India-bound 2021 Mercedes S Class: New benchmark for sedans [Update]

Daimler unveiled the 2021 Mercedes S Class (code: Mercedes W223/Mercedes V223) last month and plans to launch it in the first market in autumn this year. Now that the unveiling is complete and the price is announced, some camouflage-free 2021 Mercedes S-Class units are making an appearance on German roads. Here’s one such sample ElectricVehicleWeb reader Sabri Bajrami captured in Berlin recently:

Exterior

The seventh-gen Mercedes S Class comes with an evolutionary design departure. Details like a short front overhang, a long wheelbase and a balanced rear overhang, along with the stretched bonnet, the long passenger cell and the upright front end and the flowing C-pillar help the car retain its identity. Hints of Daimler’s smaller sedans like the Mercedes A-Class Limousine and the Mercedes E-Class are visible in the elements like the greenhouse, the tail lamps, etc.

The front fascia with a familiar design for the radiator grille, the lower air intake and the bumper as well as much sleeker headlamps that are flatter and somewhat smaller give it a fresh look while maintaining the regal identity.

Daimler is debuting its Digital Light headlamps in this model. Digital Light allows completely new functions, like projecting marking aids or warning symbols onto the road, aiming a spotlight at pedestrians detected at the roadside as a warning and projecting guidelines onto the road surface to tackle narrow lanes.

2021 Mercedes S-Class headlamp
Daimler is debuting its Digital Light headlamps in the 2021 Mercedes S Class.

On the sides, the main highlight is the flush-fitted door handles that pop out when the driver approaches or on stroking their outer surface. Customers will have options of multiple 18- to 21-inch wheel designs. At the rear, the most noticeable change is the split tail lamps.

Interior

As for the interior of the 2021 Mercedes S Class, there’s a higher level of minimalism visible in the cabin. The dashboard, front aircon vents, centre console, steering wheel and instrument cluster have a sleeker design.

One of the most attractive elements is the floating centre console that is mainly just a 12.8-inch touch-operated OLED display with haptic feedback which swiftly merges with the storage panel housing the storage box and armrest between the driver and passenger seats. The central AC vents on the front come neatly packed into a single slim panel.

The second-gen MBUX learn-capable system has debuted in the all-new S Class, allowing further digitalisation and new intelligence. The all-new, 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster is an ‘auto-stereoscopic’ display. A stereo camera system is integrated into it and used to determine the eye position of the driver. It has a unique pixel structure and a controllable aperture grille. The company says that it is so precisely adjusted to the head position of the driver that the left and right eye see different pixels of the LCD, creating the desired impression depth. If it wasn’t clear already, there’s no need for special glasses to observe the 3D effect.

2021 Mercedes S-Class W223 head-up display
Mercedes has integrated augmented-reality in its head-up display (HUD) for its navigation functions and becomes the first-ever carmaker to do so.

Other features worth noting are two head-up displays with one of them integrating coloured augmented reality content, gesture-controlled sunroof, activation of some voice commands without the need to say “Hey Mercedes”, more natural voice assistant with no stereotypical answers and more dialogue capability, fingerprint, face and voice recognition, etc.

Customers will have the option for three screens in the rear, two (11.6-inch) of which are positioned on the backs of the front headrests. The third one display is a 7.0-inch tablet located in the central armrest. All passengers will have the ability to transfer and share their media and playlists with other passengers quickly with a drag and drop feature on the entertainment displays. The rear passengers will be able to set navigation destinations for the driver without having to interrupt front-seat passengers.

2021 Mercedes S-Class rear seats
The focus on rear-seat passengers is greater than ever before in the Mercedes S Class.

Daimler has given a lot of attention to elevating the comfort and well-being of passengers on the go as well. The company says that the interior of the full-size luxury car can now be fully considered its customer’s “third place” after home and office.

The all-new S Class customers can look forward to more relaxing massages. The bladders are positioned closer to the surface, and thus closer to the occupant. A new Energizing seat kinetics feature repeatedly adjusts the inclination of the seat cushions and backrests minutely (a few degrees/millimetres) using the driver and front passenger’s selected seat settings as the “Home” position or starting point. It offers three programs for short, medium and long journeys and improves the spinal health of the occupants.

2021 Mercedes S-Class infotainment Energizing Comfort
The 2021 Mercedes S Class has enhanced Energizing Comfort for better well-being of the driver and passengers.

Energizing Comfort is now more intelligent. Just a voice command in which an occupant indicates stress automatically activates the car’s ‘Joy’ programme. The character of all the programmes (Refresh, Vitality, Warmth, Joy, Comfort) has been improved. The driver and passenger can also relax in soundscapes tailored to each programme.

Based on the vehicle and trip data, the Energizing Coach suggests a customised fitness or wellness programme. If the driver uses a smartphone or a fitness band which can be integrated with the car, this service takes into account the sleep quality and stress level information obtained from the same as well.

2021 Mercedes S-Class ambient mood lighting
The ambient lights of the all new Mercedes S Class can give animated visual alerts from the driving assistance systems.

Ambient lighting is enhanced to allow more dramatic visuals in the cabin and a heightened sense of personalised luxury. There are 250 LEDs in all, and the brightness, adjustable to 20 levels, is ten times more than before. From overhead control panel to the back of the front seats, ambient light envelops all occupants. Ambient light has been integrated into the driving assistance systems, which means that the driver gets animated ambient light alerts. Haptic feedback, probably still the most effective, is a thing of the past, and even alerts have a new sense of elegance now.

Given the rising concern on air quality in urban areas and the risks of disease outbreaks, advanced air filtering systems are the need of the hour. The 2021 S-Class has a new air-filtering system, one that, Daimler says, is especially capable in combating dust, pollen and odours.

2021 Mercedes S-Class interior dashboard EVW
Daimler calls the interior of the 2021 Mercedes S Class a “digital-analogue revolution”.

Specifications

The new generation Mercedes S-Class sits on the MRA platform. With a drag coefficient of 0.22 Cd, it is a really aerodynamic car. The all-new model has a plethora of changes are there to improve the ride and handling, comfort and safety.

Thanks to the availability of rear-axle steering, the turning circle has reduced by up to two metres, which means improved manoeuvrability in urban areas. At high speeds (more than 60 km/h), instead of counter-direction, the system switches offers same-direction steering for more stability.

E-Active Body Control, a new active suspension, regulates the damping and spring forces individually at each wheel. It not only counters body roll, but also pitch and lift. Based on the AIRMATIC air suspension system, it operates on 48 volts. It adapts predictively depending on the road surface ahead. At curves, it makes the car lean into bends in three stages to make the cornering much more pleasant for the occupants.

Like its predecessor, the all-new model is made in a short wheelbase version (W 223) and a long-wheelbase version (V 223). Take a look at the differences in the dimensions of the all-new model with the old model below:

Dimensions/ModelsW 223 SWB DimensionsW 222 SWB DimensionsDifferenceV 223 LWB DimensionsV 222 LWB DimensionsDifference
Exterior dimensions (mm)





Length (mm)51795125+5452895255+34
Width (mm)1954/19211899+55/+221954/19211899+55/+22
Width incl. exterior mirrors (mm)21092130-2121092130-21
Height (mm)15031493+1015031491+12
Wheelbase (mm)31063035+7132163165+51
Track, front (mm)16601624+3616601624+36
Track, rear (mm)16881637+5116881637+51
Interior dimensions (mm)





Max. headroom, front (mm)10701069+110701069+1
Headroom, rear (mm)974/1003958/995+16/+8974/1003958/995+16/+8
Legroom, front (mm)105110510105110510
Legroom, rear (mm)1004963+4111151091+24
Elbow room, front (mm)15921554+3815921554+38
Elbow room, rear (mm)15831560+2315721561+11
Shoulder room, front (mm)151615160151615160
Shoulder room, rear (mm)14691499-3014691501-32
Boot capacity VDA (litres)550530+20550530+20
The 2021 Mercedes S Class is longer, wider and taller than the old Mercedes S-Class. These increments, along with a longer wheelbase, translate to more space in almost every aspect.

The entire engine range is electrified. In other words, the all-new model is a hybrid as standard. Five engine variants are planned at launch, with the M 256 3.0-litre petrol engine and the OM 656 2.9-litre diesel engine. Both the engines pack a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG). ISG’s function is to recover energy and dispense it during short bursts (EQ Boost) when required. It also helps to avoid turbo lag.

Aspect S 450 4MATIC SpecsS 500 4MATIC SpecsS 350 d SpecsS 350 d 4MATIC SpecsS 400 d Specs
Transmission9G-TRONIC 9-AT9G-TRONIC 9-AT9G-TRONIC 9-AT9G-TRONIC 9-AT9G-TRONIC 9-AT
EngineM 256, in-line six-cylinderM 256, in-line six-cylinderOM 656, in-line six-cylinderOM 656, in-line six-cylinderOM 656, in-line six-cylinder
Displacement2999 cc2999 cc2925 cc2925 cc2925 cc
Output270 kW/367 PS320 kW/435 PS210 kW/286 PS210 kW/286 PS243 kW/330 PS
at5500-6100 rpm5900-6100 rpm3400-4600 rpm3400-4600 rpm3600-4200 rpm
Add. output with EQ Boost16 kW/22 PS16 kW/22 PS
Peak torque500 Nm520 Nm600 Nm600 Nm700 Nm
at1600-4500 rpm1800-5.500 rpm1200-3200 rpm1200-3200 rpm1200-3200 rpm
Add. torque with EQ Boost250 Nm250 Nm
Acceleration 0-100 km/h5.1 s4.9 s6.4 s6.2 s5.4 s
Top speed250 250 250250250

The above engines cover the market launch range. A V8 engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system will follow soon after. Later, in 2021, a plug-in hybrid with a pure electric range of around 62 miles or 100 kilometres will join the range. Speaking about the 2021 Mercedes S Class plug-in hybrid at Daimler’s Annual General Meeting this year, Ola Kallenius, Chairman of the company’s Board of Management, said that it “will set the benchmark for electric range in this segment.”.

For those awaiting a pure electric Mercedes S Class, the MEA2 platform-based Mercedes EQS will follow in 2021. The new electric platform is a dedicated EV architecture and is eyeing to become the new benchmark for electric car travel range.

Safety

The 2021 Mercedes S Class will be the world’s first car that will be sold with airbags for rear-seat passengers, which deploy in the event of a frontal impact. Another new advanced safety technology worth noting is the ‘Belt Bag’, which is basically an inflatable safety belt.

2021 Mercedes S-Class W223 rear-seat airbag
The 2021 Mercedes S Class safety features include industry-first rear-seat airbags.

Also new is the expanded PRE-SAFE Impulse Side function, a feature that protects the front occupants by using air cushions in the seats to move them towards the vehicle’s centre and also by raising the vehicle’s height at the same time using the suspension. This way, the impact of the collision is diverted through stiffer structures.

Price

The prices of 2021 Mercedes S-Class in Germany range from EUR 94,540 (incl. VAT) to EUR 1,19,364 (incl. VAT) or INR 82 lakh to INR 1.04 crore. In India, expect the all-new Mercedes S-Class launch to take place in mid-2021 and prices to range from around INR 1.50 crore.

When is the new Mercedes S Class coming to India?

Daimler launches the Mk7 Mercedes S Class in Europe this year. It is safe to assume that India will get it in mid-2021.

What is the price of the new S Class?

The starting price in Germany is EUR 94,540 (incl. VAT) or INR 82 lakh. In India, expect the base price at INR 1.5 crore (ex-showroom).

Production

2021 Mercedes S-Class Sindelfingen production
Daimler manufactures the 2021 Mercedes S-Class at its new plant called ‘Factory 56’ in Germany.

Daimler began manufacturing the 2021 Mercedes S-Class at its new plant called ‘Factory 56’ that is located in Sindelfingen and is about 20 km away from its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany on its world premiere day – 2 September 2020. The size of 30 soccer fields, the new plant is for the manufacture of upper and luxury class cars. The 2021 Mercedes S-Class is the first model to enter series production here. The company will produce the Mercedes EQS electric car on the same assembly line next year.