All-new Mercedes S-Class


It’s a big day when Mercedes reveals an all-new generation of its S-Class luxury car, as a new one comes around roughly as often as it takes Jupiter to orbit the sun. The new W223-generation S-Class once again takes technology and comfort to a new level and keeps the design as reductive and discreet as possible along the way. Keep reading for our full debrief of the Mercedes S-Class

New headlights and a tweaked grille arrangement can be seen at the front, with a lower apron benefitting from a more aggressive look if you go for an AMG Line model. At the sides and rear, there’s a reduction in bulges and lines, with the tapered rear showing off lighting that’s similar in shape to the CLS. The most novel detail is flush doorhandles that pop out when you approach, and Mercedes says that helps keep a low drag coefficient figure of just 0.22Cd.

At launch, there will be two diesels and two petrols using Merc’s latest straight-six engine range. The petrols also have 48v mild hybrid assistance that helps boost torque and all hit 155mph.

An S580 V8 will arrive later on, as will a plug-in hybrid S-Class that’s capable of 62 miles of e-power. Expect an all-out Maybach model at some point and, as for AMG versions, our insiders suggest that it will be electrified for more than 800bhp and a sub-3.5sec 0-62mph sprint, badged S63e.

The S-Class rides on standard air suspension that smooths out lumps and bumps and will lower itself automatically at speed to reduce aerodynamic drag. Splash out on the brand’s E-Active Body Control system, however, and this trick system allows the new S-Class to tilt into corners to maintain an equilibrium while on the move, much like the Audi S8’s Predictive Active Suspension system. The technology also raises the ride height by 8cm when sensors detect a side impact is imminent, in order for the chassis to take the brunt of the crash via the door sills, rather than the doors themselves. The technology comprises a fully-active 48v air suspension system, which made its debut on the GLE SUV (albeit not available on models in Europe).

The launch engines described above will arrive in dealers in December 2020. You’ll have to wait a little longer for the S580 V8, plug-in hybrid variant and AMG S63e.