Mercedes isn’t letting go of the S-Class just yet.
Just a few days ago, Mercedes-Benz revealed all-electric Vision EQS concept (shown above). Electrification is one of the themes of this year’s Frankfurt show, and that had us wondering about the fate of the venerable S-Class. Will the EQS become the brand’s new flagship? As it turns out, no. According to Australian site CarAdvice, the EQS will stand as its own model under Mercedes’ “EQ” sub-brand, rather than become the next-generation S-Class.
Member of the Daimler AG board for Mercedes’ research and development arm, Markus Schäfer, offered some more insight as to where the S-Class is heading. Mercedes is working toward Level 3 autonomous driving, giving the next-generation car an “eyes-off” system, pending regulatory approval.” More details on that may emerge next year, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show. He said, “On our ambition for an S-Class, the bar is extremely high, it’s the top end of our portfolio in terms of everything, so the target is extremely high in every aspect. In a few months we can detail just how high we can put the bar, we’re working day and night.”
Sticking with internal combustion, and moving to electrification
On that basis, Mercedes-Benz is aiming for a two-model strategy to cover more ground in the marketplace. Internal combustion isn’t going away anytime soon, and we’ll still see new gas-powered models for years to come. That includes the GLC and GLE crossovers alongside the EQC, and the S-Class alongside the EQS. Inevitably, Mercedes will launch more EQ models well, both in the sedan and crossover sphere.
Of the S-Class, Mercedes boss and Daimler AG chairman Ola Källenius said the S-Class needed to be “at the vanguard of the automotive industry.” He added to CarAdvice, “…it’s the symbolic representation of our purpose, our deeper meaning, our raison d’être. The reason we get up in the morning.”
General consensus at the moment pins Mercedes’ reveal of the 2021 S-Class sometime next year. Beyond that, a production version of the EQS concept will emerge, possibly as a 2022 model. Both will sell alongside each other, though we have awhile to wait for pricing information on either car.
Mercedes currently aims for half its cars to be fully-electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030.