2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 02, 2020
  • Redesigned flagship Mercedes-Benz sedan
  • S 500 and S 580 versions arrive first
  • Standard EQ Boost mild-hybrid powertrains
  • Significant safety system enhancements
  • Major infotainment technology upgrades
  • Substantial comfort and convenience improvements
  • New Mercedes S-Class release date is spring of 2021

Introduction - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Poised to set new standards in the large luxury sedan segment, the redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a technological tour de force boasting the latest innovations in comfort, convenience, infotainment, safety, and performance.

2021 Mercedes S-Class AMG Line White Front View

When the new 2021 Mercedes S-Class goes on sale during the first half of 2021, both S 500 and S 580 models are planned. The lineup will almost certainly expand, though, to include plug-in hybrid and AMG-tuned performance variants.

Exterior Features - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Longer and wider than the car it replaces, the all-new S-Class features a longer wheelbase and a wider track, but new 4-wheel-steering technology helps to improve maneuverability in urban driving environments while dramatically reducing the turning radius.

2021 Mercedes S-Class Silver Rear View

In terms of styling, the new 2021 S-Class reflects a subtle evolution of the automaker’s current design language. The car’s nose is blunt with a short front overhang, a traditional grille with chrome bars, and a stand-up hood ornament. The greenhouse gracefully arcs to form the fast rear roof pillars, while clean character lines taper into the tail. Flush door handles extend for use, and soft-closing doors are standard.

The most intricate parts of the design are the LED headlights and taillights, followed by the wheel designs. Available AMG styling also adds character to the front and rear bumpers.

Interior Features - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Open a door and technology beckons, doing its best to simplify what is an unavoidably complex automobile. 

2021 Mercedes S-Class Dashboard Quilted Nappa Leather Seats

Behind the new steering wheel design with capacitive touch buttons and intelligent hands-off sensor technology, you’ll find the now-familiar 12.3-inch instrumentation display. On the center portion of the dashboard, a new 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen display is angled for easier use, with storage behind it. Multiple themes tie the two displays together for a seamless appearance, and a fingerprint sensor biometrically authenticates the driver to activate that person’s individual profile and settings.

Wood sweeps dramatically across the dashboard and into the door panels, punctuated by vertical air vents at each end of the instrument panel. Another set of horizontal air vents is located at the top of the dashboard. Interactive 64-color ambient lighting glows after dark and is tied in with the car’s driving assistance and collision avoidance technologies to serve as an additional visual warning system.

Active multi-contour seats are standard, equipping the S-Class with front comfort head rests, rapid heating and ventilation, and an enhanced massage system offering 10 programs, two levels of intensity, and duration settings ranging from 8 to 18 minutes.

Beneath a standard panoramic glass roof, the seats are wrapped in standard leather upholstery. Quilted and perforated premium Nappa leather is an option for the S 500 and is standard with the S 580. The new S-Class also includes a standard Air Balance cabin ionizer and fragrance system as well as powered rear sunshades.

Optional Features - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Mercedes will offer the new S-Class with Luxury Line and AMG Line packages. Additionally, the S 580 is available with an Executive Line package.

Highlights of the Luxury Line and AMG Line packages include upgraded interior materials, added comfort features, special design details, and larger wheel designs. An Energizing Comfort system is also installed to improve driver attentiveness and enhance the well-being of front-seat occupants.

The Executive Line package adds individual reclining and massaging rear seats with pillows on the head restraints, a neck and shoulder heating system, and a rear Energizing Comfort system. An ottoman extends for use by the right rear passenger, who can power the front seat forward in order to use it.

With the Executive Line package, a wide center console separates the individual rear seats, and includes wireless charging and a work surface. This upgrade also installs a high-end rear-seat entertainment system with dual 11.6-inch screens, 4-zone climate control, a new rear airbag system, and 10-degree rear axle steering.

Under the Hood - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Mercedes has announced two turbocharged engine choices for the new S-Class, both equipped with the company’s EQ Boost technology with a 48-volt electrical system and an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG). 

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S 500 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine making 429 horsepower between 5,500 rpm and 6,100 rpm and 384 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,600 rpm to 4,500 rpm. The more powerful 2021 Mercedes-Benz S 580 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making 496 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 516 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm. 

The EQ Boost function uses an ISG mounted to the 9-speed automatic transmission to add 21 horsepower for short bursts of added power, plus 184 lb.-ft. of instant electric motor torque. The automaker’s 4Matic all-wheel drive and Airmatic air suspension are standard.

Available rear axle steering offers 4.5 degrees or 10 degrees of added steering at the rear wheels, making the S-Class as maneuverable as a compact car, according to Mercedes. The company says the turning circle is 6.2 feet tighter, measuring just 35.8 feet.

Safety - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Mercedes equips every S 500 and S 580 with a standard Driver Assistance Package, the contents of which the company characterizes as the “next level of Intelligent Drive and driver assistance systems.”

While the package includes established Mercedes-Benz advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), nearly every one of them is upgraded or enhanced for the new S-Class. Perhaps the most important improvements include:

  • Automatic emergency braking that can prevent a collision from a speed of 80 mph, up from 35 mph
  • Automatic emergency stop assistance that now works without the adaptive cruise control engaged
  • A newly available Microsleep warning powered by an infrared camera that monitors facial expressions and eyelid movements to detect a drowsy driver
  • Improved steering assistance on both highways and winding roads
  • Improved lane-keeping assistance that isn’t reliant upon lane markings
  • Upgraded active braking assistance with oncoming and cross-traffic functionality up to 75 mph
  • Visual alerts tied in with the interior’s active ambient lighting system

Additionally, the S-Class offers a new 3D Technology package that installs 3D instrumentation and uses the 360-degree surround-view camera network to show the car, its surroundings, and the ADAS operation on a real-time, augmented reality display.

The S-Class is also equipped with Mercedes’ Pre-Safe Impulse Side technology, which detects an impending side-impact collision and lifts that side of the car while repositioning occupants for maximum protection from the impact. 

With the Executive Line package, a new rear-seat airbag system deploys in frontal impacts to protect the head and neck of rear-seat occupants. It only works when occupants are wearing their seatbelts.

Technology - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Depending on the model and equipment, the new S-Class offers up to five different display screens for use by all occupants. But every S-Class is equipped with a 12.3-inch instrumentation display and a 12.8-inch OLED infotainment display. 

Next-generation Mercedes Benz User Experience (MBUX) technology powers the car’s onboard infotainment and other systems, offering a claimed 50% improvement in processing power and a more advanced voice control system. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are new, and the S-Class has standard wireless smartphone charging for front-seat occupants. Wireless charging for rear occupants is available, and the S-Class is equipped with six USB-C ports.

Mercedes continues to offer navigation with augmented video to assist with directions. Equip the car with the 3D Technology package, and that same functionality is shown in a new augmented reality head-up display rather than on the center infotainment screen.

Standard equipment includes a Burmester 3D Surround Sound system. As an option, the new S-Class is fitted with an immersive Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system. It includes 30 speakers, up to 1,750 watts of power, and the ability to individually tailor sound intensity for each outboard seat. 

The S-Class also features “near ear speakers” in the driver’s head restraint. This is helpful when other occupants in the car need not hear things such as verbal navigation instructions.

Mercedes-Benz is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of September 1, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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