Never satisfied with half measures, Mercedes-Benz introduced its next-generation S-Class to the world's press and other dignitaries at the Airbus A380 delivery centre in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, where it was unloaded from an A300-600 freighter aircraft.
"Rather than being about safety or aesthetics, power or efficiency, comfort or dynamism, our aspirations were 'the best or nothing' in every respect," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"No other car stands for the Mercedes-Benz brand promise more than the S-Class," said Zetsche.
First Class interior
Its "First Class Rear" incorporates a business-centre console combining personal comfort with practical convenience that includes integration of a telephone handset, additional stowage compartments, a folding table and more.
There is generous use of wood trim, inside, particularly on the instrument and centre console.
Mercedes claims significant advances in the S-Class's seats, air conditioning, controls, infotainment and comfort and safety in the rear seat area. It incorporates what the company calls "Intelligent Drive," which encompasses a host of new and existing systems makes the new S-Class safer and more comfortable.
Occupants benefit from the moderate increase in vehicle size – the short-wheelbase model has a 3035-mm wheelbase while that of the long-wheelbase model is 3165 mm. As a result there's 14-mm more kneeroom in the rear. Up front, there's more headroom and shoulder room as well.
With a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.24, the new S-Class is one of the most aerodynamically-efficient cars in the world, which contributes to an impressively-low fuel-consumption capability.
Stylistically, the S-Class's design is said to draws a line from the brand's sophisticated, progressive design idiom to the classic elegance of its 1930s cars. Its grille is now larger, upright and more three-dimensional in design.
It maintains the classic long-hood look and classic sedan proportions, with a roof-line that gives a nod to its sporty coupé-style intentions.
Innovative chassis and powertrains
In its first year, Mercedes says, the new S-Class line-up will include two hybrid versions, one gasoline-engine model and a diesel variant: the S 400 Hybrid, S 500, S 350 BlueTec and S 300 BlueTec Hybrid respectively. Which models will come to Canada remains to be revealed.
All models are said to boast class-leading efficiency and up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the models they replace, in European specification.
Key technical innovation is what Mercedes calls the world's first suspension with "eyes," which is available on V-8 models. If its stereo camera-based Road Surface Scan system detects unevenness n the road surface, its Magic Body Control system instantaneously adjusts the suspension to deal with the new situation.
Standard equipment on all models includes an Adaptive Damping System and an enhanced version of Mercedes' full air-suspension system.