India-bound 2021 Mercedes S-Class W223 sets new benchmark for hybrid cars [Update]

As Daimler continues revealing details about the India-bound next generation 2021 Mercedes S-Class (codename: Mercedes W223), new information has emerged about its engine line-up.

2021 Mercedes S-Class interior & exterior

The seventh-gen Mercedes S-Class is expected to feature an evolutionary design. The front fascia with a familiar look for the radiator grille, the lower air intake and the bumper as well as much sleeker headlamps featuring three main light modules along with blue accents has been officially revealed.

2021 Mercedes S-Class front teaser

Official look as been given at the interior of the 2021 Mercedes S-Class as well. As expected, 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.

The most attractive elements are the floating centre console that is mainly just a large 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 have been neatly packed into a single slim panel.

The second-gen MBUX learn-capable system has debuted in the W223 S-Class, allowing even more digitalisation and more intelligence. The all-new 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 special 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 until here, no, there’s no need to wear special glasses to see a 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 at this point are two head-up displays with one of them integrating coloured augmented reality content, gesture-controlled sunroof, activation of certain 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 to opt for three screens in the rear, two of which are positioned on the backs of the front headrests. 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 display. The rear passengers will be able to set navigation destinations for the driver without having to interrupt front-seat passengers.

2021 Mercedes S-Class engines

The entire engine range of the MRA platform-based next-gen Mercedes S-Class will be electrified. In other words, the all-new model will be hybrid as standard. Most of the engines, which are expected to include 2.9-litre and 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol units and a 4.0-litre V8 petrol unit developed by AMG, will get 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.

2021 Mercedes S-Class W223 test prototype rear

One of the engines will come with plug-in hybrid technology that will reportedly allow driving in pure electric mode for up to 62 miles or 100 kilometres. 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.” The camouflaged prototype seen in the exterior images above is the plug-in hybrid variant.

For those awaiting a pure electric Mercedes S-Class, the MEA2 platform-based Mercedes EQS will follow shortly after. The new electric platform is a dedicated EV architecture unlike the other smaller EQ models that are based on the existing platforms.

2021 Mercedes S-Class 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 confirmed 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 will include rear-seat airbags, an industry-first.

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 from the collision is diverted through stiffer structures.

2021 Mercedes S-Class release date/launch

Daimler plans to digitally unveil the car in September and launch the Mk7 Mercedes S-Class in European countries by the end of this year. It is safe to assume that India will get the all-new full-size luxury sedan in mid-2021. Before that, the Mk5 Mercedes E-Class facelift will arrive in our showrooms, probably early next year.

2021 Mercedes S-Class price

The price of the 2021 Mercedes S-Class is expected to be announced for Europe first, in the next two months’ time. The estimated starting price in Germany, according to autozeitung.de, is EUR 92,000 or INR 79 lakh (INR 79,23,408.00). In India, expect the base price to be around INR 1.5 crore (ex-showroom).

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