The new generation of Mercedes S-class is understated outside, massively technological inside, and brings the fight to the large-luxury-sedan segment.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class, Mercedes's top-end luxury sedan, will come to the U.S. in the form of the S500 and S580, both with 4Matic all-wheel drive.
The new model offers a long list of technological, safety, and luxury improvements, and this new generation also represents a clear stylistic step forward for the iconic S-class.
The new Mercedes S-class is expected in the U.S. in mid-2021.
When a new car is launched, carmakers love to trot out a number of tidbits of the past and present, and the new Mercedes-Benz S-class is no exception. Here's one of them: 80 percent of all S-class buyers stick with the Mercedes brand for their next car purchase. More surprisingly, that trend is also true in the U.S. market, where buyers tend to be much less brand loyal. Here, the number stands at a remarkable 70 percent.
Of course, once you have moved up to an S-class, the list of cars at the same level of luxury is shorter. Sure, there are even more expensive cars on the market: think Bentley or Rolls-Royce. But are there many choices that make it worth changing brands? In the past, the answer has often been no, and with this new W223 generation, Mercedes intends to ensure that the S-class remains positioned at the top end of the automotive hierarchy of technology, luxury, and innovation.
U.S. buyers will get a choice of two models and engines. The S500 4Matic will come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that makes 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, while the S580 4Matic will have a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. Both, as the 4Matic name indicates, will have all-wheel drive. The power will be channeled to the wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Top speed will be electronically limited to 130 mph.
In Europe, the S-class launches with rear- and all-wheel drive and a choice of straight-six diesel and gasoline engines, the latter of which are fitted with a 48-volt hybrid system that can provide extra boost. Daimler promises a V-8, and there will be a plug-in hybrid, based on the straight-six gasoline model, with more than 60 miles of electric range. AMG models will receive a high-performance version of the 4.0-liter V-8. There will be no diesel in the U.S., but we will eventually get most other powertrain options.
We have already spent time in the new S-class, albeit in the passenger seat, and were impressed by the serene driving experience and the cutting-edge user interface. Now we see the car without camouflage for the first time. And while it is still unmistakably a top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz, the new model clearly represents a stylistic step forward.