10 innovative features of the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The all-new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon.
The all-new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon.
Image: Supplied

Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday afternoon unveiled to the world its all-new seventh-generation S-Class saloon. Known internally as the W223, this luxurious flagship builds upon the successes of its predecessors with striking new exterior styling, a totally reimagined interior with a floating centre console, updated powertrains and a vast array of technological advancements. And while you could literally write an essay on the latter, here are 10 of the most innovative features that make the new 2021 S-Class standout.

New second generation MBUX infotainment system can be linked to up to five screens.
New second generation MBUX infotainment system can be linked to up to five screens.
Image: Supplied

1. Second generation MBUX system

Customers that love technology and gadgets will be pleased to know that the second generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system debuts in the new S-Class with up to five screens on board — some featuring OLED technology.

There's also a brand new 3D driver display that for the first time allows spatial perception of the scene with a real 3D effect thanks to eye-tracking technology.

A similarly impressive feature is the large head-up display with augmented reality content. When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows (or “fishbones” in Mercedes speak) are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.

MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of all S-Class occupants.
MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of all S-Class occupants.
Image: Supplied

2. Intuitive MBUX Interior Assist

Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of S-Class occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions. For example, if the driver looks over his/her shoulder towards the rear window, Interior Assist automatically opens the sunblind.

Around 250 LEDs make up the optional active ambient lighting system.
Around 250 LEDs make up the optional active ambient lighting system.
Image: Supplied

3. Switched-on active ambient lighting

The optional active ambient lighting supplements standard ambient lighting with an additional layer of light. With around 250 LEDs it is integrated into the driving assistance systems and is able to reinforce their warnings visually. In addition, feedback is possible when operating the climate control system or the 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant.

The updated Driving Assistance Package has new and improved functions such as intelligent compliance with speed limits and red light warning.
The updated Driving Assistance Package has new and improved functions such as intelligent compliance with speed limits and red light warning.
Image: Supplied

4. An updated Driving Assistance Package

The latest generation of the Driving Assistance Package has new and numerous improved functions. One example is the intelligent compliance with speed limits. The new assistance display in the driver display clearly shows the operating principle of the driving assistance systems as a full-screen view.

The new S-Class pioneers increased levels of occupant safety – especially for those seated in the back.
The new S-Class pioneers increased levels of occupant safety – especially for those seated in the back.
Image: Supplied

5. Enhanced rear safety

During severe frontal collisions, the rear airbag (optional extra for the S-Class with long wheelbase) can considerably reduce the loads acting on the head and neck area of the seat-belt-wearing occupants in the outer rear seats. The frontal airbag for the rear seat deploys particularly gently thanks to its innovative construction using a tubular structure.

Optional rear-axle steering makes the new S-Class surprisingly nimble in crowded city environments.
Optional rear-axle steering makes the new S-Class surprisingly nimble in crowded city environments.
Image: Supplied

6. Nimble handling for effortless manoeuvrability

Thanks to the optional rear-axle steering system, the S-Class is as manoeuvrable as a compact car in the city. The steering angle at the rear axle is up to 10 degrees. The turning circle is reduced by up to two metres.

Software over-the-air (OTA) allows for the easy updating of features such as the MBUX infotainment system.
Software over-the-air (OTA) allows for the easy updating of features such as the MBUX infotainment system.
Image: Supplied

7. Wireless updates to save you time

More than 50 electronic components in the new S-Class can be updated with new software over-the-air (OTA) system. These include the entire MBUX infotainment system, the driver display, the driving assistance systems and the Multibeam LED and Digital Light lighting systems.

This technology saves the customer time, as they do not need to visit a workshop for this purpose. Furthermore, the vehicle remains up to date throughout its life cycle and is equipped for new features.

In the event of an accident the body of the S-Class can be raised by the E-Active Body Control suspension within a few tenths of a second.
In the event of an accident the body of the S-Class can be raised by the E-Active Body Control suspension within a few tenths of a second.
Image: Supplied

8. Life-saving suspension

When a side impact with another vehicle threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by the optional E-Active Body Control suspension within a few tenths of a second. This is a new function of Pre-Safe Impulse Side: it can reduce the loads acting on the occupants because it directs the impact forces towards particularly resistant structures in the lower area of the vehicle.

Drive Pilot will allow for new levels of driving autonomy; allowing drivers the freedom to check emails or browse the web when behind the wheel.
Drive Pilot will allow for new levels of driving autonomy; allowing drivers the freedom to check emails or browse the web when behind the wheel.
Image: Supplied

9. A new level of autonomy

It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode with the new and optional Drive Pilot, in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks, on suitable motorway sections in Germany. By taking pressure off the driver, this allows them to undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with e-mails in the “In-Car Office.”

Optional Digital Light technology makes travelling at night safer than ever before.
Optional Digital Light technology makes travelling at night safer than ever before.
Image: Supplied

10. Shedding light on cutting-edge illumination

The revolutionary headlamp technology Digital Light (an optional extra) allows completely new functions, for example the projection of marking aids or warning symbols onto the road ahead. In each headlamp, Digital Light has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3-million micro-mirrors. The resolution is therefore more than 2.6-million pixels per vehicle.  


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