When the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan was introduced in 2014, it was an immediate success, surpassing 100,000 sales in the first year alone, before even the Coupe, Cabriolet, Maybach, and Pullman variants were released. Four years in, and Mercedes has given the 2018 W222 some refresher points, but we’ve already gotten a preview of the next Mercedes, the 2021, which has been in testing for some time. Mercedes isn’t saying much, but observers have learned a few things about the new car.

In general, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class body won’t be a great departure from the current model. Built on the new Mercedes MFA rear-wheel drive architecture, though, it’s slightly wider, with a lower and longer hood. Like the current S-Class, you can expect the 2021 S-Class to come in various body styles, starting with the short-wheelbase sedan, but it’s not clear whether the long-wheelbase Maybach or Pullman will be released at the same time. Given that the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet are rumored to be phased out, we hope the SL-Class 2+2 will meet the demand for these.

Under the hood and the rest of the chassis, two engine options are expected, 3.0-liter i6 or 4.0-liter V8. Additionally, both engines

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are expected to be augmented by mild or plug-in hybrid technology. Given that Mercedes already has a battery electric vehicle, the S-Class-sized Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan/wagon, expected to launch for the 2021 model year, plus the fact that the MRA platform has no room for batteries, a 2021 S-Class electric is unlikely.

We don’t really have much information on the interior of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but spy shots have revealed an interesting change to at least the dash. The current S-Class utilizes two 12.3-inch high-resolution LED screens, but the test vehicles have no space for mounting the center screen. Instead, ahead of the steering wheel, the dash is dominated by a single digital display, something on the order of a super-wide 15- to 17-inches. It’s unclear how much information and control will be on this single display, however, or what kind of controls will occupy the center of the dash and center console.

For the 2021 S-Class, Mercedes is expected to build on current technology, adding more autonomous drive systems up to Level 3. Level 3 autonomy can handle simple driving tasks, like adaptive cruise, stop-and-go traffic, and lane switching, but still requires a human driver to handle most other driving. Availability of Mercedes-Benz autonomous drive technology might be based more on the legislation allowing it, which regulators in some countries and regions are slow to adopt.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to make its first official presentation at the bi-annual 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show. In just nine months, the 68th Show will run Thursday, September 12, through Sunday, September 22, 2019, and there will surely be even more news released or discovered as the S-Class’ debut gets even closer. r

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