Mercedes-Benz has used the “best or nothing” tagline to market its vehicles for the last 21 years. To ensure its 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 sedan ticks that “best” box, the German automaker has loaded its flagship vehicle with technology, including an infotainment system that learns to anticipate its owner’s needs, some new rear-steering tricks and upgrades to its advanced driver assistance features.
With a price tag that starts at a steep $110,850, it’s the luxury car for the exceedingly well-heeled executive who wants the top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan with all the bells and whistles modern driving and living requires — and then some.
In S-Class tradition, the sedan is still a big baller. The new version gets longer (by 1.3-inches) and taller (by 0.4-inches), making more space for passengers and cargo. The base 2021 Mercedes-Benz S500 comes with all-wheel drive and a new inline six-cylinder engine that makes 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 60-plus horsepower bump over the last generation model. The S580 that I drove also came with all-wheel drive and a smooth, powerful and quiet 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Both versions also get a 48-volt onboard mild hybrid system.
With a price tag that starts at $110,850, it’s the luxury car for the exceedingly well-heeled executive who wants the top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan with all the bells and whistles modern driving and living requires.
Mercedes has always touted its “human-centered innovation” in its S-Class. Initially, the automaker used technology to improve safety (things like ensuring that the doors wouldn’t suddenly spring open in a crash in the 1950s and crumple zones in the1960s). Since the 1990s, the brand has focused on making driving, parking and navigation less clunky and difficult to use. For example, it had an optional voice recognition package in 1996 that allowed you to activate your carphone (remember those‽) with a voice command.
Mercedes has continued to push the technology envelope, most recently launching an all-electric counterpart to the S Class called the EQS. The 2021 S-Class might mark a new generation of the executive hauler, and it has plenty of technology to offer, but it doesn’t quite outshine the all-electric EQS.