleep like the countless YouTube videos you see of Tesla drivers doing that. The system uses two sensors in the car to detect whether you’re paying attention or not.
While on the move, the new S-class is much smoother than before. Not only does it have air suspension but it also has rear wheel steering. This makes the longer wheelbase of the 2021 S-class easier to turn in a tight spot but also more stable at high speeds. It also has an updated version of Mercedes’ park assist system which uses a new 3D display to visualize the area surrounding the car. The car can park itself at the touch of a button and – at a later date – the S-class will come with a park assist feature that will allow the car to be parked via a smartphone without the driver in the car. But that all depends on local laws and whether they permit such a feature or not.
As for the exterior looks, it takes a lot of inspiration from the A-class. It looks like a bigger version of the A220 sedan but with taillights from the CLS-class. However, unlike either of those cars, the 2021 S-class receives door handles that automatically extend when the driver approaches. Very similar to the Jaguar I-Pace door handles.
Pricing for the all-new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has not been revealed yet but expect it to be in the six figures range with sales starting in early 2021.