The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been unveiled, with a huge list of new, updated, and improved features. Here are the five coolest features launching on the flagship Mercedes-Benz sedan.
Using the codename W223 for the short-wheelbase and V223 for the long-wheelbase, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will debut a number of new technologies that will filter their way down to more affordable models down the road.
We recently did a headlight comparison designed to see how halogen headlights compared with LED, matrix LED, and laser headlights, but Mercedes-Benz has gone one step further by introducing digital headlights.
The S-Class comes standard with matrix LED headlights that use 84 LED modules, effectively offering 84 pixels of resolution for light accuracy and quality when emitted from the car.
Digital lights, on the other hand, use an additional three high-powered LED lights with 1.3 million micro mirrors inside a module that emits a ‘digital’ light.
The effective resolution increases from 84 pixels in the regular matrix LED headlights to a staggering 2.6 million pixels. To put that into context, a high school graphics calculator has a resolution of around 6000 pixels, and a HD television around 2 million pixels.
Using a graphics processor and a constant digital stream from a control module, the digital light is able to project light onto the road with greater accuracy. This has allowed Mercedes-Benz to customise the light stream and display icons like an excavator in roadworks zones, or a zone of bubbles leading towards a pedestrian on the side of the road.
Digital lights offer light projection around 100 times more precise than matrix LED lights, and could be used in the future to project symbols onto the road to alert other drivers of hazards, or communicate whether the car is in autonomous driving mode.
Around 60kg of weight has been shaved from the S-Class with a structure that’s 50 per cent aluminium – stronger aluminium than the previous structure, naturally.
An innovation first shown on as part of the ESF (Experimental Safety Vehicle), a new airbag for second-row passengers has been rolled out as part of the new S-Class.
The structure inflates from the front seat back with a compressed gas that fills a 16 litre tubular section, and offers 70 litres of volume within its structure.
It’s designed to gently catch passengers during an impact, working in concert with the seatbelt to better protect them. It’s flexible enough to expand around things like baby seats, and is safe for children or the elderly.
Just when you thought the in-car sound system game was slowing down, Mercedes-Benz announced the optional sound system for the 2021 S-Class.
The 31-speaker Burmester 4D sound system comes with a subwoofer that fills an area of 18.5 litres, along with speakers strewn throughout the cabin.
Featuring two amplifiers with a total output of 1750W and 37 individually processed channels, the sound system comes with eight exciters. What on earth are exciters, I hear you ask.
To create a ‘4D’ sound system, the exciters are mounted to the head rests of the seats to create a level of motion that can be felt by the driver or passenger. Deep bass will give you a noticeable vibration and give the impression of added intensity, without needing to necessarily blow your ears off.
LED lighting within cars has grown in popularity, with most brands offering some kind of ambient lighting across their ranges.
Mercedes-Benz has taken it to the next level with the 250 LED lights spaced 1.6cm apart within the S-Class, fed through fibre optics.
At a frequency of 25Hz, these fibre optic LED lights project variations of red, green or blue at a frequency that allows the human eye to perceive dynamic motion.
All of these signals are fed through a CAN (Controller Area Network) bus that receives inputs from the car’s computers. It’s able to offer dynamic lighting in concert with music and temperature changes, or if a passenger is about to open their door into oncoming traffic it can even fire intense light to get their attention.
While MBUX was originally rolled out in the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz has reserved the introduction of MBUX V2.0 for the flagship S-Class.
Computing power has increased by 50 per cent, with a total capable memory bandwidth of 40,000MB/s.
This beefed-up silicon allow the S-Class to interpret 30 different languages through the cloud, analyse speech, and deliver custom responses. The system can also learn new catchphrases and lingo, and work out how to react accordingly.
MBUX is presented on a 12.8-inch screen sitting in the middle of the cabin, using stacked OLED layers to create a 3D effect. It also offers haptic feedback to make it clear when you’ve pressed a button.
It works in unison with an overhead camera able to track and monitor driver movement and gestures. For example, if the driver looks towards the left or right side of the car and goes to adjust the mirrors, the vehicle will automatically toggle that mirror for adjustment.
Look out the back window over your shoulder sun blind raised and the car will automatically lower it.
MBUX 2.0 will even monitor the road ahead and automatically close vents, the sunroof, and windows if you’re about to enter a tunnel. It opens them to their original positions when exiting the tunnel.
More S-Class detail
If you’d like more detail on the new flagship Mercedes-Benz, check out our full 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class revealed story.
Do you think the S-Class has enough new and groundbreaking features to justify the legendary badge?