Mercedes-Benz has finally fully unwrapped its new S-Class … and the Stuttgart-based firm’s flagship luxury sedan is predictably crammed full of technology.
Indeed, Benz says the new model offers “numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, protection and interaction”. Of course, the S-Class boasts all manner of luxury features, too, including as many as 10 massage programmes and a Burmester 4D surround sound system.
The German brand claims the driving experience has been taken to “the next level”, with innovations such as rear-axle steering (with a particularly large steering angle) having been adopted. Fresh safety features include a new function that sees the suspension raise the vehicle body by 80 mm just before an impending side impact.
And infotainment? Well, the firm’s second-generation MBUX system debuts in the new S-Class, with up to five large screens scattered around the cabin. The new OLED central display has a screen diagonal of 12,8 inches (Benz says the screen area is some 64 percent larger than before), while the driver display comes in at 12,3 inches.
The MBUX system’s computing power has increased by 50 percent compared with the outgoing system, with the memory bandwidth listed as 41,79 MB/s.
Two different head-up displays will be available, with the larger version providing augmented reality content. Benz says the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is “even more learn- and dialogue-capable” than before and can now also be controlled from the rear of the sedan.
The standard-wheelbase (W223) model measures 5 179 mm long (an increase of 54 mm), while the long-wheelbase (V223) model comes in at 5 289 mm nose to tail (up 34 mm). The former’s wheelbase has grown 71 mm to 3 035 mm while the latter’s is up 51 mm to 3 165 mm. Luggage space is 550 litres regardless of the chosen wheelbase.
Compared with the outgoing model, elbow-room for the driver has increased by 38 mm and by up to 23 mm for rear passengers. Headroom in the rear has increased by up to 16 mm.
Mercedes says the new S-Class is “even quieter” than its forebear, with the firewall insulation extended into the side areas of the A-pillars and the floor area. The company has also added acoustic foam in certain bodyshell sections for the first time.
So, what’s under that bonnet? Well, Mercedes-Benz says 3,0-litre, inline six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines in “various output classes” will be the first powertrains on offer, with a V8 engine featuring an integrated starter-generator (ISG) and 48-volt electrical system set to become available “soon” (the US press release mentions the S580 4Matic, with its twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8 generating 370 kW). A plug-in hybrid with an all-electric range of around 100 km will follow in 2021.
Here are the headline figures: the S450 4Matic will offer 270 kW/500 N.m, while the S500 4Matic increases those peak outputs to 320 kW and 520 N.m. Both employ nine-speed automatic transmissions, plus benefit from an extra 16 kW/250 N.m from the EQ Boost system for short bursts.
The S350d will be offered in rear- and all-wheel-drive form, with its turbodiesel heart generating 210 kW and 600 N.m. The S400d 4Matic, meanwhile, serves up 243 kW and 700 N.m.