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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Debuts to Redefine the Luxury Benchmark

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class redefines what a luxury sedan should be with each new generation and the latest iteration of the large four-door, which will go on sale in Canada in the spring of 2021, is no exception to this standard.

In Canada, the new S-Class will be available in two different trim levels from launch: S500 Short Wheelbase and S580 Long Wheelbase. More variants, such as the performance-focused AMG models as well as a plug-in hybrid version with 100 km of electric range, should become available at a later date.

All S500 models will come with a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, and a 48V mild-hybrid system, which together are good for 429 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The larger S580 LWB models, meanwhile, will feature a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and the same nine-speed transmission, and 48V mild-hybrid system. These models are rated at 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

Just like any new luxury car, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class places a huge emphasis on technology. Cabin occupants' eyes will immediately be drawn to the 12.8-inch, portrait-fixed OLED display sitting front and centre, which serves as the main visual interface in the vehicle and features haptic feedback. There’s also a landscape-oriented driver display and an available 3D driver display, the latter of which promises to produce a true three-dimensional picture in front of the driver without the need for 3D glasses. Two different head-up displays (HUDs) are available on request: a standard display and a larger one capable of projecting augmented reality content like navigation arrows onto the road in front of the driver. Like other Mercedes products, the S-Class features the automaker's now-familiar MBUX infotainment system with the "Hey Mercedes" AI assistant.

When it comes to big luxury sedans, rear seat technology is equally as important as front seat technology. The 2021 Mercedes S-Class delivers in this regard thanks to the two available 11.6-inch rear touchscreens, which also run off the MBUX system and feature a voice control assistant. Customers can also add in an MBUX rear tablet, which can be used outside of the vehicle or inside and can operate any Android application available on the Google Play store.

Just like before, the S-Class also looks to wow its wealthy customer base with high-end equipment like a Burmester 4D surround sound audio system and massaging seats with 10 different massage programs. It's not all about luxury, though. Mercedes has also made the vehicle safer with new optional rear-seat frontal airbags — the first ever installed in a production vehicle. A wide range of standard and optional active safety features are also present.

Additionally, Mercedes has revisited the S-Class’ sophisticated suspension for this new-generation model, integrating a new “E-Active Body Control” system that replaces the previous “Magic Body Control.” E-Active Body Control controls suspension damping and counters body roll, pitch and lift, giving the sedan an ultra-smooth ride that’s probably more akin to riding a magic carpet than driving a car. This optional suspension system combines with the standard air suspension system.

Pricing for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has yet to be determined. Look for the vehicle to arrive at Mercedes-Benz dealers in Canada in the first half of 2021.