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Next-gen 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class bows with lavish appointments, high-tech features

A new, tech-filled S-Class is on its way.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The just-debuted 2021 S-Class is the epitome of high-tech luxury in the Mercedes-Benz lineup - at least until the Maybach version arrives. The fresh, seventh-generation S-Class was designed to enhance a driver and passengers senses - seeing, feeling, hearing, and smelling - and it does just that, going beyond what a traditional car offers.

"The S-Class is the world's best-selling luxury sedan. With the latest generation we want to offer our customers innovation, safety, comfort and quality as never before," says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class The car's wheelbase has been extended by two inches.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The design of the car features a short front overhand, long wheelbase, and balanced rear overhang. It has classic sedan proportions with a wide track and sculpted surfaces. Three-point daytime driving lights are flatter than before and sit on either side of the high-status grille.

Mercedes has made the door handles seamless. They extend when the driver approaches or when the outer surface of the handle is touched. Keyless access is provided.

The new version of the car is longer and wider than the previous version. The wheelbase is also longer but when inside mirrors are considered, the model is narrower than the last-gen. There's a slightly wider track and its height remains the same. Nine out of 10 customers worldwide purchase the long wheelbase version of the S-Class sedan.

Mercedes has increased the model's passenger space. Driver elbow room is up 1.5 inches and rear passengers have up to one inch more elbow room. Rear seat headroom is up 0.6 inches while other interior dimensions remain mostly the same.

The trunk capacity has increased to 19 cubic feet of space.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class At speed these handles seamlessly integrate into the body of the car.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has sourced 216 pounds of components in the model from resource-conserving materials. The number of components containing recyclates is now 120 – more than twice as many as in the preceding model. Around 88 pounds more of the components are made from renewable raw materials.

The new S500 is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that delivers 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Paired with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, the S-Class's powertrain is completed adding 21 horsepower and reaching an additional 184 pound-feet of torque.

The S580 gets its power from a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that makes 426 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It too has mild-hybrid technology that adds 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The car has an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph, no matter which engine is chosen.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class There are two engine options in the new S-Class.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes will offer the S-Class with available rear-axle steering to make it more maneuverable in city driving conditions. Mercedes has significantly reduced the turning circle of the car - even long wheelbase models with all-wheel drive have their circle reduced by six feet to under 36 feet.

The car rides on wheels available in sizes from 19 to 21 inches.

The sculptured look of the dashboard, center console and armrests was designed to appear to float above an "expansive interior landscape". One interior option features open-pore wood veneer that is set within real aluminum inlays. Vents are rectangular and slim.

The front passenger seat of the S-Class has up to 19 motors (8 for adjustments, 4 for massage and 5 for ventilation, one for the lumbar support and one to move the monitor when in reverse). There are 10 different massage programs available, each taking between eight and 18 minutes, with two stages of intensity.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class The car is nearly the same proportions as before, a little longer and wider, but inside passengers gain more space.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Models with the Executive Line are able to reconfigured in a variety of seat variations and can include a heatable head restraint cushion.

The second generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) debuts in the S-Class. It features up to five screens worth of interactivity including some with OLED technology and can process at speeds 50 percent faster than the first-gen system. At the touch of a button, the new 3D driver display allows the driver to enjoy spatial perception of the surroundings with a real 3D effect thanks to eye tracking software.

There's a head-up display with augmented reality content that equals the display size of a 77-inch diagonal monitor. The fully-digital driver information display is 12.3 inches and the infotainment screen measures 12.8 inches diagonally.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Quilted leather seats add to the luxeness of the model.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The driver information display can be configured in four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).

The "Hey Mercedes" command now supports 27 languages with Natural Language Understanding.

Opt for the Burmeister high-end 4D surround sound system and Mercedes will install 30 loudspeakers and eight resonators, two fo which are integrated into the backrest of each seat. A nine-speaker sound system is standard and a mid-grade 15-speaker system is available.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class The tablet-like infotainment screen is new for the automaker.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The car features 17-step motors that control the temperature and air distribution in the climate control system. The quad-zone climate control has 20-step motors. These electric motors operate the air flaps . Seven personal climate profiles can be stored, plus a guest profile.

