The W222 S-Class, which is currently into its mid-life, is widely hailed as one of the best flagships Mercedes-Benz has built. Even as a mid-cycle update has just arrived on our shores the Stuttgart carmaker has started work on the next-generation model. This week, our spy snapper has spotted a chassis-testing mule doing the rounds on public roads in Germany.

Expected to arrive sometime in 2020 as a 2021 model, the next S-Class has some really big shoes to fill. So, it’s safe to assume that beneath the makeshift body that we see here is a range of massive upgrades, both mechanical and technological. Although not much can be gleaned from a test mule, the extended wheel arches could suggest a wider track. There were earlier reports that Mercedes could use carbon fibre reinforced plastic in the next flagship’s construction, so despite its potentially larger dimensions, the 2021 S-Class should be lighter.

Apart from ‘greener’ powertrains, the new S-Class is also expected to offer Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities. We’ll bring you updates over the next couple of years as more details and pictures emerge.