New 2020 Mercedes S-Class on sale now: prices and specs revealed

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
September 24, 2020

The new Mercedes S-Class is on sale now. Read on for full price and specs details on this uber-luxurious saloon.

  • Evolutionary design
  • Radical new interior
  • Huge touchscreen
  • New MBUX infotainment features
  • Mild-hybrid engines
  • Plug-in model announced
  • Unique safety kit
  • Advanced driver-assistance

The Mercedes S-Class is one of the most luxurious and high-tech cars on sale. So when Mercedes announces they’re going to make a new one, it’s a pretty big deal. Here’s what you need to know…

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class price and specs

The new Mercedes S-Class is available to order now. It’ll set you back from £78,705 for an S350d diesel model with the standard wheelbase. The cheapest petrol-powered model is the S500 with four-wheel drive – it costs from £89,105 for a standard-wheelbase version. The S400d is only available in long-wheelbase, four-wheel-drive form and costs from £94,135.

Mercedes has announced four trim levels for the new S-Class:

AMG Line (S350d and S500 standard-wheelbase models only)

In AMG Line trim, the Mercedes S-Class comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather seats, a 12.8-inch central display, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, keyless go, soft-close doors, heated front and rear seats and a wireless charging pad. You also get Mercedes’ driver assistance pack and MBUX Premium infotainment system with ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands.

AMG Line Premium

AMG Line Premium cars come with the same equipment as AMG Line versions and add 20-inch alloy wheels, a Burmester stereo, a panoramic opening glass roof, a 3D driver’s display, upgraded ambient lighting and a 360º surround-view camera. Long-wheelbase versions add electrically adjustable rear seats.

AMG Line Premium Plus (long-wheelbase models only)

High-spec AMG Line Premium Plus cars add 21-inch alloy wheels, an augmented-reality head-up display system, a heated steering wheel and climate-controlled seats.

You’ll also be able to get the £3,795 Executive Pack fitted to long-wheelbase models that adds rear sun blinds, dual 7.0-inch rear tablets, extendable footrests and an electric folding function for the front passenger seat to boost rear legroom.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class Design

The new Mercedes S-Class doesn’t look radically different from the outgoing model, but it does feature quite a few traits shared with other recently updated Mercedes models. The new grille and rounder headlights look like they’ve been lifted from the latest E-Class, for example.

From the side, the new S-Class has fewer creases than the old car. This makes it look smoother, but also a little like an elongated E-Class. And, at the back, the new brakelights look very similar to the triangular lights you get on a CLS.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class Interior

Thankfully, the new S-Class looks completely different from any other Mercedes on the inside. The first thing you’ll notice is the massive new touchscreen. But more on that later. The old car’s horizontal dash with its big round air vents has gone. Now you get a great big curved dashboard with four slim rectangular vents at the top.

You can get the S-Class interior with a load of different trims, including a gorgeous wooden design with vertical metal bars. It looks like a vintage speed boat got frisky with a grand piano.

All this wood looks especially good with the car’s new mood lighting turned on. And, just like before, you can get the S-Class with a panoramic glass roof to make its massive cabin feel even airier inside.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class safety infotainment

Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment is one of the best there is, and the system in the new S-Class looks like it’s going to be even better. The new central touchscreen is huge, and comes with OLED technology so it looks gorgeous. This huge screen replaces 27 of the old S-Class’s physical buttons, including the central touchpad.

The touchscreen can tell where your finger is even before you’ve pressed it, however, and it gets haptic feedback which should make it pretty easy to use on the move. You can even lock the screen using fingerprint or face recognition so there’s no chance of your passengers fiddling with anything while you’re out of the car.

If they do manage to mess with your settings, the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control system will automatically recognise your voice and reset everything just how you like it. And Mercedes has hidden a load of sensors inside the new S-Class that can tell where you’re looking at all times. Twist your head to look out of the back, for example, the car will automatically open the rear sunblind so you can see out.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class Seats

Mercedes has fitted the new S-Class with some of the most high-tech seats ever made. They come with up to 19 electric motors each to control the seating position, ventilation, rear display screens and massage functions.

