As the symbolic flagship of the Mercedes-Benz line, the arrival of a new S-Class is a momentous occasion, and based on these photos, that time is not far away. Changes in styling compared to its W221 predecessor will be evolutionary, as has been the case since the debut of the W220 in the late 1990s. Without a doubt, the new Mercedes flagship will be immediately recognizable as what it is.
The front grille and taillights are subtly changed from the current W221 model S-Class, but the overall shape and dimensions look like they'll be about the same. Except for the rumored Pullman variant, which will replace the Maybach as the flagship of the Daimler line.
As seen in previous spy photos, the new Mercedes S-class will get a unique two-spoke steering wheel, a wide center display, a revised COMAND controller knob, and more formal-looking controls and switchgear, including chrome-trimmed HVAC vents.
Most of the current powertrains are expected to carry over, including the widely-used Mercedes 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 in the S550 model, as well as the V-6 S400 Hybrid, S350 Bluetec diesel, as well as the top-line V-12 models, the S600 and S65 AMG. Mercedes' 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel is starting to become more widely-utilized in its U.S. lineup, and is currently offered in the Euro-spec W221 S-Class, but it's unlikely the diesel four-pot will find its way under the hood of the new Mercedes flagship stateside.