2021 Mercedes S-Class Teased With New E-Active Body Control
The new MBUX infotainment system is one of the biggest things to look forward to when the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class debuts later this year, and based on what we’ve already seen, there are many reasons to be excited. But the new S-Class is more than just infotainment. New details on the flagship show us additional features like advanced air suspension, rear axle steering and more, all designed to give the S-Class the modern makeover it truly deserves.
One of the most significant additions to the 2021 S-Class is the E-Active Body Control. The same hydropneumatic air suspension from Mercedes SUVs like the GLE and GLS is transferred to the S-Class for the first time, and it follows roughly the same principle. A shock absorber in each wheel with two working chambers has an adjustable valve and a hydraulic pressure reservoir that lifts the vehicle up, down and to the side. Yes, on the side.
The addition of Pre-Safe Impulse Side crash control is part of the advanced E-Active Body Control system. New to the S-Class but available elsewhere in the Mercedes lineup, Pre-Safe can raise the vehicle up to three inches before an impending collision to minimize damage to the affected side. E-Active Body Control suspension and Pre-Safe Impulse Side control will be available as options on the S-Class. Another facet of E-Active Driving Control is the ability to scan the road ahead – in Comfort mode in particular. – and proactively adjust the suspension accordingly. Again, this is the same as what is currently available in the GLE and GLS.
The S-Class is now equipped with rear axle steering for the first time. An electric motor attached to a spindle at the rear axle drives a belt that adjusts the angle of the rear wheels according to the steering input. Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz offers two different versions of rear axle steering: one with an angle of up to ten degrees and the other with up to 4.5 degrees of movement. With this, the turning radius of the new S-Class is up to 7.0 feet narrower.
Last week the company also gave us a preview of the new S-Class front airbags for the second row. These new wing-shaped airbags protect rear passengers from frontal impact and, unlike traditional airbags, keep the air trapped inside. These new second row airbags are only available with the Executive Rear Seat Package.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class debuts later this year.