An eagle-eyed CAR reader has snapped disguised test mule of the next-generation S-Class on our roads ahead of the car’s official debut next year.
These photographs were taken on the N3 near Germiston, Gauteng by BJ Stander and show the next-generation S-Class saloon clad in camouflage.
Although quite heavily disguised, this test mule does give us some ideas as to how Mercedes’ next flagship will look when it is officially unveiled next year, possibly at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The saloon appears to emulate the bulky and slightly angular look first brought forth with the W212 E-Class with a strong shoulder line and pronounced rear wheel arches just visible beneath the cladding. Although heavily covered up, the nose appears to sport a mammoth take on the company’s horizontally slatted grille and angular headlamps.
Mercedes has remained tight-lipped regarding the specifics of this new model, so speculation currently reigns supreme.
Initial reports suggest that the next-generation S-Class will take on its rivals by offering a more diverse line-up that will incorporate four derivatives.
First up will be a standard saloon that will be offered with a choice of normal and long wheelbase platforms. There is also talk of Mercedes reviving its 2007 Ocean Drive concept – basically an open-top iteration of the S-Class. This model will reportedly be the halo model of the S-Class range and will be specced and priced considerably higher than other models in the line-up.
An S-Class Coupe is also on the cards and follows Mercedes’ initiative to draw coupe models closer to their respective stablemates – think CLK making way for E-Class Coupe.
The Pullman name could also make a return in the form of an ultra-luxurious stretched model that harks back to the famed 1960s limousine. This model will plug the gap in Mercedes’s line-up that will be left when the Maybach marque is pulled in 2013.
Expect Mercedes’ new twin-turbocharged V8 in various states of tune to find its way under the bonnet alongside the revised 3,5-litre V6 and possibly a diesel. The S-Class has always been something of a technological tour de force, so enhanced safety features, advanced in-car entertainment (read the next generation of the company’s Comand unit) and a raft of other comfort-enhancing goodies are likely to feature on the new car.
BJ also snapped what looks like a disguised next-generation GL-Class. The test mule appears to have lifted a number of styling cues from the more angular new ML-Class and will probably usher in a revised cabin and engine line-up.