New 2020 Mercedes S-Class: further specs confirmed

Extra information about the next-generation Mercedes S-Class’s adaptive chassis and safety technology has been revealed

Mercedes has teased the upcoming next-generation S-Class once again, confirming a few more details on the luxury saloon’s extensively updated arsenal of chassis and safety technology.

The new Mercedes S-Class will receive the brand’s latest E-Active Body Control system, which features a new set of adaptive dampers, five multi-core processors and 20 sensors scattered around the car, all of which monitor the road surface and driving style 1,000 times per second and make adjustments to chassis accordingly.

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Mercedes says the system will be able to instantly respond to the road conditions. For example, in the system’s “Curve” driving mode, the S-Class’s suspension will actively lean the car into bends, like a motorcycle rider, in an effort to improve the ride.

The active suspension system brings a few safety benefits, too. The S-Class’s various sensors can recognise an imminent side impact. If it detects an impact is coming, the car’s suspension lifts up, to direct the force of the crash towards the far stronger underside of the vehicle and away from occupants.

To accompany the suspension’s side-impact mitigation system, the next S-Class also gets a new central airbag which deploys between the front passengers in the event of a side collision, to reduce the risk of heads clashing together.

There’s also a new rear-wheel steering system, which Mercedes says has improved the S-Class’s maneuverability by reducing its turning circle by two metres over the outgoing model. The system will be available in a choice of two configurations – one with a rear steering angle of up to 10 degrees and one with up to 4.5 degrees.

Like every new S-Class, this Mk7 model will also receive the firm’s latest driver assistance technology, including active blind spot monitoring, active steering assist and an improved active park assist system, which features 12 new ultrasonic sensors, an emergency braking function when reversing and simpler menus in the car’s infotainment system.

New 2020 Mercedes S-Class: design and platform

Our previously spied, scantily clad S-Class development mules offer a good indication of how the finished saloon will look. Mercedes will take an evolutionary approach to the car’s styling, retaining its basic silhouette but borrowing some of the design cues which the company has already implemented on its most recent models.

For example, the next-generation S-Class will receive a pair redesigned LED headlamps, which have a similar shape to those found on the latest E-Class saloon and GLC crossover. The car’s broader, new-look radiator grille and bumper intakes also mimic the shape of the flagship GLS SUV’s.

We’re yet to hear anything official on the S-Class’s powertrain range, but we expect the line-up will comprise entirely of electrified options, with a mix of six-cylinder diesel and petrol options – and a choice of either 48-volt or plug-in hybrid assistance. Higher-powered V8 and V12 engines are also possible.

An all-electric stablemate for the S-Class is also in the pipeline. The new EQS saloon will enter production at the end of the next year and, like other Mercedes EQ models, it will be an all-electric interpretation of the combustion engined car.

The two models will share some similarities in design and technology, but the electric variant will be purposefully marketed as a flagship model for the EQ line-up. Mercedes says it’ll be capable of covering up to 310 miles on single charge.

New Mercedes S-Class: interior technology

Mercedes recently confirmed that the S-Class’s cabin will undergo a complete overhaul. The luxury limousine will be the first model in the company’s line-up to feature the brand’s second-generation MBUX infotainment system, which can operate on up to five separate screens scattered around the saloon’s interior.

The S-Class’s main display will be a 12.8-inch portrait screen, positioned on the dashboard and flowing into the centre console. It’s available with OLED technology and acts as the hub for the car’s many functions and controls, allowing Mercedes to remove 27 physical controls from the S-Class’s dashboard.

Buyers get a new digital instrument binnacle, too, which features three-dimensional effect graphics and selectable ambiences. There’s also a new augmented reality head-up display, which projects navigation instructions onto the windscreen, making them appear as though they’re ten metres in front of the vehicle.

In the rear, two entertainment displays are fitted into the backrests of the front seats, while a removable table display is optional. Mercedes says that rear seat passengers have access to the exact same information and features as those in the front, and that information can be shared seamlessly across every display in the car. 

Mercedes’s latest MBUX system also adds a new Interior Assist function, which uses cameras in the car’s overhead panel to interpret the head, hand and body movements of those on board and automatically enable corresponding vehicle functions.

For example, if the driver reaches over to the passenger seat to grab something at night, the light above the passenger seat will automatically switch on. Looking at a side mirror also allows it to be adjusted without the need to operate a physical switch.

Interior Assist introduces a few extra safety features, too, such as detecting if a child seat is not correctly fastened. The system also works with the car’s blind spot assist, to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings when a passenger leaves the car. If an occupant attempts to exit the car as another vehicle approaches, the ambient lighting will pulse red as a warning.

Finally, the second-generation MBUX system debuts a new profile-based personalisation system, with space for up to seven users. Each profile stores a preferred seating position, climate setting, radio station and ambient lighting setting for every seat in the vehicle.

The software is linked to the Mercedes Me Smartphone app – meaning a quick scan of a QR code is all that’s required for the S-Class to download the personalised settings. Mercedes has also confirmed that this system will be added to all of its future vehicles that adopt the improved MBUX infotainment system.

Now read our in-depth review of the current Mercedes S-Class here

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