Mercedes-Benz have just announced the new S-class, due in 2021. And yes, it does show off some iconic looks, houses some raw power and is a probably a modern take on the company’s famous flagship. However, there is already controversy bubbling in the air surrounding the company’s historical flagship.
Mercedes offer a choice of four 3.0 litre inline-6 engines, all of which are coupled with a 9-speed automatic gearbox. Kicking things off in the range will be the S450 with 367hp and a 0-60mph time of 5.1 seconds. next up will be the S500 with 435 of those german horses and a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds. Both of these are petrol options driving all four wheels with mild-hybrid systems delivering 22hp on their own.
There will also be diesel options, which, let’s be honest, most of the people buying these are gonna go for, aren’t they? The S350D will push out 286 horses to your choice of either the rear or all four wheels. There will also be the S400D churning out 330 hp with four-wheel drive as standard.
Mercedes also plan to launch a V8 model for the lads on wall street who just can’t be without some V8 muscle in their life, and a plugin hybrid version that will have a 60-mile range on electric power only. Finally, there will be the S63 AMG model which will be Mercedes trying to take a piece of the fast-flagship-saloon-cake and go up against the Audi S8 and BMW M760Li
Right, now that we’re over with the boring bits, let’s talk about the most exciting, and perhaps the most important aspect of this car, the interior. You see, most of the people having the S-class on their shopping list don’t care about the grunt or 0-60 times, but the absolute cocoon of luxury that is the interior, and needless to say, this new one, does not disappoint. Get in the driver’s seat and you’re greeted by a massive touch screen in the centre, I’m talking Tesla Model S massive, and coupled with the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX system, It could be the best in the business. The size means that there are almost no physical buttons in the centre console, but the screen does provide haptic feedback on touch.
Look around you, and you’ll see a gorgeous curved and sloping dashboard that connects seamlessly to the door trims, and it looks especially stunning with the open-pore wood trims which sort of make you feel as if you’re driving a yacht on the road. While the front distinguishes the S-class from any other Mercedes and any other car on the road, the backseat is much more important for a car like this. Mercedes certainly know this as they have fitted each seat with 19 individual motors doing various stuff from heating and cooling to massage functions and adjustments making sure you get the perfect oppulent experience of the best Mercedes has to offer.
Safety and Technology
The S-class comes with some of the best tech and safety kit that you get to see on other Mercedes models. This includes an augmented reality Satnav guidance system that displays the live feed from the road ahead through cameras with arrows for you to follow so you never miss a turn. However, if you just can’t be bothered to drive in the first place, the S-class now comes with Stage-3 autonomous driving, just like a Tesla.
The new S-class also comes with a pre-safe impulse side system which automatically raises the car’s air suspension by eight centimetres in a collision, making the car’s floor the main point of contact, which is where the car is the strongest. Taking a page out of Audi’s book eh, Mercedes? You also now get the option of front airbags for the rear seat passengers, though it’s only available on the long wheel-base versions.
Perhaps, the most controversial part of this car is the exterior. You see, most of the slack carmakers get when they redesign an old car is from their hardcore fans who will give them hell on online forums for chit-chat before they take out another mortgage to buy the latest offering. However, this time they may have a point. You see the S-class has always been the flagship of Mercedes Luxury, the Pinnacle of what they could do at the time, The Gold Standard in its range. All the other cars were just sized down versions of the S-class in terms of the design and interior. However lately, it seems like it’s gone the other way around.
The S-class seems more like an upscaled version of the E-Class, which looks like an upscaled version of the C-Class, which looks like an upscaled version of the A-Class, which is obviously, the German carmakers’ entry-level hatchback. Moreover, it’s like 3 different designers with 3 different opinions designed this car, none of them quiet working well on their own let alone with one another.
The front has a sort of sporty design, which is quite unbecoming of a saloon that has a history of being an overall restrained yet elegant looking car which was mostly bought by more than middle-aged men who held all the corporate strings. However, walk down the side and you’ll feel as if the designer here had a completely different idea of what the car should be, and wanted it more restrained.
So, they did away with all the lovely creases and lines that made the old S-class so elegant. Come around to the back and you’ll see the works of another designer, this one quite lazy who just went “ze hell wiz it” and just copied the back end of a CLA on to the S-Class and went to the Pub for a glass of warm beer. Indeed, the exterior being perhaps the most underwhelming and controversial feature of a car which is mainly bought because of its image and road-presence, it begs the thought that if you have to own the best Mercedes you could buy, should you buy a diesel S-class or a well-speced E-Class.