2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: prices, specifications and release date

The latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been unveiled, bringing with it some advanced new tech, a luxurious cabin and loads of interior space

James Allen
Oct 22, 2020

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the latest version of its flagship model, the luxury S-Class saloon. Set to go on sale by the end of 2020, the new car may not look drastically different to its predecessor, though Mercedes promises that it’s a very different beast under the smartly-styled skin.

Inside, there’s lots of kit to get acquainted with in the new S-Class; most of which can be operated through the massive touchscreen media system that takes up a huge amount of real estate on the centre console. There’s scope for more advanced features to be added over time, too, as the Mercedes can receive over-the-air updates - meaning that you don’t need to visit a Mercedes dealer to get the most up-to-date software for your car.

You won’t be left wanting for space in the new S-Class, either, as Mercedes has made it a bit longer and wider than the previous one. As a result, there should be plenty of room for passengers and their luggage, and there’s even an extended wheelbase version for buyers who’d prefer to have even more rear leg room for a true limousine feel.

Prices for the new S-Class will start from just under £79,000, and buyers will have a few engines to pick from for their car: two diesel engines and a mild-hybrid petrol. A plug-in hybrid option is on the way, too - though Mercedes has ruled out pure-electric power for the new S-Class, as its zero-emission luxury limo needs will be catered for by the EQS saloon that’s due in 2021.

Quick facts

  • Standard and long wheelbase versions
  • Two diesels and a mild-hybrid petrol
  • Plug-in hybrid option coming in 2021
  • High-tech and spacious interior
  • On sale in late 2020
  • Prices start from £78,705

2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class engines

The previous generation S-Class was available with a fairly broad array of engines, and that trend will continue with the latest version of Mercedes’ flagship saloon model. From launch, buyers of the new S-Class will have three engines to choose from, and more are promised to arrive later down the line.

Petrol power is represented by a 3.0-litre engine that produces a substantial 435hp. This engine is a mild-hybrid unit, meaning that it has a bit of extra assistance under acceleration from a motor-generator unit, and Mercedes says the motor can give the S-Class an extra 22hp to play with for short periods of time.

The two diesels are also 3.0-litre engines, though they go without the mild-hybrid tech, but they’re still fairly punchy thanks to their respective outputs of 286hp and 330hp. They’re also the most frugal engines you can get for the new S-Class at launch - while the petrol can return up to 34mpg, the 286hp and 330hp diesels can manage up to 42mpg and 38mpg respectively.

Irrespective of the engine under the bonnet, every new S-Class will come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. All-wheel drive is also available across the range, though buyers of the 286hp diesel can opt to have rear-wheel drive, which is likely to be the most economical model, thanks to the absence of a heavy all-wheel drive system which would put more demand on the engine.

Eventually, a mild-hybrid turbocharged V8 petrol engine will join the range, and it’s likely even more powerful options will arrive once the range-topping AMG versions of the new S-Class go on sale. Expect prices that start well into six figures for these high-performance models, though you can also expect them to have huge power on tap, too.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class plug-in hybrid

While there won’t be a plug-in engine option available when the new S-Class is launched, Mercedes promises that one is on the way. It’s unclear when exactly it will be available in the car, though. We only know that it should arrive at some point in 2021.

Technical details are still being kept under wraps, too, though it’s likely the new plug-in hybrid S-Class will use a similar setup to the old car - expect it to have a turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor combo that can produce around 490hp. Mercedes also claims the car will have an electric-only range of up to 62 miles, which is very impressive for something as big and heavy as the S-Class.

This is around twice the typical range of a plug-in hybrid, with most offering up to 30 miles on a fully charged battery. As a result, the S-Class plug-in hybrid should allow drivers to spend much more time travelling using electricity alone, reducing emissions and fuel economy.

You'll just have to remember to keep the car charged up to get the best economy, driving a plug-in hybrid on solely petrol power will do more harm than good to your fuel usage, as you'll be lugging around all of that extra weight from the batteries.

2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class technology

Previous generations of S-Class were stuffed to the brim with some of Mercedes’ most advanced technologies, and that trend continues with the latest version. All cars come as standard with a huge 12.8-inch touchscreen media system that dominates the centre console, as well as features like four-zone climate control, a nine-speaker surround sound system, heated front and rear seats and an augmented reality sat-nav system that can display navigation instructions on the car’s windscreen. Even tyres with foam inserts that help reduce the amount of tyre noise entering the cabin come as standard on every S-Class.

Plenty of safety equipment is also available on the new S-Class. Driver aids that come as standard include features like blind spot monitoring and traffic sign recognition, as well as accident-mitigating assistance kit such as autonomous emergency braking and an evasive steering assist function that can detect and help the driver steer around obstacles such as pedestrians and cyclists.

There’s plenty more kit to get stuck into on higher grades, too. Extended wheelbase versions of the new S-Class get electric adjustment and built-in climate control for the rear seats, and top-of-the-line cars get ultra-bright headlights with a range of up to 650m. That said, it’s seems a bit stingy that these priciest versions of the new S-Class are the only ones that also come as standard with a heated windscreen and heated steering wheel - you can get this kind of tech on a Vauxhall Corsa or Ford Fiesta.

2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class dimensions

The new S-Class is a little bit bigger than the previous version, which makes it a very large car overall. Get out a tape measure, and you’ll find the luxury saloon is nearly 2.1m wide and around 5.2m long - or nearly 5.3m if you go for the extended wheelbase version.

While that may make the S-Class a bit tricky to squeeze into a tight parking space, it does at least mean there’s loads of space inside. Taller adults should have no problems getting comfy in the standard S-Class, and there’s even more room for rear seat passengers to stretch their legs out in the long wheelbase version.

The boot’s pretty big at 550 litres, too, and has a bit more luggage space than rivals like the Audi A8 (505 litres) and BMW 7 Series (515 litres). This figure is likely to be noticeably reduced on the plug-in hybrid version of the new S-Class, though, depending on where Mercedes places that car’s large battery pack. Most plug-in hybrids have reduced boot space, so we'd expect the same for the S-Class models with plug-in tech.

2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class prices

Being the flagship in the Mercedes range, it’s no surprise the latest S-Class is one of the company’s most expensive new cars. Prices start at £78,705, and rise all the way to £110,325 for the most expensive long wheelbase version.

A definitive launch date hasn’t been confirmed yet, though it’s expected the S-Class will go on sale in September 2020. Mercedes also says the first deliveries should start arriving in the UK in December 2020.


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