The new-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship has been officially revealed ahead of an Australian arrival in the second quarter of 2021.
With the high-status radiator grille, short front overhang and a long wheelbase, it maintains the classic S-Class proportions. Mercedes says the wide track and flush-mounted wheels deliver a muscular look.
The headlamps feature the three-point daytime driving light signature that is typical of the S-Class, while the optional flush-mounted door handles are a completely new development.
Mercedes is using the S-Class to debut its new Digital Light tech, each headlamp uses a light module with three powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The result is a resolution of more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle for precise light distribution.
According to Mercedes, the new lights make the Highbeam Assist over 100 times more precise than an 84-pixel light when excluding oncoming traffic or road signs from the light beam.
On the inside, the S-Class will debut an updated MBUX infotainment system. The central touchscreen is now vertically-oriented measuring 11.9- to 12.3 inches depending on the grade. The system houses the car’s menus, climate controls and media functions. The larger unit gets a higher resolution and haptic feedback.
Behind the wheel is a landscape-oriented 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with 3D imaging (that works without glasses) and an augmented reality head-up display.
Remarkably, the display area of the augmented reality head-up display corresponds to a monitor with a diagonal of 77 inches.
The headline-grabbing ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recognition functionality now extends to the rear seats, and the system can be updated over-the-air.
Compared to the preceding model, elbow-room for the driver has increased by 38mm and by up to 23mm for rear passengers. Headroom in the rear has increased by up to 16mm.
Locally, the S-Class will launch in S450 guise, it’s powered by a 270kW/500Nm 3.0-litre inline-six petrol engine with the brand’s EQ Boost mild-hybrid technology which can add an extra 250Nm under load. A nine-speed automatic transmission will send drive to all four wheels.
In due course, the range will expand to include a V8 engine also supported by a 48V mild-hybrid and a plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers 100km of electric range.
Rear-axle steering (optional) with a steering angle of up to 10-degrees improves manoeuvrability by reducing the turning circle by up to two metres.
Also optional is the E-Active Body Control suspension which adds 48-volt hydraulics to the existing air suspension to improve comfort and agility, plus provides additional protection in the event of a lateral collision.
When a side impact threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by up to 80mm within a few tenths of a second. This reduces the loads on the door structures, as the door sill can absorb more of the energy thanks to its higher position. As a result, deformation of the passenger cell and the loads acting on the occupants can be reduced.
Level 3 semi-autonomous driving functionality dubbed Drive Pilot will be rolled out in European markets, it allows the vehicle to drive itself in heavy traffic and on specific roads at speeds up to 60km/h.
Buyers will be able to option the ability to pull into and out of tight parking spaces from outside the car. It’s similar to the Smart Summon feature used by Tesla.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will reach Australia in the second quarter of 2021, local specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
More: All News