Mercedes-Benz takes the wraps off the all-new S-Class

This is it, ladies and gentlemen! One of the most important automobile launches of the last few years happened late evening yesterday, as Mercedes-Benz, after a series of agonizing teasers that made us wait with bated breath, took the wraps off the all-new S-Class sedan at a grand event in Hamburg, Germany. Widely considered the world's best car, the S-Class is the flagship model of the Mercedes-Benz brand and the best-selling luxury car in the world. The all-new model, internally code-named W222, is expected to continue from where its predecessor left, which is at the very top of the luxury car segment.

Looking at the official photographs released by Mercedes-Benz, 'classy' is the word that defines the new S-Class. Starting from the amazingly-detailed headlights, each with up to 56 LEDs, that drops down towards the large, chrome-lined radiator grille, moving across the profile where a couple of dropping character lines oozes athleticism, to the sloping and sexy rear end with striking taillights, each with up to 35 LEDs in three horizontally-arranged fiber optic cables, the S-Class, true to its name, is in a class of its own. The coefficient of drag is just 0.24, making this car a wind cheater. Of course, there would be some who aren't fond of this new design language from Mercedes-Benz, but we aren't one of them. Not only does the new S-Class convey a message of luxury and class, it does so flamboyantly. While the design of the Audi A8 might find favour with those seeking ‘elegance’ and the looks of the BMW 7-Series might cater to those with ‘sporty’ intentions, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, according to us, combines the best of both worlds.

The sedan, measuring 5116 mm in length, 1899 mm in width and 1483 mm in height, is available with two wheelbase options. While the short-wheelbase variant comes with a whopping 3035 mm wheelbase itself, the long-wheelbase variant adds another 130 mm.

Four engine variants are offered initially. The S 350 BLUETEC with a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine develops 258 hp and 620 Nm of torque and the S 500 with a 4.7-liter V8 petrol engine develops 455 hp and 700 Nm of torque. For the environment-conscious, there is the S 300 BLUETEC Hybrid with a 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine producing 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque and the range-topping S 400 Hybrid with a 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine that’s good for 306 hp and 370 Nm of torque. More options, including powerful AMG variants, are expected to join the lineup later.

As is the norm with every new generation of S-Class, a host of new technological advancements aimed at pampering and protecting the occupants also made their debut along with the car.

Summarizing bits and pieces from the unbelievably long press release issued by the company, the interiors are a mix of hand-stitched leather, polished metal with 'pearl-effect' paint finish and high-quality wood. There are two high-resolution TFT colour displays in the dashboard that act as the instrument cluster and the infotainment screen. Among the features are a touch-sensitive telephone keypad and LINGUATRONIC Speech Dialog System that can even read out our SMS and e-mails. Large, circular, metallic air vents dominate the fascia as does the unique, two-spoke steering wheel. Individual climate control for front and rear occupants with an "Air Balance Package" that ionizes, filters and perfumes the air entering the cabin is first of its kind in the world. A choice of 5 rear seat variants are offered including a "First Class Rear Seat" that comes with individual seats with ENERGIZING massage function and a rear center console. And then, there is the "Warmth and Comfort Package" that comes with heated seats, steering wheel and armrests. Around 300 LEDs in the cabin offer seven hues, five dimming levels and four dimming zones.

As always, safety is a priority in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Widespread use of aluminium, including the entire outer skin, roof and body-shell ensures that the weight is kept in check despite a high level of safety and rigidity. The ground-breaking PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection system introduced by Mercedes-Benz in the S-Class ten years ago is now more advanced than ever and can prevent collisions with vehicles and pedestrians in front by automatically adjusting and boosting the brake pressure, can defuse rear-end collisions by warning the vehicle behind and applying the brakes firmly to prevent whiplash injuries on impact and enhance the protection offered by seat belts by sensing the situation in advance.

Features such as Active Parking Assist that steers, brakes and parks the vehicle automatically demanding minimum inputs from the driver, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Assist that’s capable of following vehicles in traffic jams automatically, Active Lane Keeping Assist that can detect broken lane markings, Night View Assist Plus that warns the driver of obstructions in unlit areas, Brake Assist Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist that detects traffic and pedestrians in road intersections and boosts braking automatically, Adaptive High-beam Assist Plus that allows high-beams without dazzling oncoming traffic and ATTENTION ASSIST that warns the driver if it detects him being drowsy or inattentive are clubbed together as “Intelligent Drive”.

In what is yet another world’s first, the S-Class comes with a suspension system that can ‘see’ the road ahead, literally. Yes, if the ROAD SURFACE SCAN detects unevenness in the road through its stereo camera, the “Magic Body Control” sets up the suspension in advance to deal with the road condition. As much as we are astonished with this feature, we are wondering about this system’s effectiveness in India where most roads are almost always uneven. All other regulars such as Antilock Braking System, Electronic Stability Program and a full complement of Airbags that includes an airbag for the seat belts called ‘Beltbag’ and an airbag for the seat cushions called ‘Cushion Bag’ are also available, making the S-Class a top contender for ‘the safest mobile thing’ on earth.

That’s not all, there is more in the new S-Class as detailed in the press release that can be checked out in the global Mercedes-Benz website. Unlike the previous two generations that were only produced in sedan body-style, the new S-Class will also have a “Pullman” limousine that’s intended to be a replacement for the now-defunct Maybach brand and a “Coupe” that might eventually replace the CL-Class. Until then, let’s revel in the glory of the sedan.

1 comment:

  1. The interior is what sums it up for me.