Launching in Malaysia in 2021, the W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is peak luxury
CY Foong · Jan 1, 2021 12:00 PM
The all-new 2021 (W223) Mercedes-Benz S-Class was unveiled back in September and being the flagship meant that the Germans have stuffed it with all the latest technology. It has been said that the S-Class is like a crystal ball into the future of the automobile and it will be arriving in Malaysia in 2021.
So, let’s check out all the newest tech that’s been fitted to the German luxobarge.
What are the new comfort features?
We’ll start with what makes the S-Class what it’s famous for, class-leading comfort. The W223 S-Class will feature the E-Active Body Control active suspension system that adjusts the suspensions accordingly to reduce discomfort over bumps with the help of stereo cameras.
Besides, this system also helps to reduce body roll and passenger discomfort around the bends. Trips up to Genting Highlands or Cameron Highlands would feel less queasy.
Any new safety tech?
One of the most paramount features across every generation of the S-Class is its innovative safety features. Volvo might have been the pioneer for safety but the S-Class is the automotive equivalent and the W223 S-Class is clearly no exception.
Remember the active suspension system mentioned a few paragraphs ago? They’re also designed with safety in mind. In the event of a side-impact, the entire S-Class will be raised by the E-Active Body Control suspension to divert the impact through stronger structures.
On top of that, the Pre-Safe safety system has also been updated for side impacts. Once an imminent side impact is detected, the system will move occupants to the centre of the car with the help of air cushions in the seats.
However, the most innovative safety feature might be the rear passenger airbags. The W223 S-Class is the first production car to offer this feature. The rear airbags use a tubular design that reduces impact forces on the head and spine by 30 per cent.
Won't it be hard to move this German luxobarge?
The all-new W223 S-Class is huge for sure, which might pose a problem driving this in the city. However, thanks to this new feature, your driver (or you) will have no problem manoeuvring the S-Class.
Rear-wheel steering isn’t exactly an innovative feature – you could see one in certain 30-year-old Hondas – but on a large vehicle like the W223 S-class which measures in at 5,179 mm, it’s definitely helpful.
Parking the S-Class will now be a cinch as the rear wheels can steer up to an angle of ten degrees which would help not only in traversing the urban obstacles but also better agility in turns.
Anything interesting about the exterior?
Mercedes-Benz calls this new design philosophy on the all-new W223 S-Class ‘Sensual Purity’. But the recipe for the overall design of the S-Class remains familiar with short front and rear overhangs, flanked by a very swoopy C-pillar.
The front features a slightly larger grille, smaller headlights, and a redesigned front bumper. There are also retractable door handles which give off some cool vibes.
Speaking of the lights, the W223 S-Class features Digital Lights which act in a similar fashion to video projectors with functions like projecting warning symbols on the road or customisable light shows, if you really want to show off.
At the rear, the changes are vastly different from the previous W222 generation thanks to its slim LED taillights.
About that interior...
Moving on to the most controversial design of the W223 S-Class and yes while it might be debatable on how many screens are needed for the interior, it still retains an air of sophistication.
Taking centre stage in the front is the 12.8-inch vertical touchscreen which features an updated MBUX. This updated MBUX will be able to respond not just voice commands from the driver seat but from every seat of the car.
Another nifty feature would be the MBUX Interior Assist which recognises what the driver is trying to do with the help of cameras. For instance, if the driver turns to look at the rear window, MBUX Interior Assist will automatically lower the sunblind.
Enough of the driver’s seat, let’s talk about where most buyers of the W223 S-Class will be resting and that is the backseat. There are a pair of 11.6-inch touchscreens on the rear of the front seats which can be controlled via an optional MBUX rear tablet that runs on Android operating system (OS).
What are the variants that will come to Malaysia?
While there are petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid variants available overseas, Malaysian units may only be limited to the S450 4MATIC and S580e variants as seen in the outgoing W222 S-Class. Both are powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged M256 inline-6 with an additional electric motor for the latter.
Though there is still no official confirmation by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, it's very likely that most of the features mentioned here will be available for the Malaysian-spec W223 S-Class.
But if you want even more premium luxury on the S-Class, there’s the Z223 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class which made its world premiere at the 2020 Guangzhou Auto Show. It’s 11 cm longer than the regular W223 S-Class and features automatic closing doors.
However, we’ll probably have to wait much longer for this exclusive S-Class to make it here. The same can be said for the more performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG S-Class which hasn’t been unveiled yet.
So, do you like what you see on the all-new W223 S-Class? It is expected to arrive in Malaysia in the middle or third quarter of 2021.