Whether at a splashy media event or on a webcast, Mercedes-Benz is expected to pull the covers off the next-generation S-Class later this year, but thanks to some leaked images and the help of a Spanish website, we’re able to offer a good look at the German automaker’s upcoming makeover of its flagship sedan.
These pics, first published on the Instagram account of Coche Spias, appear to be completely legitimate, the basic design and shape syncing up with spy shots that have made it onto the web in recent months.
Known as the W223 internally, the look of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class doesn’t stray far from the current model, no surprise there. But there are some notable differences, nonetheless, the seventh-generation sedan, for one thing, getting a much more upright nose, with a slightly larger and more rounded grille frame than on the current version anchored by more slit-like headlamps.
The leaked images show some even more notable changes in the rear, the 2022 S-Class getting more triangular taillamps that clearly draw inspiration from the Teutonic automaker’s latest CLS coupe-like sedan.
There are conflicting reports about whether the next-generation Mercedes S-Class will continue to be offered in standard and long-wheelbase versions. With the latest E-Class stretched close to the length of the outgoing S-Class, some reports suggest the next sedan will grow to a length of almost 208 inches and be offered in a single configuration.
The version captured here appears to be the conventional S-Class which, in its next cycle, will be offered with a variety of different powertrain configurations that include gas, diesel and even plug-in hybrid options. The PHEV reportedly will be capable of managing as much as 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles, in all-electric mode – though the U.S. version, using the tougher EPA testing procedures, likely will see that number drop by as much as a third.
The new S-Class, meanwhile, will have a second variant that will serve to anchor the brand’s new, all-electric EQ line-up. How much difference we’ll see, inside and out, remains unclear. But the EQS model will bury its batteries in the underlying platform – the industry norm for EVs these days, and reportedly will manage 310 miles per charge using the European WLTP test cycle.
In pure gas packages, expect to see a range of engine options extending all the way up to the AMG versions that are reportedly set to top 600 horsepower.
While exterior changes appear modest, the next-generation S-Class will see a number of updates inside, much of them focused on maintaining the sedan’s position as an industry technology benchmark. There’ll be the usual assortment of ultra-luxury details, such as heated, cooled and massaging seats.
But the big news is expected to come in the form of the updated MBUX infotainment system and the huge touchscreen dominating the instrument panel. It flows seamlessly into a separate, high-resolution screen behind the new steering wheel.
Along with the upgraded and voice-controlled MBUX system which can be thought of as Amazon Alexa-light, the next S-Class is expected to push further ahead with its advanced driver assistance system. Though it won’t go fully autonomous, it’s widely expected to allow limited hands-free operation somewhat like the Cadillac Super Cruise system, if not as sophisticated as the Autopilot update Tesla is promising to deliver this year.