More than 50 electronic components of the S-Class can be updated via over-the-air updates.

Mercedes has installed 250 LEDs around the vehicle as ambient lighting that are linked to the driver assistance system and able to visually reinforce warnings.

The German automaker is selling the car with two Energizing options packages that are designed to provide a future customizable experience for the senses. The programs are available for from and rear seats and provide seven suites of treatments to choose from that initiate massage, climate, scent, sound, entertainment and lighting functionalities within the cabin.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The car's Driving Assistance Package allows for predictive compliance of speed limits, taking the choice to speed out of the driver's hands.

A rear airbag is available and adds an additional level of protection in the event of a severe collision where it works to protect the head and neck area of seatbelt-wearing occupants in the outboard rear seats. Additionally, the car has E-Active Body Control, which can raise the body fo the car to reduce the impact of a collision when the car's safety systems detect that a collision is imminent. It processes information at the rate of 1,000 times per second.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class goes on sale soon. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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Volkswagen has sold seven generations of the Golf in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is saying goodbye to the Golf in the U.S. Kind of. The small hatchback is popular overseas but failed to find a continued, dedicated audience in North America where buyers are opting for larger SUVs and trucks over cars.

"Over four decades, the Golf has delivered a great value to American drivers," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It exemplified what Volkswagen does best—melding dynamic driving characteristics with purposeful packaging and unmatched quality. While the seventh-generation Golf will be the last of the base hatches sold here, the GTI and Golf R will carry its legacy forward."

Though its audience has faded recently, the Golf family has been popular with buyers in the U.S. for decades. Nearly 2.5 million of the cars have been sold since 1974.

The first-generation Golf was sold as the Rabbit in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

1974 V

Production of U.S. bound 2021 model year VW Golfs ended last week at the plant in Puebla, Mexico. The run of models that has already been produced is expected to sustain the market through the end of the year. It will be available in just one grade: Golf TSI. That car is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that makes 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Every Golf TSI comes standard with LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated washer nozzles, keyless entry, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a sunroof, leatherette steering wheel, heated front seats, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitor, and rear traffic alert.

Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $23,195. The eight-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,995. The destination charge for all Golf models is an additional $995.

How to get a Mk 8 Volkswagen Golf

But, if you really, really want a new, eighth-generation Golf, there's a way to get one. The Golf GTI and Golf R, both performance-focused versions of the Golf, will be arriving in the U.S. this autumn for sale as 2022 model year vehicles.

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Subaru has partnered with Feeding America to deliver over 150 million meals in the last year.

Photo by Getty Images

In April, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in America, Subaru of America stepped up donating the funs to supply 50 million meals to hungry Americans via the Feeding America hunger relief organization. To kick off 2021, Subaru of America, Subaru of New England, and Subaru Distributors Corporation.

"Once again, Subaru is working with Feeding America to help the millions of families struggling with hunger across the U.S.," said Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. "As we continue to weather these unprecedented times together, we hope our contribution to Feeding America ensures the most vulnerable members of our communities are fed and cared for."

According to a release, one in four children in the U.S. are vulnerable of facing hunger because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has posed unique challenges for food banks and the people we serve," said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. "We are tremendously grateful to Subaru of America, along with Subaru retailers and distributors, for their generous support and commitment to fighting against hunger in communities across the country."

The 633 Subaru retailers nationwide will work with Feeding America to disburse the donation to the organization's 199 food banks with the highest food insecurity rates and child food insecurity rates. Subaru retailers have made an additional donation of 5.6 million meals to those in need.

For every $1 cash donation, at least 10 meals are secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

As they did with the donation last spring, Subaru will launch a new creative campaign showcasing the impact of the donation. The spots will run on broadcast and digital platforms.

This new donation is part of Subaru's Subaru Loves to Help pillar, the community-focused pillar of the Subaru Love Promise. Other recent initiatives include the donation of blankets to the homeless and an anti-litter campaign.

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