2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Still the best car with high-tech twists!

"The best automobile in the world is now even better."

"The outgoing S-Class was still competitive against its newer rivals, an update was necessary on the high-tech level."

"A range of new features were launched with the latest E-Class, including semi-autonomous driving, that had to be offered in the top-of-the-line sedan too."

"The facelift is rounded off by mild design upgrades and a revised model lineup."

Launched back in 2013, the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class has brought many modernizations to the automotive industry. It is sportier, yet a more comfortable proposition to the previous-gen S-Class, being praised for its fanciful ride, effortless acceleration, and the enormous amount of luxury and tech. In 2013, it had no rival, but BMW launched a new 7 Series in 2016, while Cadillac joined the full-size segment with the CT6. As a result, Mercedes-Benz updated the S-Class for the 2018 model year.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new S-Class for the first time in the Shanghai Expo Center. The extensively updated Mercedes-Benz flagship fulfils this claim with a raft of new features such as completely redesigned engines, and with innovations like driver assistance systems with substantially expanded functionality. Around 500 guests attended the official world premiere in China, the world’s largest car market and also the most important market for the S-Class.

Three torches of light as an exclusive exterior design feature
Modern luxury in the new S-Class is manifest in maximum quality of materials and workmanship. Status and technological competence are now even more tangible. All models are fitted with a new radiator grille: the versions with six- and eight-cylinder engines sport three twin louvers as well as vertical strips with a high-gloss black finish in the radiator grille. The saloon, with a long wheelbase and V12 engine, is fitted with additional chrome-finish vertical strips in the radiator grille.

The upgraded front with extensive chrome trim underscores the exceptional status of the Mercedes-Maybach. Also new is the Maybach logotype between the louvers of the radiator grille.

In conjunction with the new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps (optional feature, details below), the S-Class features three distinctive torches of light as an exclusive design element. The front bumper with pronounced air intakes and sporty looks is also new.

The new LED lamps with crystal-look taillamps stand out at the rear. They look like jewels and ensure a characteristic design day and night. A taillamp light show that plays when the vehicle is unlocked and locked, as well as three horizontal pairs of fiber optics, are also new.

All models are fitted with a redesigned lower bumper section with integrated visible tailpipe trim. The tailpipes are framed by a chrome trim element, which spans the entire width of the vehicle. Seven new light alloy wheels with diameters between 17- and 20-inches are available as standard or options.

Control and display concept with widescreen cockpit and new generation of steering wheels
The interior of the new S-Class is characterized by the two new high-resolution displays, each with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a widescreen cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasize the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

Like the instrument cluster, this widescreen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver, as well as a central display above the center console. Because the cockpit is fully digital, the driver can choose from three different display styles ("Classic", "Sporty" and "Progressive") and also configure the information and views relevant to them at will.

The new S-Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. They respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone and enable the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.

The infotainment system can also be operated via the touchpad with controller in the center console and by LINGUATRONIC voice control. The operation of DISTRONIC, and cruise control with control elements directly on the steering wheel, is another new feature.

Authentic materials and meticulous detail design
High quality materials define the interior of the S-Class. These include, for example, open-pore woods as well as leather-trimmed doors and upper body edges, dependent on the trim level. Another Mercedes hallmark clearly in evidence is the high quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.

The material and color concept has also been carefully composed, and features a wide range of brown tones, including new color combinations such as magma grey/espresso brown or mahogany brown/silk beige.

Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors
As before, the interior lighting uses only long lasting, energy-saving LED technology. With 64 colors, the optionally extended ambience lighting offers a wealth of individual settings. It adds lighting highlights, for example, on the trim elements, the central display, the stowage facility at the front of the center console, the handle recesses, the door pockets, in the front and rear footwells, on the overhead control panel, and on the tweeters when the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System.

All S-Class models are fitted as standard with the KEYLESS start function. This also marks the introduction of the new attractive generation of keys; with a high-gloss black or high-gloss white design and different ornamental frames.

World-first: Wellness while driving
The ENERGIZING comfort control is a world first entering series production. This optional feature links various comfort systems in the vehicle together. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the wall heating, as well as lighting and musical atmospheres; and enables a specific wellness setup tailored to the mood and needs of the customer. This enhances the physical comfort and performance while driving and during a break. ENERGIZING comfort can be experienced in all seats, dependent on the equipment.

These six programs can be selected: Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training (three trainings - muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance - each with several exercises).

The programs all run for ten minutes. They are visualized on the head unit with color graphics, and backed by suitable music. Five songs are already stored in the program. The key function in the "Vitality" program, for example, is fast music with many beats per minute. The S-Class repertoire therefore features "Feelin' Good" by Leon Riskin, for instance. If personal music selections are available, e.g. via the Media Interface, the system analyzes them in the background and assigns them to a program based on the beats per minute (bpm). Individual functions of the programs can be deactivated.

ENERGIZING Comfort Control also incorporates the ambience lighting, which is harmoniously tailored to each of the individual screen designs. The light stages the interior like a work of art by composing color worlds from different colors.

