I know, I know, we are a tad bit late to the party, but that is just because we were busy questioning the horrendous prices of the all-new S-Class. Nevertheless, let’s celebrate the ‘Best Car in the World’ because even before its official debut, more than half of the allotted 150 units of the CBU Launch Edition have already been booked. Overwhelming? Nah, it deserves to be that way.
“The new S-Class represents the fascination of the brand and redefines the automotive luxury segment with numerous human-centric innovations around driver assistance, protection, and interaction. Not only does the S-Class become much more intelligent, but it also takes the driving experience to an altogether new level.” The flagship model for Mercedes-Benz India for a reason.
The all-new S-Class is longer, wider, taller, and has a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, making it the best top-end luxury limousine money could buy. There are even a lot of ‘firsts’ for this model – rear-axle steering, although that is something which will bid adieu when the CKD model (RWD) makes its way to the Indian shores. Further, you get the seamless door handles, weight reduction, AMG Line exterior and alloys, second-gen MBUX, and a fingerprint sensor in *that* screen, Burmester High-End 4D-Surround-Sound system, and frontal airbag for rear-seat passengers for additional safety to name a few.
Design-wise, the new S-Class is an evolution of the older S-Class and is pretty much based on the new E-Class, or vice-versa. On the outside, you have Mercedes’ new ‘Digital Light’ LED headlights, an all-new chrome grille with three horizontally-positioned blades, a new front bumper with larger air intakes, and wraparound LED taillights. Put simply, the S-Class of India mimics the S-Class of Global.
At launch, you get only two trims – S 400d 4Matic (INR 2.17 Cr, ex-showroom) and S 450 4Matic (INR 2.19 Cr, ex-showroom), which will be a single, fully-loaded variant named the ‘Launch Edition’ based on the AMG Line trim. You could have either of the five color choices with trim options, too – Designo Diamond White: Macchiato beige / Magma grey | Sienna Brown / Black, Onyx Black: Macchiato beige / Magma grey | Sienna Brown / Black, Anthracite Blue: Sienna Brown / Black, Rubellite Red: Macchiato beige / Magma grey, and Emerald Green: Sienna Brown / Black.
On the inside, where you’ll find yourself most of the time, the luxurious factor in the S-Class increases to another level. The dash is ‘controlled’ by that mammoth 12.8-inch portrait-positioned touchscreen infotainment unit and a redesigned new instrument cluster of 12.3-inch. The Active ambient lighting feature has around 250 LEDs integrated into the driving assistance systems to reinforce warnings the visual way, in addition to the regular 64 color ambient lighting.
As far as the comfort levels go, the front passenger seat now comes with 19 motors, and 10 different massage programs to choose from, for the front and rear seats. The rear passengers can now adjust the leg-rest and massage function electronically as well. Throw in the Chauffeur Package and you can enjoy passenger seat adjustment from the rear, rear-seat entertainment touchscreens, and a central tablet controller for several in-car functions. The rear seats also get the world’s first frontal airbags.
Powering the seventh-gen S-Class are two engines – a Diesel and a Petrol. The former makes 330hp and 700Nm of torque from its in-line-6 while the latter makes 367hp and 500Nm of torque from its turbocharged, in-line-6 motor. Both the options come mated to Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD system and a 9-speed AT.
Rivaling the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class are the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, both of which are significantly cheaper. Although shortly, Mercedes will introduce the CKD model of the S-Class in India so the prices should come down by a good margin. Mercedes says that there are more than 8000 S-Class on Indian roads, and also plans to introduce the Maybach S-Class in the coming months.