When it comes to full-sized luxury sedans, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has become synonymous with that segment. Currently in its sixth-generation (ninth if you start with the “Ponton” models), there's an all-new one on the way, and it's just been leaked. No swirly camouflage here either as photos that recently surfaced on the web show its front, rear, and even interior, with no covers.
Of course, Mercedes-Benz isn't confirming that the leaked photos are, indeed, the seventh-generation S-Class. However, there's compelling evidence that the images are that of the brand's flagship sedan. First of all, there's the size of the car with its grill being much wider than that of the recently updated E-Class. Its nose is also more upright than its smaller stablemate as well.
If this is the next-generation S-Class, one could describe the styling as evolutionary and draws heavily on the heavily facelifted E-Class and current CLS. As mentioned, the grill is wide and more upright than other Mercedes-Benz sedans in the present line-up. The upside-down hexagonal design is less pronounced here, and the headlights are less angular too. It also seems like the car photographed is the AMG Line model, given its sizable corner air intakes and deep chin spoiler.
There's a bigger revelation inside and it appears to show the direction the automaker will take this decade. For starters, there's no more scroll wheel. It's been replaced by a massive infotainment screen that takes up most of the center stack. The dash itself has a flat face, which seems to be a throwback to S-Class models from the '80s and early to mid-'90s. There's also a fully digital instrument cluster, along with vertical corner air-conditioning vents and retro-inspired center vents.
This particular car also seems to be equipped with the rear luxury package. For instance, it has power-adjustable back seats, something only found in S-Class and Maybach models. Also fitted is a pair of screens behind the front seats. Another clue indicating that this might be the S-Class is the pillar mounted air-conditioning vents.
As for engines, we might expect it to come with the new inline-six turbo hybrid mill, along with V8 mild-hybrids like the ones used in the GLS crossover. Diesels might still be part of the range, and a plug-in hybrid could join the range eventually, given Mercedes-Benz's commitment to electric mobility.
Just a few hours after this leak was published, Mercedes-Benz themselves uploaded a video showing what might be a camouflaged S-Class. They didn't say much about the car itself, but they did show the car on the assembly line already. This somewhat confirms that production has begun and its launch might be held within the year.
If this is the 2021 S-Class, we might as well expect groundbreaking technology to be fitted in it, much like all S-Class models from the past 50 years. Because of that, we might see the next-generation E-Class and C-Class models, which as slated to come this decade, to have features that come from this sizable luxury cruiser. Perhaps we'll have to wait towards the end of the year to find out what this all-new S-Class has to offer.