2021 Mercedes S-Class VS BMW 7 Series – The world’s most luxurious sedans. Mercedes‘ recently unveiled W223 S-Class is the segment’s newest competitor to the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. At first glance, it has got the best tech and the freshest styling, even though we’re still not sure it actually looks better than its predecessor.
So would you take the all-new 2021 S-Class over the updated BMW 7-Series and its massive nostrils, or Audi’s fourth-generation A8?
We should state that as far as the U.S. market is concerned, the top 2021 S-Class you’ll be able to get initially will be the S580 4MATIC mild-hybrid. This means you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get the AMG-powered model, which gives BMW and Audi a bit of a performance edge.
The all-new S-Class is the biggest car here, at least on paper. The regular wheelbase model measures 203.9 inches (5,179 mm) in length, 76.9 inches (1,954 mm) in width and 59.2 in (1,503 mm) in height, with a 122.3 inch (3,106 mm) long wheelbase. The LWB variant has a 126.6 inch (3,216 mm) long wheelbase and measures 208.2 inches (5,289 mm) bumper to bumper.
Like its two rivals, the 2021 S features hands-off driving capabilities, but it is the only one whose SAE Level 3 tech will be available in Germany starting in the second half of 2021. By comparison, the 7-Series’ Extended Traffic Jam Assistant (SAE Level 2) will allow you to keep your hands off the steering wheel at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 km/h) during urban city driving.
Audi was actually first to market with a Level 3 solution in their Traffic Jam Pilot, yet due to legal issues it had to cancel the launch of this feature in the U.S. last year.
In the States, Mercedes will initially let you choose between two power units. The first is a 3.0-liter straight-six mild-hybrid turbo with 429 HP (435 PS) and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque, and the other is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 mild-hybrid with 496 HP (500 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm). The straight-six powers the S 500 4MATIC, while the V8 the S 580 4MATIC. Mercedes hasn’t release any acceleration times for the latter, though it did disclose that the 2021 S 500 4MATIC will get you from zero to 62 mph (96 km/h) in 4.9 seconds.
BMW’s updated 7-Series stretches all the way from 200.7 inches (5,098 mm) to 207.4 inches (5,268 mm) depending on which wheelbase version you opt for (120.9 inches / 3,070 mm & 126.4 inches / 3,210 mm). It’s also 74.9 inches (1,902 mm) wide and 57.8 inches (1,467 mm) tall.
Its U.S. starting price of $86,800 refers to the entry-level 740i variant with rear-wheel drive. However, if you want something that’s more of a match for the 2021 S 500 4MATIC, you’ll want to check out the 2020 745e xDrive ($95,900), a plug-in hybrid with a combined output of 389 HP (394 PS) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque that’s actually just as quick as the Mercedes to 60 mph. Then there’s the 2020 750i xDrive ($103,000), which packs 523 HP (530 PS), 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque and will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and should match up nicely with the S 580 4MATIC.
We still need to wait for Mercedes’ answer to the M760i xDrive ($157,800) and its 601 HP (610 PS), so if you just want the fastest possible car out of these three, BMW has Mercedes’ number – at least for now.
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