The color worlds can be temporarily replaced with special effects - for example, a special lighting atmosphere welcomes the driver. In addition, the climate control system indicates whether the temperature is adjusted up or down through the color of the ambience lighting. The brightness of the LEDs adapts equally variably and can be set in five levels and four zones: widescreen cockpit, area of front seats, rear compartment, and all. As a result, the ambience lighting harnesses the positive effects of light on the well being while on the road. This makes this equipment feature a key part of ENERGIZING Comfort Control with its tailor-made programs.

In addition, the ambience lighting creates emotionally appealing contrasts and structures the interior into levels. 64 colors, ten color worlds and three different lighting zones (footwells, trim element level and widescreen cockpit) enable an avant-garde lighting scene with spectacular color changes.

Powertrain: New engines with landmark technology
Mercedes-Benz S 560 4MATIC (fuel consumption combined: 8.5 L/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 195 g/km) and Mercedes-Maybach S 560 4MATIC (fuel consumption combined: 9.3 L/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 209 g/km): the new V8 comes to the starting line with 469 horsepower and 700 Nm. The new biturbo engine is among the most economical V8 petrol engines in the world, and consumes about ten percent less fuel than the predecessor. To lower the fuel consumption, four cylinders of the new V8 are deactivated simultaneously under partial load with the help of the CAMTRONIC valve-lift adjustment system. This reduces gas-cycle losses and enhances the overall efficiency of the four firing cylinders by shifting the operating point towards higher loads. The turbochargers positioned in the V of the cylinder banks represent another special feature.

Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ (fuel consumption combined: 8.9 L/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 203 g/km): for superior performance with significantly reduced fuel consumption, the AMG 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation replaces the previous 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo. Despite less displacement, the new engine produces 612 horsepower.

Intelligent Drive: The next step in driving assistance systems
The new S-Class takes another major step towards autonomous driving, elevating Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. This is complemented by a considerably improved Active Lane Change Assist and additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S-Class has an even better view of the surrounding traffic. In addition, for the first time it makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior.

This means that DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist is able to assist the driver in many situations based on the route, and conveniently adjust the vehicle speed.

The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one glance which assistance functions he selected and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide him with information on the screen as well in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel. The new Driving Assistance package includes, but is not limited to, the following functions:

-DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist uses substantially more map and navigation data, can support the driver based on the route, and conveniently adjusts the vehicle speed.
-Active Steer Assist has been noticeably improved across its entire performance range, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits.
-Active Lane Change Assist was considerably upgraded. Now tapping the indicator stalk is all it takes to initiate a lane change. This lane change is executed within ten seconds and indicated in the instrument cluster with the appropriate visual display, if the vehicle sensor system does not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone the driver might have missed.
-Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a stop when Active Steer Assist is engaged and the system recognizes that the driver is not intervening in the driving process on a sustained basis.
-Following vehicles in a tailback: in stop and go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 30 seconds are now possible, during which time the S-Class starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic ahead (in conjunction with Active Parking Assist).
-Traffic Sign Assist: Posted speed limits and any potential no-overtaking signs are displayed for the current section of the route through image recognition and information from the digital road map of the navigation system. The vehicle speed is compared with the speed limit. When the driver selects the appropriate settings, a visual/visual-audible warning signal is issued any time the speed limit is exceeded. No-entry restrictions are also recognized. Furthermore, the system warns of detected persons in the area of pedestrian crossings.

Depending on the respective applicable national road traffic regulations, Remote Parking Assist enables the driver to maneuver the vehicle into tight parking spaces or garages by smartphone, so as to facilitate getting in and out. The vehicle can be manoeuvred into parallel and end-on parking spaces in both forward and reverse direction. Maneuvering out of end-on parking spaces is also possible, e.g. if the driver returns to their vehicle to find that it has been blocked in. In Explore mode, the vehicle can be maneuvered forward and back for up to 15 meters and can avoid detected obstacles with small steering corrections in the process.

Ride quality: MAGIC BODY CONTROL improved and now with CURVE function
The S-Class made a technological statement of superiority in 2013 with ROAD SURFACE SCAN. The system detects bumps ahead of the vehicle and adjusts the ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension accordingly. In the new S-Class this suspension control is further improved: the stereo camera of the system now scans the road even more thoroughly, even in dusk and at speeds up to 180 km/h. Another comfort enhancement is the CURVE curve-tilting function, available in the S-Class Saloon for the first time. The body tilts to the inside of the turn by up to 2.65 degrees and thereby reduces the centrifugal forces perceived by the passengers.

Long-distance vision: MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE main beams
In 2013, the S-Class became the first automobile to use exclusively LEDs as light sources. The Intelligent Light System is now optionally available with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and ULTRA RANGE main beams. The ULTRA RANGE main beams produce the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beams remaining above the reference value of one lux over a distance of more than 650 meters. For the driver, this means a clear improvement of the already very good lighting performance of current MULTIBEAM LED systems. Adaptive High-Beam Assist Plus is part of the Intelligent Light System. It allows drivers to drive with activated main beams permanently without dazzling other road users. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles in front, the LEDs of the MULTIBEAM LED main-beam modules are partially switched off, masking out a U-shaped area of the light beam. The other areas of the road continue to be illuminated with the high beam (partial high beam).

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