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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers luxury sedan more technology

The new Mercedes S-Class continues to enhance the technological power of Benz's flagship sedan

There are nearly 30 different models that comprise the current Mercedes-Benz lineup in the United States, yet the launch of the all-new Mercedes S-Class remains a defining moment for Germany's most successful luxury carmaker


2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers luxury sedan more technology


2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Mercedes SUVs, in particular the GLE and GLC families, may be the brand's biggest seller today, but the S-Class is still intended to be just a statement of engineering excellence and technical expertise that underpins the three-star's credibility. So the mission statement of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2021 is crystal clear


The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, codenamed W223, is built on a new platform known internally as the MRA2. Effectively evolving the pillars of the current vehicle, the MRA2 has been reworked to include a new rear steering axle and a larger battery for the hybrid versions of the vehicle. Compared to the long wheelbase W222 S-Class, the distance between the front and rear axles is increased by 2 inches to 126.6 inches. The overall length grew 1.3 inches to 208.2 inches, the width increased by 2.1 inches, and the height increased by 0.4 inches

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Although the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is available elsewhere with a variety of engines, the US lineup will initially be limited to just two, with the standard all-wheel drive system. The entry-level S-Class will be the S 500 4Matic, powered by a 3.0-liter M256 six-liter engine with a mild hybrid EQ Boost system with 21 hp and 184 lb. It produces 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. The S 580 4Matic will be equipped with the M176 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, which has been upgraded to operate with the same EQ Boost hybrid setup as the V6. Outputs are 496 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque




The interior of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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The interior design of 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an exciting blend of traditional luxury materials and modern digital technology, based on a contemporary layout that makes the cabins of the current BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 look like they did in the last century

There are more Tesla signals inside the cabin, with a wide 12.8-inch touch-sensitive OLED screen dominating the dashboard. At first glance

It appears that a laptop has been left open in the car's center console, and this screen is the primary interface for nearly all functions other than basic driving inside a 2021 Mercedes-Benz S

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The last Mercedes-Benz S-Class had four automatic air vents and a mechanical clock in the space now taken over by the glass front. But the rest of the cabin showcases a lot of old craftsmanship, with wall-to-wall masking and some lovely wood trim, plus color-configurable LED lighting around all of the interior panels. There is also a fingerprint sensor to allow quick change of driver profiles or even authentication of purchases made through built-in apps

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class engine

Two versions will initially be offered in the United States market. The S500 gets a 429-hp supercharged and turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, and the S580 upgrades to a 496-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, with both engines incorporating 48-volt hybrid assistance. We drove the S580 first, on a route from Stuttgart to Mercedes's proving ground at Immendingen via a stretch of unrestricted autobahn. In the ordinary course of vehicle testing, this would lead to an immediate attempt to find the speed limiter and stay on it for as long as possible, but with the S-class the chance for higher-than-normal velocities was more useful in demonstrating the car's exceptional noise insulation. At 80 mph, more noise was coming from other traffic — muted by the windows' dual panes — than the car itself. Only above 140 mph did the commencement of wind noise from the tops of the doors disturb the serenity. And yes, we did confirm the presence of a 155-mph governor. U.S versions will be restricted to a more leisurely 130 mph

The V-8 rarely raises its voice, even as it creates forceful acceleration. In the most aggressive Sport Plus dynamic setting (a mode that feels at odds with the S-class's character and purpose), the engine stayed hushed under all but stamped-throttle progress. And even then, the V-8 sounded distant and muted. Suspension settings are similarly comfort-orientated, with both adaptive dampers and air suspension standard. The big Benz sits 0.7 inch lower in Sport Plus mode, yet the ride remains impressively pliant, if lacking the firmness normally associated with sports sedans


We also got to sample the optional E-Active Body Control system, which adds both a road-scanning camera and an active anti-roll system. The latter employs a hydraulic system pressurized by a 48-volt pump. This can neutralize body roll—which it does effectively—and will also offer Curve mode, leaning into turns like an oversized motorbike. Grip levels are high, and on dry tarmac, the standard 4Matic all-wheel drive delivered unbreakable traction


At lower speeds, the S580 also showed off another of its innovations: a new rear-axle steer system that can turn the rear wheels up to 10 degrees. Mercedes says this reduces the turning circle of the regular wheelbase S-class to just 35.1 feet, which is one foot smaller than the turning circle of an A-class sedan. The sensation of the system working is initially odd, as the rear axle can be felt moving out as the front turns in. But the increase in maneuverability is obvious and impressive. The 10-degree rear-axle system will only be offered on the S580 with the Executive Line pack. The AMG Line trim (available with both engines) brings a less aggressive 4.5-degree version that delivers a 38.1-foot turning circle. Above 40 mph, both systems offer much smaller degrees of in-phase steering to boost stability


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