For decades, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has served as a platform for the company’s innovative features. As the 2021 model officially debuts, it’s time to see what the next generation of technology looks like to those who can afford the German automaker’s flagship sedan, and from what’s on display here we’re once again looking at technology we haven’t seen on any production car before. In the video below, Nik Miles covers the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class on assignment for TFLcar. Here’s what you need to know about the seventh-generation car, from styling to technology and performance.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class styling
All that innovation we expect in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is wrapped in a fairly simple, understated design, as befits a stately luxury flagship. The new model does pack a large new grille, but the length of the hood, size of the headlights and the car’s overall profile keep the visual proportions in check. Once more, the simpler lines and slimmer taillights streamline the design from the previous generation.
The real key to the S-Class isn’t so much its exterior, but everything that’s going on inside. As Nik covers in the video below, the car is a technological powerhouse. That mainly comes down to all the screens on hand. In front of the driver rests a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, while the raked central OLED touchscreen comes in at 12.8 inches. 64-color active ambient lighting also surrounds the passengers, and reacts to different features like setting the climate control temperatures, as well as bathing the interior in whatever hue you like.
Like its flagship luxury rivals, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class needs to impress with its technology to draw attention. There are plenty of features we haven’t seen on a wide scale, but may become more common as this model generally sets the trend, at least for other Mercedes models down the line.
One of the most impactful features to the driver is a new head-up display. The augmented reality unit actually reacts to the environment. For example, it will show animated turn-off arrows in the driver’s field of view, as well as Active Drive Assist features like following distance. According to Mercedes, the aperture angle of the Texas Instruments image-forming unit is 10 degrees horizontal and 5 degrees vertical. Images appear virtually at a distance of 33 feet, corresponding to a display area equivalent to a 77-inch diagonal monitor.
As with other new models, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz also features the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant. That comes as part of the MBUX infotainment system, which can even be used to activate the car’s “vitality” function to help keep you awake.
Two models are available in the first half of 2021: the S 500 and S 580. Both come in all-wheel drive “4Matic” guise. The lesser model packs a 3.0-liter inline-six engine with 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. The S 580, on the other hand, uses Mercedes’ 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Both mate up to a nine-speed automatic transmission and feature the company’s “EQ Boost” 48-volt system. That allows the car to generate an additional 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque in short bursts for extra performance off the line.
Mind you, these are not AMG models (those may come in time), so the top speed here is limited to 130 mph.
Pricing and EPA figures are not available yet, though we expect to see more information on both in the coming months. Beyond just scratching the surface here, there is much more detail to cover on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, so watch the full video below for more. Come back to TFLcar.com for the full review soon!