2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class unveiled

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the 2021 S-Class (W223). The car is scheduled to go on sale in global markets early next year.

The new S-Class is based on the second-generation MRA platform. The car is 34 mm longer, 22 mm wider and 12 mm taller than its predecessor. Its wheelbase has also increased by 51 mm, which translates to 24 mm of extra legroom for rear seat passengers. The car comes with 550 litre boot.

The W223 S-Class has a longer bonnet, a coupe-like roof line and flush fitting door handles. The car is offered with multiple alloy wheel options ranging in size from 18 to 21 inches. The new model is said to have a drag co-efficient of 0.22.

While the overall exterior look of the new S-Class might seem familiar, the interior is radically different. The traditional centre console has been replaced with a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen. The dashboard fascia is covered in glossy trim and a thin strip of LED ambient lighting wraps around the front cockpit. A floating 12.3-inch display replaces the conventional digital instrument cluster. It also comes with a head-up display with augmented reality, 30-speaker Burmester 4D sound system and an active ambient lighting system with 263 LEDs.

The new S-Class comes with the second-generation MBUX infotainment system, which can understand voice commands in 27 languages. It has gesture control for operating the sunroof and the car even uses fingerprint, face and voice recognition to authenticate the driver.

Coming to the powertrains, the S 450 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre, mild-hybrid 6-cylinder petrol engine that produces 362 BHP, while the S 500 packs 429 BHP. The 2.9-litre diesel engine in the S 350d and S 400d produces 282 BHP and 325 BHP respectively. The petrol unit comes with an integrated starter motor, brake energy recuperation and off-throttle coasting. Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The S 580 is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 producing 500 BHP, while the S 580e uses a 3.0-litre turbo petrol unit with a gearbox-mounted electric motor and a 28 kWh lithium ion battery. It makes 510 BHP and can travel up to 100 km on electric power alone.

The S-Class comes with rear axle steering and air suspension. It gets E-Active Body Control suspension with Impulse Side function, which raises the car body up to 80 mm when radar sensors detect an impending side impact. Another notable safety feature is the rear seat airbags for frontal impacts. The new S-Class will also be the first Mercedes model with Level 3 autonomous driving capability, which would allow the car to drive autonomously at speeds of up to 60 km/h.

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