New S-class design similar to that of the E-class facelift
High-tech interior largely devoid of buttons and switches
India launch expected to take place in H2 2021
Up until now, we had only seen pictures of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class caught testing in heavy camouflage. Today, however, the world gets its clearest look yet at the all-new S-class thanks to a fresh set of spy pictures that reveal the latest iteration of Mercedes' flagship sedan, fully undisguised.
The face of the new S-class – codenamed W223 – may seem familiar to some, and that’s because it has a lot in common with the design of the E-class facelift revealed in March. It has similarly-shaped LED headlights (outlined by LED daytime running lights) and a large, chrome-heavy grille with three horizontal blades. Barring the different design for the front bumper, the first picture of the new S-class' face suggests it’ll look a lot like the updated E-class.
At the back, too, the new S-class has wraparound LED tail-lights that echo the design of the refreshed E-class' tail-lights but have sharper edges and unique detailing. Placed atop the tail-lights is a thick bar of chrome that runs from one end to another, accentuating the width of the car. Twin chrome exhaust exits add a touch of sportiness to the tail of the new S-class.
Also part of the leak are pictures of the new S-class’ interior. The S-class truly shines on the inside, which is fitted with the latest in tech that Mercedes-Benz has to offer; and it seems to be the case with the new-gen model as well. The interior of the new S-class is a complete departure from that of the outgoing car – or any current Mercedes model, for that matter.
The dashboard is as minimalistic as it gets, dominated by two screens – a landscape-oriented display for the digital instrument cluster, and an even bigger, waterfall-style screen for the infotainment system. This flows into the centre console and is expected to run the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX system. Right behind the digital instrument panel appears to be a large binnacle that is likely accommodating hardware for driver-assist systems, there also appears to be a single column of buttons at the bottom of the infotainment display; most other controls – including those for the climate control system – are likely incorporated into the screen. Other highlights include eight AC vents – four in the centre and two at either end of the dash – along with an engine start-stop switch and a three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel. An interesting detail is that the horizontal spokes of the steering are split into two individual spokes on each side, housing what are likely to be capacitive touch controls, as seen on the E-class facelift.
Another image reveals a diamond pattern for the leather seats, two large entertainment screens mounted on the front-seat backs for rear-seat passengers, individual AC vents and a bench-style rear seat with a centre armrest housing touch controls.
The current-gen S-class (W222) has been on sale in India since 2014 and is due to be replaced by the all-new S-class (W223), which is scheduled to make its world premiere later this year. It will get a variety of powertrain options, including petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Rumours suggest there will only be a long-wheelbase model, and Mercedes-Benz is likely to do away with the V12-engined S600 version, as well as the coupé and cabriolet variants.
Mercedes-Benz has previously confirmed its plan to launch the new S-class in India next year. Speaking during the #LiveWithAutocar conversation on Instagram, Santosh Iyer, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India, confirmed the all-new S-class is set to be launched in 2021, but the launch will most likely be in the second half of the year, keeping in mind any delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. “Yes, the launch of the new S-class will be in 2021, but mostly we will see it in India only in the second half of next year. It will take time, more so bearing in mind the current situation we’re in,” said Iyer.