TESTED: The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S 580 4Matic is effortless fun
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been completely redesigned for 2021. In addition to new styling both inside and out, the new S-Class offers updated in-car technology, an even more advanced sequel driver aids and a pair of new engines, with more powertrains to follow. All of this to help it better compete with rivals such as the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 Series, both of which have undergone a complete overhaul since the outgoing S-Class launched in 2014. Not that the S-Class has need a lot of improvement, as it does. has always been one of Edmunds top rated sedans.
While the S-Class has always been a comfortable, well-appointed and state-of-the-art vehicle, it has never been known as a driver’s car, with the exception of rarefied AMG models. History has changed with the new one, at least according to Mercedes. Not only does the S 580 4Matic’s twin-turbo V8 produce more power than before, Mercedes engineers have tuned the adaptive air suspension to improve handling.
Do these distinctions make a difference? There was only one way to find out. We took a 2021 Mercedes-Benz S 580 4Matic to the Edmunds track for our full battery of testing, and here’s what we found.
How did the S 580 4Matic perform?
Like last year’s S 560 4Matic, the 2021 S 580 4Matic uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. Horsepower is up 33 horsepower for a total of 496 horsepower, although torque remains the same at 516 lb-ft. For 2021, Mercedes has also equipped the V8 with its mild hybrid EQ Boost system. In addition to smoothing gear changes compared to the nine-speed automatic and improving fuel economy, the system helps improve acceleration by increasing power at low revs before the turbochargers really kick in.
As expected, the 2021 S 580 4Matic is faster than the outgoing S 560, but not significantly. It hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, reducing the last car’s dashboard to 60 mph by just 0.2 seconds, while its quarter-mile (“trap speed”) speed also edged up slightly. improved to 110.8 mph from 108.2 mph.
As far as its segment rivals go, the S 580 4Matic overtakes the entry-level Porsche Panamera at 60 mph and significantly widens the quarter-mile gap. You can go much faster in the more sophisticated Panameras, but it will cost you dearly. A direct rival to the S 580 is the BMW 750i xDrive, which handily beats the Benz’s acceleration times and trapping speed. The S 580 is way behind the pack in terms of stopping distance, which we hope is mainly due to the all-season tires in our test car, as opposed to the more grippy summer performance tires worn by the BMW and the Porsche.