The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has arrived in Australia and will be available to order from March 2021.
The local range kicks off with two variants, the S 450 4MATIC is priced at $240,700 and the long wheelbase S450 L 4MATIC for $264,900, each powered by a 270kW/500Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder petrol engine.
With a short front overhang, a long wheelbase and a balanced rear overhang, the S-Class has a deliberately understated design with classic saloon proportions, albeit with a wide track and flush-mount wheels that provide a muscular appearance.
All external dimensions have grown compared to the outgoing model, with the wheelbase extended by 71mm in short wheelbase (SWB) variant, and by 51mm in long wheelbase (LWB) car, where rear seat passengers are afforded an extra 110 mm of legroom.
Just like its predecessors, the seventh generation of the world’s best-selling luxury saloon is teeming with standard-setting technological and safety features and luxurious appointments.
These include the second-generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system that provides personalised functions for front and rear seat passengers.
The "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is available from every seat, while certain actions – such as accepting a phone call – can be performed even without reciting the keyword.
MBUX Interior Assist takes hands-free commands even further, using cameras that recognise and anticipate the intentions of the occupants by interpreting head and hand movements to automatically operate functions, such as turning an interior light on when you start looking for something.
And if the driver looks at the side mirrors, the system will automatically ensure they are correctly aligned and reset them if needed.
The dashboard is dominated by a 12.8-inch portrait-orientated central OLED touchscreen, which descends like a waterfall to the centre console, and is within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
Rear seat passengers can also have their own optional 11.6-inch screens to enjoy the same infotainment and comfort features as the driver and front passenger.
An MBUX rear tablet is also optionally available and can be used outside the vehicle.
Screen content can be quickly and easily shared between the driver and passengers, and selecting or altering navigation destinations is possible from the rear seats.
There is also a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with new 3D mode that, with the help of eye-tracking, continuously adjusts the image to offer the sensation of depth without the need of special glasses.
There’s no practical use for this as far as we can tell - it’s just a bit cool. If you find yourself mesmerised to the point of distraction you can switch back to 2D mode.
The appearance of the driver display can also be individualised with a choice of four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).
The front seats have up to 19 motors to help you find the perfect seating positions - which isn't difficult. You can also specify vibration motors that provide 10 different massage programs - including a hot stone massage that combines with the inflatable air chambers in the multi-contour seats to provide ultimate comfort.
Five different rear seat configurations make it possible to configure the rear of the S-Class as a work or rest area.
Active ambient lighting is available as an extra-cost option. This supplements the standard ambient lighting system by integrating the 250 LEDs into the driving assistance systems, which allows it to visually reinforce warnings. It also provides visual feedback when operating the climate control system or the 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant.
Another neat option is ‘DIGITAL LIGHT’; revolutionary headlight technology with new functions. Each headlamp has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs. That light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors creating a sharp 2.6 million-pixel high beam outlay that can project 150 metres further than the standard Multibeam LED.
The S-Class is also available with an augmented reality head-up display that projects an image virtually on the road ahead at a distance of 10 metres. For example, when navigating, animated turn-off arrows are virtually projected onto the road lane ahead. Incredibly, the image is formed by a high resolution matrix of 1.3 million individual mirrors and use technology found in state-of-the-art cinema projectors.
The S-Class nameplate has always been synonymous with safety and this model’s no different. It features Benz’s fifth-generation Driving Assistance Package that includes a display that shows what the S-Class systems are sensing and tracking at any given time.
It also debuts rear frontal airbags for the second row, standard on the LWB variant. These airbags can reduce the likelihood of head and neck injuries for seat-belt-wearing occupants in the outboard rear seats.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is built around a new aluminium body shell with aluminium content exceeding 50 per cent. This results in a high level of crash safety as well as being 60 kilograms lighter than the previous model.
An option drivers will appreciate is the rear-axle steering system that makes the 5.4-metre LWB limo about as manoeuvrable as a compact hatchback. The rear wheels turn at an angle up to 10 degrees, which reduces the turning circle to less than 10.9 metres.
Another Mercedes first is flush-mounted pop-out door handles that extend when the driver approaches, or the outer surface of the door handle is touched. The door handles are retracted when not in use to enhance aerodynamics.
The 270kW/500Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that powers the initial Australian S-Class range is mated to a nine-speed '9G-TRONIC’ automatic transmission with ‘4MATIC’ all-wheel-drive.
The powertrain also features 48V mild hybrid technology with an integrated starter generator. The 48-volt on-board electrical system can add an extra 16kW and 250Nm boost for short periods to create smoother and more responsive acceleration.
It can propel either the short or long wheelbase version from 0-100km in just 5.1 seconds, with combined fuel economy rated at 8.2L/100 km and 8.4L/100km for the S450 and S450 L respectively.
The V8 S580 will join the range later in 2021.
S450 4MATIC standard features
- 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster
- 12.8-inch OLED high-resolution central touchscreen
- MBUX infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Satellite Navigation including live traffic, parked vehicle locator and predictive navigation
- Head-up display with MBUX augmented reality for navigation
- MBUX Interior Assistant
- Multi-function steering wheel in Nappa leather
- Mercedes-Me Connect app
- Sliding glass panoramic sunroof with tilt function and two-piece electric roller sun blind
- Heat and noise-insulating acoustic glass for front side windows, dark privacy glass for rear windows
- Heated and power-folding exterior mirrors
- 15-speaker Burmester 3D surround sound with 710w amplifier
- Driving Assistance Package including smart adaptive cruise control with navigation-based speed adaption and stop and go, evasive steering assist, and active lane-change assist
- Ambient and puddle lighting
- Two-zone climate control air-conditioning
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Smart keyless entry and remote boot lid
- Fingerprint scanner
- Traffic Sign Assist
- Parking Package with Active Parking Assist and 360° camera
- Power closing doors
- ‘MULTIBEAM’ LED headlights with adaptive high beam assist
- ‘AIRMATIC’ adaptive suspension
Additional features, S450 L 4MATIC
- Extended wheelbase (+110 mm)
- Electrically adjustable rear seats including memory function
- Three-zone climate control
- Forward-facing rear airbags
Both vehicles will be available to order from March 2021.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Australian pricing
- S 450 4MATIC - $240,700
- S 450 L 4MATIC - $264,900