Stuttgart's future flagship looks large and in charge.
Mercedes-Benz is taking its sweet time bringing the next S-Class saloon to market. Conversely, the automaker isn’t very shy about parading prototypes in public. We’ve had quite a few sightings of the big saloon courtesy of walkoARTvideos on YouTube, and that’s the source for this latest brief-but-detailed look at Merc’s flagship.
This video clip doesn’t offer any grand revelations, but it does bring us back to a prototype sporting the bulky coverings around the door handles. We’ve seen previous test vehicles with these large consoles on the doors, though we’ve also seen versions with standard door handles as well as a prototype seemingly without any handles. It’s widely speculated that the new S-Class will offer retractable door handles, though admittedly the combination of camo wrap and these consoles has done a reasonable job of concealing specifics.
The grille and headlamps are easily seen on this big saloon, though we’ve seen these features before. The next S-Class should be packed with driver assist and autonomous systems, with various sensors and cameras mounted up front. The LED headlights could also feature the automaker’s Digital Light system that can project shapes and words on the ground in front of the car.
At the rear, the taillights are still well covered some of the camo has lifted from the lower fascia. If we had to guess (and at this point, we do), this prototype could be a higher level S 560 model, meaning the trapezoid exhaust tips are likely connected to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 of unknown tuning. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-pot could also be in there, or a hybrid powertrain is a possible motivator in this car. Powertrain options – even rumours – have been slow to surface for the next-generation S-Class so at this point, we’re still rather blind.
We do know, however, that the S-Class will debut sometime next year as a 2021 model. We should see most of this camouflage disappear in the months to come before the car’s official welcome.