A new prototype for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been spied testing with very little camouflage, providing us with a good idea of the vehicle’s overall design.
This prototype is finished in gloss black and includes some light camouflage across the front and rear fascias. One of the first things that will strike you about the design of the new S-Class is the sportier front and rear fascias which are more angular than the outgoing model and more akin to the current Mercedes-Benz CLS.
Also of note with this prototype are the pop-out door handles that sit flush with the bodywork when not in use. Our spy photographers have previously spotted next-gen S-Class testers with traditional door handles, leading us to believe certain variants will have traditional door handles while higher-end models will get the pop-out units.
Inside, significant changes have been made to the car. For starters, there is a large digital instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch infotainment system neatly incorporated vertically into the dashboard. This screen incorporates the company’s latest MBUX software and can be had with OLED technology and haptic feedback. In addition, the instrument cluster provides a 3D effect without the user having to use 3D glasses.
As part of the brand’s shift to more screens and touch surfaces, it has taken away 27 hard buttons and switches from the outgoing model. Significant advancements have also been made to the screens enjoyed by rear-seat passengers.
Underpinning the new S-Class is the MRA II rear-wheel drive platform that uses carbon fiber and aluminum extensively in its construction. This architecture will also bring with it rear-wheel steering. Other key pieces of technology found within the new S-Class will include Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities, active suspension, and more.
Powertrain details remain unclear although electrification will be present across the range, including various 48-volt mild-hybrid models and a plug-in hybrid.