Mercedes S-Class – A new approach towards opulence
The S-Class is the top tier Benz, there is nothing higher. Okay, maybe the Maybach, but that’s a story for another time. Anyways, the S-Class is the car that sets the bar of what is to become the future standard within safety and techy features. However, with this new generation, the changes have been made on the inside, and that have made people mad.
Let me explain. The thing with an S-Class is that it is just that. An S-Class. It should be the most easily recognizable model in Mercedes lineup, and while the exterior is new, the trickle-down effect has gone in the opposite direction. The A-Class has been the frame of reference. That means a more youthful approach. The fullness of the old S is gone and instead there are big nods towards AMG and CLS. The more stringent design can even be seen at the door handles, which are now retractable, which adds up to a very low drag coefficient of 0,22. Pretty amazing since the car is 5,21 m long and 1,94 m wide. The car has actually gained size in almost every dimension, albeit not by much, compared to the predecessor. To make it possible to maneuver this machine, the new S-Class is fitted with rear axle steering, which with a steering angle of up to 10 degrees can degrease the turning radius by up to 2 meters.
Inside is where a lot has been changed. Seemingly yacht inspired, the new S-class is fitted with a Tesla-style ginormous middle screen which houses the latest generation MBUX infotainment system. Remotely updateable and an upgraded voice command are the biggest news. Buttons and dials have been removed and everything is either controlled by the middle screen, and the new digital gauge cluster, which is a massive 12,3 inch screen, which unlike the E and A class, isn’t connected with the middle screen. I get a strong vibe of the old C-class with the framed floating digital gauge cluster. Hopefully, the clear digitalization of the interior will hold for the future, since more complex features are added by the year, more computing power is needed. Hopefully, the new S-class won´t feel unnecessarily outdated in five years. However, it will still feel like an S-class, with increased sound isolation at the firewall which extends to the base of the A-pillars. Acoustic foam has also been used at certain positions in the car. Great to catch up to mid-range SUVs Mercedes.
A heavily pushed feature is the pre-safe impulse side, which to get, you have to also spec out the new E-active body control. As the name suggest, if it senses that a car will crash into its side, the car will be raised at an instant in order to help absorb and distribute more of the force from the incoming car into the door seal, and eventually into the strong underbody of the new S-Class.
Two petrol engines and three diesel engines are available from the get go, with all of them being six cylinder engines. The S500 has as far as I know, always been a V8, but that is not the case anymore. Power is still plenty though, and with a fine tuned hybrid engine with 48V technology, the song from the exhaust should still be powerful yet refined. 435 horsepower and 520 Nm on tap which should theoretically reach a consumption as low as 0,8 L/km. Not too soon after, we will still get a glorious v8 option with the S580. The diesel alternatives are less thirsty. The entry level S350d reaches a 0,62 L/km fuel consumption. Even bosses can ride environmentally friendly. Sort of.
Price starts at 96,6 thousand euros, which in Sweden makes it over 1 million SEK.