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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Caught Nearly Camo-Free

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Caught Nearly Camo-Free

Social media images of the flagship sedan reveal an evolutionary exterior—and plenty of screen real estate inside.

Photos of what appear to be the upcoming next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class have found their way online. Coming to us from the CocheSpias Instagram page, it’s our clearest look yet at what the biggest Benz sedan has in store.

The images show an evolution of the existing model’s design, at least from up front. The nose gains a larger, more curved grille. A pair of thinner headlights frame the face, also retaining more curves than the angular units found on the A- and CLS-Class. These, along with the smaller lower air intakes, give the new car a wider, more ground-hugging appearance than the current model.

Around back is where bigger changes are afoot, stylistically speaking. The S-Class ditches its ornate, vertical taillights for simple, triangular units very similar to the CLS.

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That’s nothing compared to the changes Merc has wrought on the interior, however. The current car’s double widescreen layout is gone, with a portrait-orientation tablet-style screen now taking up most of the central console. A fully digital instrument cluster sits behind the redesigned steering wheel. This infotainment rethink has pushed all of the air vents to the far sides of the dash, as well as into a quartet above the central screen.

Perhaps most curious is the large opening directly behind the instrument screen. Our first thought was for a head-up display, but it’s seemingly facing the wrong way. If it’s another screen for driver info, they’d need to be pretty tall to see it over the instruments. The opening is very similar in size and shape to that instrument screen, in fact. Could it fold away in certain situations? It would add some theater to the limo experience.

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Naturally there’s leather everywhere, and even rear passengers get a touchpad and screens.

The S-Class engine lineup will likely consist of six- and eight-cylinder models, at least in North America. We fully expect Merc’s hybrid inline-six cylinder setup to show up under that long hood, as well as the turbocharged V8s of the current S 560 and S 63. The big V12 might head off into the sunset, however: currently the hand-built twelve-pot only does duty in Maybach models.

We expect the seventh-generation S-Class to debut some time over the next few months, with sales beginning just before 2021 in select European markets.