The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been revealed and it's expected to arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2021!
The S-Class represents the pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz product line and apart from being an important part of the brand’s history, it also serves as the spearhead, as it were, for showcasing the latest and greatest technology currently in Merc’s arsenal.
This is important because the technology that’s infused in the S-Class, will likely find its way into the next generation of the brand’s extensive model lineup.
We have seen spy images and teasers in the past few months and Mercedes-Benz has already revealed what to expect from the new S-Class' interior and after months of waiting, the official reveal has now taken place.
Large, intuitive touchscreens dominate the interior, featuring the latest generation MBUX operating system with up to 3 screens taking care of just about everything you can think of. The setup includes a large 12.3-inch central screen which has contributed to fewer buttons present in the cabin as well as a 12.3-inch configurable instrument cluster. Rear passengers can also have access to two 11.6-inch screens mounted on the front seatbacks as well as a 7.0-inch tablet in the rear centre console which forms part of the optional Business Centre Console package. Rear passengers can now also summon MBUX by using the 'Hey Mercedes' command and each passenger has access to their own individual media options. The range of comfort and convenience features on offer in the S-Class is next-level luxury for passengers. In fact, Mercedes-Benz states that the interior fulfils the claim of a “third place,” a private refuge between home and work. As such, passengers have access to a range of 6 Energising program options depending on the passenger's personal needs. The S-Class can also be had with a top-end Burmester 4D surround sound system with a total of 30 loudspeakers and 8 resonators for crisp clear music quality.
As for the steering wheel, it's also new and features capacitive hands-off recognition made possible with a two-zone sensor pad located on the rim of the steering wheel which can sense if the driver's hands are on the 'wheel or not. The new S-Class also features an augmented reality navigation heads-up display.
In terms of safety, the new S-Class is the first series-production car to be fitted with rear-seat airbags for added passenger protection in the event of a frontal accident. More than this, the Pre-Safe Impulse Side will be able to raise the S-Class’ body by up to 8 centimetres immediately before an impending side collision which will benefit all passengers.
The tech-laden cabin of the new S-Class is mightily impressive.
The W223 S-Class will be produced on Merc’s revised MRA (Modular Rear-wheel drive Architecture) platform and it will be the first model to be built at what Merc believes is the most modern automobile production facility in the world, Factory 56.
The S-Class is powered by a range of hybridised powertrains with 48-volt technology as well as the choice of a plug-in hybrid setup while an all-electric EQS is also in development which will take square aim at Tesla.
The S-Class range starts with the S500 which is powered by a 3.0-litre inline-6 turbopetrol engine with an integrated starter-generator with EQ Boost and outputs of 320 kW and 521 Nm of torque directed to all-four wheels. The EQ Boost allows for additional power and torque bursts of 16 kW and 249 Nm for short periods. The headlining powerplant in the S580 is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that's good for 350 kW and 700 Nm. Both derivatives make use of a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The optional E-Active Body Control utilises 5 multi-core processors, more than 20 sensors and a stereo camera to predictively respond to varying driving situations and the system is able to make damping and spring force adjustments at each wheel by analysing the driving situation 1000 times per second. Rear-axle steering, which will also be offered as an option, is expected to enhance the handling and manoeuvrability of the S-Class.
As you can expect, there will be a host of advanced driver assistance systems on offer. As part of the Driving Assistance Package, features such as Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Parking Assist while a Parking Package with a 360-degree camera will be optional.
Timing for the local introduction of the new S-Class in South Africa has yet to be confirmed.