New tech brings refreshed flagship closer to autonomy
The refreshed 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan has been shown ahead of the 2017 Shanghai auto show this week. As always, Mercedes’ flagship sedan comes in several flavors from the base model all the way to the top-spec AMG variants.
The biggest news for the German automaker’s flagship sedan is the brand’s latest Intelligent Drive suite of active safety and driver assistance tech. The automaker says the new features bring the S-Class closer to autonomous driving.
New tech includes Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, and Route-Based Speed Adaptation where the car anticipates speed reduction based on map data such as bends, junctions, roundabouts, toll booths, and exit ramps.
Other features include Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Car-to-X communication, and Pre-Safe Plus. The new S-Class also gets trick safety features that first debuted on the E-Class like Pre-Safe Impulse Side, which can inflate the seat bolsters when an imminent side impact is detected to move the occupant up to 2.75 inches away from the crash zone; and Pre-Safe Sound, which omits an interference signal that can help prevent hearing loss in the event of a crash.
Up front, the S-Class Sedan gains a new front fascia and revised headlights. The pre-refresh V-12 model’s front grille is now standard across the lineup. Around back, there is a new rear bumper and new taillights. There are also two new 20-inch wheel choices.
Three new upholstery choices have been added including Silk Beige/Deep-Sea Blue, Magma Grey/Espresso Brown, and Mahogany/Silk Beige. Other interior updates include a new three-spoke steering wheel and new generation of the automaker’s COMAND multimedia system.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S450 and S450 4Matic are powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine making 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 and S560 4Matic are powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making 463 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both engines are backed by a new nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Rear-drive is standard, while 4Matic models feature the automaker’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The S560 nomenclature replaces the previous S550 name.
Standard features on S450 and S560 models include the brand’s new Energizing Comfort feature, which links various vehicle comfort systems together including climate control/fragrance system, seats (heat, ventilation, massage), console heating, LED backlighting, and musical ambiance for the driver as well as for all occupants depending on specification. Other features include 64-color ambient lighting, Lane Tracking Package, LED intelligent Light System with new Ultra Wide Beam feature, smartphone integration including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. S560 models feature Nappa Leather and 19-inch wheels. S-Class options include the latest generation of Driver Assistance System and Magic Body Control with Curve tilting function (rear-drive models only).
In addition to a 7.9-inch longer wheelbase, the Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic adds Maybach grille lettering, 20-inch wheels, rear executive seats with a 43-degree angle and power calf rest for both outboard seats, rear interior ambient lighting, extended leather package including leather-covered door sills and seat consoles, wood and leather steering wheel, Airmatic semi-active air suspension, and Magic Body Control.
The rear-drive S650 Maybach Sedan is powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 making 523 hp and 612 lb-ft mated to a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus transmission.
Optional Maybach features include a pair of rear folding tables, choice of designo Silk Beige/Titanium Grey Pearl semi-aniline leather or designo Silk Beige/Satin Red Pearl semi-aniline leather, rear refrigerator box, panorama roof with Magic Sky Control, Splitview front-seat entertainment system, and silver handcrafted champagne flutes by Robbe and Berking.
S-Class AMG models come in two flavors: the Mercedes-AMG S63 powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making 603 hp and 664 lb-ft or the Mercedes-AMG S65 powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 making 621 hp and 738 lb-ft. The AMG S63 features the AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ permanent all-wheel-drive system with fully-variable torque split, while the AMG S65 uses the AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.
Standard features on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 include LED Intelligent Light System, AMG Dynamic Select, Race Start, AMG Performance Exhaust system, Airmatic AMG Sport Suspension, 20-inch wheels, 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear brake rotors clamped by six-piston front and single-piston rear calipers, AMG Multicontour Adaptive Sport Seats, three-spoke AMG Performance Steering Wheel, and AMG Track Pace app.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 adds Magic Body Control and curve-tilting function to the AMG Sport Suspension, and exclusive 20-inch wheels. Optional AMG features include a choice of forged 20-inch wheels, AMG Performance Studio options (AMG Night package, Carbon Fiber package, and more), and AMG Ceramic Composite Braking system.
Pricing for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan will be revealed closer to its on-sale date in the North America in late 2017.