New 2021 Mercedes S-Class to be revealed today

Mercedes-Benz is set to unveil the new generation S-Class later today.

The new S-Class has been officially unveiled – see it here.

The latest version of the luxury saloon is due to debut ahead of its arrival in showrooms early next year, with a focus on technology and refinement. Mercedes has confirmed it will be the first model to be producted in the new Factory 56 hall at its Sindelfingen, Stuttgart plant.

In the run-up to the reveal, Mercedes has teased some of the technology that will feature in the new generation car, giving a first look at its augmented reality heads-up display ahead of the luxury saloon’s official arrival.

A teaser video posted to Mercedes’ official twitter account shows the AR-HUD in action, overlaying live distance indicators and navigation directions onto the windscreen. The system can detect traffic and suggest a suitable gap to keep with the car in front, using coloured bars to suggest when you’re too close, while navigation instructions update constantly to direct the driver around roundabouts and when filtering between lanes. Active lane keeping assist also uses coloured indicators to suggest when not enough steering lock has been applied through a corner.

The new S-Class will put an even greater emphasis on technology than previous models. When Mercedes recently revealed the upcoming car’s interior, it comfirmed spy photos taken earlier this year that showed off a minimalist dashboard dominated by a Tesla-style portrait display – significantly larger than any screen Mercedes has offered in previous models – paired with a freestanding digital instrument display. It will feature the second-generation version of the firm’s MBUX infotainment system – with fewer physical controls, five touchscreens and an array of motion-detector, sensor-operated functions.

Ahead of launch, prototypes of the flagship saloon have already bee seen with minimal disguise. In the latest pictures, we can now see clearly that the seventh-generation BMW 7 Series rival takes an evolutionary approach to the exterior redesign, with a similarly curvy look to today’s car. This particular mule, which is covered only in a thin plastic wrapping, shows off undisguised headlights and tail-lights, taking inspiration from that of the latest CLS.

Further visible details include a new interpretation of the classic Mercedes-Benz grille and door handles that sit flush with bodywork and pop out when the car is unlocked. The latter is understood to be one factor contributing to best-in-class aerodynamic properties.

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However, while the standard S-Class sits on the MRA platform, the more technically advanced four-wheel-drive EQS will be the first Mercedes-Benz model to be based on the new Modular Electric Architecture (MEA) platform. Unlike the structures being developed to underpin smaller EQ models, it is not based on an existing platform but has been developed as dedicated EV architecture with a flat floor to house batteries.

The drivelines set to power hybrid versions of the new S-Class are based around Mercedes’ latest 3.0-litre and 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and the AMG-developed 4.0-litre V8, all of which operate in combination with a disc-shaped electric motor housed within the automatic gearbox and a lithium ion battery located in the boot floor.

The electric EQS is set to receive two electric motors – one acting on the front axle and the other driving the rear – providing permanent four-wheel drive in all variants. In the EQC, this set-up delivers more than 400bhp and some 516lb ft, although engineers involved on the development of the EQS suggest it will offer even greater levels of power and torque, with a planned AMG performance model earmarked to produce more than 600bhp.

Despite the differing platforms, both the standard S-Class and the EQS are set to share the same active suspension system. A development of the existing S-Class’s AirMatic+ system, it works in combination with a 48V electrical architecture and a stereo camera that scans the road ahead to adjust the spring and damper action on each wheel, allowing it to not only counteract body lean in corners but also to better control pitch.

The EQS will adopt its own distinct styling. Reflecting the packaging advantages inherent in electric vehicles, it receives a shorter bonnet and more heavily raked windscreen than the standard version of the new S-Class, similar to that of the CLS.