This is it. Mercedes-Benz’s crème de la crème model has now entered an all new generation! Completely new from the ground up, the new S-Class (codename W222) will once again lead the automotive industry with many industry first safety technologies as well as raising the bar in terms of in-car comfort.
As for its all new exterior, I do find its design a winner for me. Despite borrowing some design cues from its lesser siblings especially at the front, the designers somehow managed to make it look very imposing and recognizably S-Class. Plus, my opinions are solely based on these official photos, so imagine how much better looking it will be in the metal…
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Enough on the design, as these official photos will speak more words than I could type here. New and innovative technologies have always been the S-Class’ forte, and this new model is no exception. Let’s start with the new MAGIC BODY CONTROL. This impressive new technology means that the new S-Class is the first vehicle in the world “capable of identifying bumps in the road in advance and adjusting the suspension to the situation”.
MAGIC BODY CONTROL uses ROAD SURFACE SCAN to scan and measure the road surface ahead and ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, in tandem with the improved AIRMATIC suspension will compensate its body movements. The technology behind this system must be just as complicated and incomprehensible to us as to why Mercedes decided to name their gadgets and systems all in capital letters.
The aforementioned technology is supposed to offer ride comfort “on a level never experienced before” but sadly MAGIC BODY CONTROL is an option and only available for higher-end S-Class models. Fret not though, as I strongly believe that the standard AIRMATIC air suspension should be just as impressive in soaking up the bumps.
Another industry first is that the new S-Class is the very first car to come as standard with no light bulbs. That might sound like Mercedes is cutting cost but no, it simply means that all the light source (both inside and out) in the new S-Class will all be powered with LEDs and LEDs only (even for the base model). If you bother counting, you might find close to 500 LEDs all around and inside the new S-Class.
To be more specific, its pair of headlights consists of 112 LEDs (56 each), both rear tail lights are made up of 70 LEDs (35 each), 4 more LEDs for the rear fog lights, and around 300 LEDs can be found inside the cabin. The AIR BALANCE is also another new feature, it is actually a built-in air freshener with “active perfume atomisation” and you can choose from 4 different ambient fragrances. Thankfully, this system can be manually turned off as I personally believe nothing beats the smell of a new car and posh leather.
As you seat in the driver’s seat, you will be greeted with not one, but two huge 12.3 inch high-resolution TFT colour displays which diaplay everything from your speed to the navigation system. Spend more cash and you can even equip your S-Class to make it your personal Wi-Fi hotspot. Or you can spend even more on the optional Burmester High End 3D Surround Sound system, offering 3 dimensional sound for the very first time in a car.
The all-new interior has so many new functions and comfort settings that it can have its own full-length article twice and I will still not able to cover them all. So here are the highlights. Get the standard wheelbase model and you get to choose between a static rear bench seat (capable of seating 3) or a pair of individual seat (strictly 2 seater) with up to 37 degree inclination adjustment.
Dig deeper into your pockets for the long wheelbase model and you will get 5 different configurations for the rear seats. Out of the 5 choices, the top-of-the-line version is the Executive configuration. This allows for a industry-leading 43.5 degrees of inclination which sorta makes it a mobile bedroom for two. If you want to feel like you are flying first class, you can opt for the aptly named “First Class Rear” which gives you a center armrest with integrated folding tables and cup holders that can keep drinks cool or warm.
If that is not comfortable enough for you, all four seats in the S-Class can also be specified with massage function. Consisting of 14 separately actuated air cushions, you get to choose from 6 different massage settings with two of them being a hot stone massage. That was not a typo, the seat can indeed provide you with hot stone massage with integrated warming. Not even Rolls-Royce or Bentley flagship models offer this.
Only a few engine choices were offered during launch, but rest assured more will be coming in the near future. The new S-Class will start off with the base S300 BlueTEC HYBRID producing only 204 hp from its 2.1 liter diesel engine paired with an electric motor producing a further 27hp (231 hp total), but it is the most fuel efficient and emits only 115 grams of CO² per km, which is less than your average full-sized sedan.
This is followed by the S350 BlueTEC which is powered by a 3.0 liter diesel engine producing 258 hp. The S400 HYBRID is powered by a combination of a 3.5 liter V6, 306 hp petrol engine paired with a electric motor producing a further 27 hp (333 hp total). The top-of-the-line S500 is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 petrol engine producing 455 hp. Needless to say, the most powerful S500 is also the most thirstiest of them all.
So this is pretty much all you need to know about the new S-Class. It may not and perhaps never beat the prestige and grandeur image the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley brings, but the S-Class will cost about half the price and will be just as if not more comfortable than the top players in the limousine game. Do watch the longer video below if you want to see some of the cool gadgets in action!