It’s no secret that for German premium carmaker Mercedes-Benz, the S-Class sedans have had a very special place. The model series has represented the company’s largest and most-prestigious segment throughout its history and can trace its heritage to early 50s. The Mercedes S-Class classification was officially introduced in 1972 with the W116 which succeeded previous Mercedes-Benz models. The S-Class has served as the flagship model for Mercedes for over fifty years in its various incarnations and as a tech-savvy model debuted many of the company’s innovations, including drivetrain technologies, interior features and safety systems such as the first seatbelt pre-tensioners. With the 2014 new arrival (codename V222), the Mercedes S-Class represents the fifth iteration since the launch of the W126 in 1979.
One of the most gorgeous looking cars is the S Coupe for sure. It won’t fail to appeal to you, doesn’t matter if you are a teenager or 50-year old. The S-Class still retains the logo above the grille as it has the “Travel with Star” connect, but the S Coupe doesn’t get anything like this. It has an Avantgarde front grille with a thick horizontal chrome slat and a large central star. Then there is also the AMG badging neatly placed in the front grille. The air dams underneath the grille have chrome surround and the facia looks aggressive. Each and every element melds in perfectly to give it a stance. The headlamp styling is similar to all other new-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The side profile of the S63 AMG shows a mix of sports car character with its long hood and coupe stance with a fastback. Then there are the 10-spoke alloy wheels, which we think could have looked cooler with some other design. The red colour disc brakes are visible and one of the highlights. The rear of this coupe looks voguish and it has a thin strip of chrome running across. The rear bumper has a prominent haunch and the four large exhausts indicate that this is a lot beast that will vanish from your sight within a blink.
Sumptuous, as ever. Though the C-class and new E-class seem to have similarly designed and appointed cabins, step into the S-class and you’ll be reminded of why it’s the daddy of the range. Sure, it remains to be seen what the final trim choice is for India, but in all the cars we sampled on this drive, the quality of the wood, leather, metal and even plastic were just on another level. The dashboard design is the same as before, save for a new steering wheel with a lot more buttons, which like the car’s fascia, just doesn’t look quite as elegant as the previous one, and feels a bit too sporty for an S-class.
Among the new controls on the wheel are Mercedes’ twin mini-touchpads for the Comand infotainment system which has been updated to the new version we first saw in the E-class. That update extends to the digital instrument cluster (which, unfortunately, we did not see in the Indian version of the new E-class), and it now features three different gauge styles, sharper graphics and more information. You now get even more colours and configurations for the ambient interior lighting, push-button start is standard and there are wireless charging bays for your phone at the front and the rear. There’s also something called ‘Energising Comfort’, which unites the forces of the climate control, heated, cooled and massaging seats, perfume ioniser and even a special selection of soothing music, to work in tandem and provide a new kind of comfort zone! The S-class is now also rated as a Level 2 autonomous car, but more on that later.
The back seat has hardly changed, but then it never really had to, did it? We sampled both a ‘bench’ seat option and one that was split down the centre with a big central console, and both were incredible. Both featured two seats that offered a vast amount of adjustment and recline, and in addition to the remote that operates the rear entertainment screens, you also get a ‘handset’ that you can use while your paired mobile phone is docked in the wireless charging bay. The seats themselves offer incredibly generous cushioning and superb support, while the pillow over the headrests remains the icing on the cake. And in addition to the seats, the armrests on the sides and in the centre can be heated and cooled too.
The 2017 Mercedes S550 is powered by a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 that produces 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on every S550. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the S550 sedan and Cabriolet, while 4Matic all-wheel drive is standard on the coupe and optional on the sedan. In Edmunds testing, this base engine rocketed a S550 sedan from zero to 60 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds, while a coupe did it in 4.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) for the S550 sedan, while opting for 4Matic or another body style results in a drop of 1 mpg in combined drivingThe S600 has a turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 that pumps out 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. It has a seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Mercedes estimates that it’ll hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg combined (13 city/22 highway).
The AMG S 63 has a turbo 5.5-liter V8 good for 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Every version of it has a special AMG seven-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive standard. Mercedes estimates that the various AMG S 63 body styles should hit 60 mph in just under 4 seconds. EPA estimates for the sedan and coupe are 18 mpg combined (15 city/23 highway) and 17 mpg combined (14 city/22 highway) for the convertible.The AMG S 65 has Mercedes’ classic turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 good for 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It also has AMG’s seven-speed automatic, but because it is rear-wheel-drive only, its limited traction results in a slightly slower 0-60 time than the AMG S 63. Don’t let that fool you; it will never feel slower. Its EPA fuel economy is 16 mpg combined (13 city/22 highway).On the other end of the spectrum is the S550e plug-in hybrid that uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, an electric motor, a seven-speed automatic and lithium-ion battery pack to produce a total of 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. When its estimated all-electric range of 12 miles is depleted, it returns an estimated 26 mpg combined.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The car has no shortage of techno spills that improve the overall ride quality. An adaptive braking system ensures that the cornering and braking is shaped to its finest. This is further enhanced with many other aids such as brake assist, anti lock braking system, and electric stability program. An electromechanical power assisted steering system helps to keep the response as sharp as possible. We were happy with the rigid chassis arrangement, which easily handled all strains thrown by the road. However, rougher sections can send shudders through the cabin.
A broad airbag system shields the occupants, including dual front airbags, window bags, side airbags and window bags. Along with this, the company has incorporated a slew of other safety programs, such as an electric parking brake, night view assist plus, ESP curve dynamic assist, brake wear warning display, active parking assist, adaptive braking lights and many more. Three point seat belts with belt tensioners keep the occupants secure, while an acceleration skid control, active blind spot assist, crosswind assist head restraints further augment the drive security.
A massive improvement over its predecessor, the current S-Class is arguably one of the best full-size luxury rigs on the market. It has an unparalleled blend of luxury and technology, incredible ride comfort, and an endless list of safety and entertainment features, which makes it pretty difficult to improve. Fortunately, Merc launched plenty of new tech with the new E-Class, and all of it went into this facelift. In addition to the new tech, the mild visual updates should keep S-Class fresh for three or four years.