Over the last few weeks, the 2021 Mercedes S-Class has been busy slowly but surely shedding camo (above). Now, though, it’s been revealed wearing barley any disguise in a set of leaked images from Cochespias, which appear to have been taken in a location suitable for filming a gritty Scandi crime drama.
Exterior changes relative to the current model include slimmer headlights, a bigger grille (of course), and triangular headlights similar to the parts fitted to the CLS. Some reasonably significant changes for the usually evolutionary world of German luxury cars, but what’s gone on inside is even more radical.
We have the usual rectangular digital instrument cluster, but rather than blending into an identically-sized infotainment system as seen in most Mercedes products or the last few years, the S-Class has gone a different direction. Instead, there’s a Tesla-style, portrait-orientated enormo-screen, mounted on a diagonal plinth which sweeps up from the centre console.
Clearly derived from the EQS concept, it’s certainly a dramatic look, but the lack of physical buttons is a worry - there’s a handful of controls along a strip at the bottom of the display, but away from these basic functions, drivers will need to rely on the screen. Or, the liberal spreading of steering wheel buttons can be called upon.
It’s a design we’ve already seen in the facelifted E-Class, featuring a distinctive double three-spoke look. Also in the front, we can see some vertically-stacked air vents, which are - again - pinched from the EQS.
The rear passenger compartment is a much more conventional affair. There’s a whole load of diamond-stitched leather, and a pair of tablet-style screens mounted on the front seat backrests.
Engine-wise, we can expect the 3.0-litre ‘M256’ petrol and 2.9-litre OM656 diesel units - both inline-sixes - to make up most sales. A 4.0-litre AMG twin-turbo V8 will appear at some point, although there’s a question mark as to how long it’ll stick around, with Mercedes seemingly keen to ditch the engine. All of the above would involve mild-hybrid setups, with full plug-in hybrids planned too.
A video giving a closer look at the S-Class’ screen setup has since been posted.