2021 W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class showcases rear-wheel steering

Jason · Jul 30, 2020 11:19 AM

2021 W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class showcases rear-wheel steering 01

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been about more than just mere opulence. Throughout the generations, the S-Class has been not just a flagship for the brand, but a technological tour de force.

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New technologies and innovations are always premiered first in the S-Class (think air suspension, night vision, adaptive cruise control etc) and then filtered down to the rest of the product range. The upcoming 2021 W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is no different, in keeping with its tradition for constant innovation. 

Let's have a deeper look at one of the innovations that the upcoming S-Class will feature: rear-axle steering.

2021 W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class showcases rear-wheel steering 01

Can a luxury saloon with a long wheelbase be almost as manoeuvrable and agile as a compact car around town? Yes, if it has rear-axle steering with a large steering angle at the rear axle. The premise behind this is to give a long-wheelbase car, the ability to negotiate tight turns when parking while still bringing high-speed stability when on the expressways.

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Notice how the rear wheels are steering in the opposie direction to the front wheels?

In essence, it's a system that virtually 'increases' or 'decreases' your wheelbase, depending on the situation. The system switches from counter-direction to same-direction steering at more than 60 km/h.

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Thanks to rear-axle steering, the S-Class is as manoeuvrable as a compact car. The steering angle at the rear axle can turn up to ten degrees, allowing impressive manoeuvrability and agility in urban areas. At the same time the handling benefits from a virtual extension of the wheelbase at higher speeds.

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With this innovation, you no longer have to fear parking the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in tight spaces anymore. What's more, high-speed refinement and stability is also improved. It really is the best of both worlds. 

Jason

Road Test Editor

Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.

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