From biometric authentication to augmented reality to a digital assistant that speaks more than two-dozen languages, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a technological tour de force.
To deliver on this promise, Källenius said Mercedes-Benz is working with the German government "to create a clear regulatory framework" for Level 3 driving on public highways.
"It’s kind of like a challenge for the engineers to stretch themselves, to break the boundaries of their own imaginations," Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, said during a media roundtable Wednesday.
Källenius said, "[We] have other strong legs in the portfolio," but this flagship sedan is a symbol for the brand, one the company hopes will gain even more fans with this latest generation.
Källenius described the S-Class as "the masterpiece, the flagship of our portfolio" and a car that’s spearheading the company’s innovation.
Even though drivers around the world are obsessed with trucks and SUVs these days, the S-Class remains the crown jewel of Mercedes-Benz’s lineup.
At launch, the 2021 S-Class will feature advanced adaptive cruise control with lane-centering and automatic lane-change capability, the usual stuff.
Further reducing carbon emissions, there’s also the upcoming EQS all-electric sedan, which he noted will not be a clone of the combustion-powered S-Class, rather a sibling.
Källenius said, "The plug-in hybrid segment is likely smaller in North America than it is in Europe," but he thinks it will grow going forward.
This flagship sedan is loaded with more circuity, screens and software than a Best Buy, something that’s necessary in the 21st century as brands like Tesla upend the traditional automotive business.
Beyond that, a plug-in hybrid S-Class is also on the docket, one with around 62 miles of electric-only range, though it has not been confirmed whether this variant will come to the US.
Responding to a question about Tesla, the soft-spoken Swede said Mercedes-Benz has always had the ambition of being a tech leader.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is ready for Level 3 automated driving https://t.co/rWfBZG21id— CNET News (@CNETNews) September 2, 2020