2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class previews rear-axle steering and E-Active Body Control suspension

Mercedes-Benz is at it again. Slowly but surely, the German carmaker is highlighting the many different new features in its next-generation 2021 S-Class luxury sedan. Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz went to Facebook to showcase its latest augmented reality heads-up display screen (AR-HUD) complete with innovative graphics and animations.

But now, Mercedes-Benz is talking about the S-Class' optional rear-axle steering system and E-Active Body Control suspension. "The rear axle steering makes the S-Class as maneuverable as a compact car," said J├╝rgen Weissinger, Chief Engineer of the Mercedes S-Class. "Even for the S-Class with a long wheelbase, the turning circle is reduced to under 11 meters."

Combined with a larger rear steering angle and a direct front-axle steering ratio, the system allows for easier parking and niftier handling. "And thanks to Active Parking Assist with a 360-degree camera, the vehicle can slip into tight parking spaces while recognizing whether anybody is moving within that space," added Weissinger.

Meanwhile, the new E-Active Body Control suspension is also worthy of praise. The system consists of five multi-core processors, more than 20 sensors, and a stereo camera to actively predict and respond to various driving situations. This fully-active 48-volt suspension system is capable of analyzing the driving situation up to 1,000 times per second.

The system acts on each individual wheel to deliver a smooth and cosseting ride. But in Curve driving mode, the system allows the vehicle to actively lean into bends for sharper handling without disrupting the ride comfort. On the safety front, the system can instantly raise the S-Class (within a few tenths of a second) by up to 3.15-inches to direct the impact in the lower part of the vehicle.

As expected from a flagship Mercedes, the 2021 S-Class is a hodgepodge of innovative safety features. It has the world's first front airbag for rear passengers. It even has illuminated belt buckles and a new center airbag between the driver and front passenger. The new S-Class is also home to the carmaker's next-generation Driving Assistance Package with active blind spot assist and active steering assist.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn't due to arrive until September. And when it does, we're pretty sure it'll be the most hi-tech and feature-packed luxury vehicle to hit the streets. "The new S-Class does full justice to its innovative tradition," said Dr Uwe Ernstberger, Head of S and C-Class model series product group. "The new generation will once again set the pace in the automotive industry."