Why Mercedes-Benz Is Killing Off Some S-Class Models

The S-Class is the top-of-the-line class of vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, but it is getting some changes starting with the German automaker’s 2022 model year — and it’s going to mean fewer choices for consumers. The company has announced that 2021 will be the final model year for the S-Class coupe and cabriolet, or convertible, body styles. If you like a luxury vehicle in a coupe or cabriolet body, you may want to get one of the final S-Class versions of them while you can before they become a thing of the past for Mercedes.

The discontinuation of the coupe and cabriolet

The front of a black 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, showing various sensors and cameras
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class front | Mercedes-Benz

Car and Driver reports on the discontinuation of the coupe and cabriolet styles in the S-Class line. Both bodies are currently available on the S560 model, which comes equipped with a 463-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. The styles are also on the high-performance AMG S63, which has a more powerful twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 hp. The Daimler AG division’s decision to drop the body styles is a result of the company’s announcement that it intends to “streamline” the S-Class family.

Why the S-Class coupe and cabriolet are going away

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Chief operating officer Markus Schaefer discussed the styles’ discontinuation on a conference call, with Road & Track sharing some of the details. The company’s sales have nearly doubled from 1.3 million in 2010 to 2.3 million by the end of the decade, but the auto industry has changed during that time. Schaefer talked about his company “adding so many electric drivetrains on top of this portfolio,” which has led to a need to “reduce complexity” and “watch our funding allocation.”  The complexity was bad for all involved — dealers didn’t like having to try to sell such a big variety of models, and for consumers, it was hard to differentiate between them.

But Mercedes isn’t the only car manufacturer facing similar issues, according to Schaefer, who says the market for coupes and convertibles is shrinking around the world, and Mercedes has to begin to focus more on what he calls “world cars,” or styles that have a major presence in all markets. Schaefer says it was a “tough decision” to end production of the body styles because they are “great cars” and he “love[s] them.” He also urged current owners to keep their vehicles, but the company’s business needs required a change to be made. All is not lost, though, as Mercedes will still be making cabrios in the next-generation SL, so the S-Class can jump up to that line if they’re still looking for a convertible in the future.

The new S-Class line

Those buyers who are looking to stick with an S-Class sedan can expect to get an updated body design. The new model year will feature an aggressive shape on the headlight clusters, with a more angular grille and sculpted air inlets in the bumper. The rear of the vehicle has gotten a total overhaul, sharing a design theme with the back end of the CLS four-door coupe, which Road & Track calls “meaner and more purposeful than before.” Under the hood, options include an inline-six motor or a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, with a plug-in hybrid model also offered that Mercedes claims to have an all-electric range of 60 miles. There will also be the types of safety features you expect to find in modern luxury cars, including stop-and-go assist, active steering assist, and blind-spot warning.

And S-Class buyers won’t be short of entertainment options inside their vehicle as part of a completely revamped interior. The new collection of the luxury line will be offered with up to five screens, including a 12.8-inch central tilted OLED display. Rear passengers will be able to enjoy their entertainment choices with an available package of two 11.6-inch screens on each seatback, and a seven-inch MBUX infotainment tablet. Other highlights include a head-up display, an instrument cluster with 3D effects, and a 4D surround sound system with no fewer than 30 speakers pumping out 1750 watts of audio. Pricing has not been announced but is expected to start at just under $100,000, with deliveries starting in the first half of 2021.