They even have special built-in vibration pads called exciters that work like mini subwoofers so you can actually feel the bass from the stereo through your back.

You can get the new S-Class with a range of different back-seat layouts. There’s a regular three-seat bench, and you can get electric reclining outer seats if you pay a bit extra.

Long-wheelbase cars come with the option of two back seats with a standard raised centre console or a ‘First Class’ arrangement, which adds the same posh trim as the dashboard between the seats. There’s also the chauffeur pack that lets you slide and fold the front passenger seat all the way forward for maximum legroom in the back.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class Engines

Initially, the new Mercedes S-Class will be available with four six-cylinder, three-litre engines – all with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

In terms of petrol engines, there’s an S450 with 367hp that’ll do 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, and a more powerful S500 with 435hp that does 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. Both of these are four-wheel drive and come with a mild-hybrid system. This uses a 22hp electric motor that can take over from the engine when you’re cruising to save fuel, and give the engine a boost when you accelerate hard.

If you fancy a diesel, there are two to choose from. First up is the 286hp S350d that’s available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drive version does 0-60 in 6.4 seconds and the four-wheel drive model takes 6.2. There’s also an S400d with 330hp that comes as standard with four-wheel drive and does 0-60 in 5.4 seconds.

Mercedes will also launch an S580e plug-in hybrid model at a later date. This will use the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine as S500 cars but will add an electric motor that’ll boost power to a combined 510hp. This will be powered by a 28kW onboard battery pack that’ll have enough juice to drive for around 60 miles using just electric power.

There’ll also be an S580 petrol model with a 500hp 4.0-litre V8 and a faster S63 version to go up against the BMW M760Li and Audi S8.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class driving

One of the biggest changes for the new S-Class is the option of new rear-wheel steering. This steers the back wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds, which cuts the car’s turning circle to about the same as the A-Class hatchback.

When you’re on a motorway this system steers all four wheels in the same direction to make the car feel really stable. The air suspension also lowers the car by up to 20mm at 100mph to make it feel even more planted.

The new S-Class is also capable of level-3 autonomous driving, meaning it can accelerate, brake, steer and change lanes for you on motorways. It’ll make sure you’re still paying attention using two cameras that constantly monitor your eyes.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class safety

The new Mercedes S-Class comes with some unique safety features. For starters, there’s the new back-seat airbag that gives passengers in the back similar to protection to the driver in a head-on collision. They are optional, though. And you can only get them in long-wheelbase models.

Another optional feature is the ‘Pre-Safe Impulse Side’ system. This automatically raises the car’s air suspension by 8cm if it detects you’re about to be T-boned from the side. This helps send the energy from the crash away from the doors and into the floor. Which is where the car is strongest. This helps protect everyone inside.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class Aerodynamics

Mercedes has spent loads of time in the wind tunnel making the new S-Class as aerodynamic as possible. Not to make it go faster, rather to make it quieter when you’re cruising along.

For starters, you can get the new car with hidden door handles to reduce drag. Just like on a Tesla Model S. The new 18 to 21-inch alloys have also been designed to slip through the air without producing much turbulence.

Mercedes has also fitted special vents inside the wheel arches. These blow hot air from around the engine past the wheels to smooth the airflow under the car. And, even the struts that make the car’s body stronger when you have a glass roof fitted have been raised above the exhausts to improve aerodynamics.

New 2021 Mercedes S-Class headlights

The new S-Class introduces Mercedes’ new ‘Digital headlights’. These use three powerful LEDs and 1.3 million tiny mirrors to project light exactly where you need it. It can shine light directly at pedestrians to make sure you’ve spotted them, or it can display warning symbols on the road ahead like the system in the Audi e-tron Sportback.

It even uses data from the sat-nav to angle the headlights down slightly when you’re getting close to the top of a hill so you don’t blind people driving up the other side.

Read our detailed Mercedes S-Class review for full details on the outgoing model or check out the latest luxury saloon car deals.

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