Blast from the past: Mercedes plots return of the SEC - a sleeker kind of S-class

Published: 06 April 2016

► Another addition to the S-class family
► We reveal plans for comeback of SEC
► Four-door coupe, due in next gen 2021

The only premium car manufacturer who still does exceptionally well in the €100,000+ price range is Mercedes-Benz. For several years now, Daimler has sold in excess of 100,000 S-class versions per year – and there are more to come, CAR can reveal. 

In the wake of the S-class Coupe (15k/year) and the brand-new S-class Cabriolet (10k/year), M-B has just launched the extra-long Pullman (150 units annually) and the ultra-profitable, ultra high-end Maybach (40k units over its entire lifecycle). 

Until recently, product planners were reluctant to the grow the S-class family further, but strong results in the 2015 financial year convinced Daimler chief exec Dieter Zetsche and his team to go ahead with project S82 after all. This is the codename for a four-door S-class Coupe, which was previously known as C222.

A four-door S-class Coupe… sounds like a giant CLS!

Exactly. It’s further proof that Merc is stretching into ever more fragmented niches. To support the fragile business case, R&D no longer insisted on a brand-new body with a redesigned roof, greenhouse and sheet metal. 

Instead, what may be sold as SEC uses, in essence, the centre section of the long-wheelbase saloon to which the front and rear ends of the S-class Coupe are attached. That’s a crude description, but fusing these elements does require a number of 3D alterations, but they won’t cost near as much as a complete restyling, according to CAR’s sources. 

The four-door coupaloon S-class: coming in 2021

Conservative estimates peg the SEC at 15,000 units a year. With the all-new S-class labelled W223 due to see the light of day in late 2020 as a 2021 model, it makes no sense to derive the four-door coupe from the current vintage of S-class. Instead, we expect a launch in early 2021 as part of the next generation family. 

Engineering highlights are said to include a brand-new fully active air suspension, a hybrid model (plug-in or cordless), a 740bhp V12 Maybach edition and an even more potent AMG variant, both of them of course equipped with 4Matic 4WD. As far as digitalisation goes, it seems safe to expect the unexpected, and then some.

Check out the original 1980s Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC below.

An original Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel