BMW and Audi had better watch out.
It’s no secret that Mercedes will unleash an all-new version of the S-Class next year that will surely once again set new standards for luxury cars. According to Autocar, the new S-Class will receive some significant changes to compete with the likes of the Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series, including a range of electrified powertrains and, of course, advanced technology and driver assistance features.
For the first time in the model’s history, there will be two distinctly different versions of the S-Class. While the standard versions will be offered with a range of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, the other will be an aerodynamically optimized pure electric model that will serve as the flagship model for Mercedes’ new EQ electric sub-brand.
It will reportedly be called the EQ S, which contradicts previous reports that Mercedes’ flagship electric sedan won’t be related to the S-Class. According to the report, the new electric model will deliver a range of over 310 miles based on the WLTP cycle when it goes on sale in 2022, whereas plug-in hybrid versions of the S-Class will offer a pure electric range of up to 62 miles and have the option of a variable 4Matic four-wheel drive system.
The hybrid versions will be based on Mercedes’ latest 3.0-liter and 2.9-liter inline six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, as well as the AMG-developed 4.0-liter V8. Two electric motors will power the pure-electric EQ, with one on the front axle and the other driving the rear to provide permanent four-wheel drive. In the EQ C SUV, this setup delivers 402 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque, but engineers have admitted that the EQ S will be even more powerful. An AMG performance model is also allegedly being planned to develop over 600 hp.
While previous S-Class models were sold with a choice of two wheelbases, the new model will only be available with a long wheelbase measuring around 207 inches long. This decision was reportedly influenced by the E-Class’s growth spurt. While the standard S-Class will ride on the MRA platform shared with the current C-Class, E-Class, and GLC-Class, the EQ S will be the first Mercedes to be based on the automaker’s new modular electric architecture featuring a flat floor to store the batteries. Unlike the structures that will underpin the smaller EQ models, it won’t be based on an existing platform. As for tech, the new S-Class is expected to arrive with hands-free Level 3 autonomous technology.