Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift
The mac daddy of the large, luxury sedan segment has always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with its pioneering ways and exceptional comfort. Seatbelt pretensioners, airbags, ABS, EBD, voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, night vision cameras etc, were all seen on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class before almost any other vehicle and so it came as no surprise to us, then, when the current W222 generation S-Class blew its competition out of the water with innovations such as Active Body Control, which scans the undulations of the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly, a 50% aluminium construction and seatbelt airbags for the rear seats.
As with any vehicle, however, there is always room for improvement and as the world advances, so does vehicle technology. While changes to the W222 generations S-Class might not seem too drastic, there are certainly enough changes for us to stand up and take notice, so here are a few of the highlights!
An all-new engine range
Consisting of six and eight-cylinder motors, the new engines have been developed to allow for electrification of the powertrain. Six-cylinder diesel and petrol motors benefit from an in-line arrangement, much like you’ll find in a BMW, with impressive outputs across the board. The S450 produces 270 kW/500 N.m from electrified and turbocharged straight six petrol motor and the S400d will have an impressive 250 kW/700 N.m from its straight-six diesel motor – the most powerful diesel car motor in Mercedes-Benz’s history. The S560 has outputs of 345 kW/700 N.m from its all-new BiTurbo V8 petrol motor, and also makes use of cylinder deactivation to reduce consumption and emissions. A plug-in hybrid with a range of 50 km is on the cards, along with technology which we first saw from Audi in the form of a 48 volt electrical system.
Somewhat of a buzz-word at the moment, autonomous driving is the bowl of pudding that every brand would like a spoonful of. Some are doing it better than others, but we can all rest assured that Mercedes-Benz are undoubtedly one of the brands, along with Volvo, who are at the forefront of this. Top-of-the-range S-Classes will benefit from ‘Intelligent Drive’ which works hand-in-hand with Distronic and Steering Assist to provide further assistance to the driver in maintaining a safe following distance and remaining within their lane. The system also adjusts vehicle speed ahead of intersections, traffic circles and bends.
An update of Mercedes-Benz’s already brilliant adaptive headlight system, this allows for over 1 Lux of light to be transmitted over the road when conditions permit, providing a clear line of sight in low-light conditions for up to 650 metres. Surface Scan also works in conjunction with headlights, recognising road bumps and curve inclination.
Energizing Comfort Control
Perhaps a gimmick, this allows for the smell, climate control, seat massage and ambient lighting functions to be adjusted to suit your mood. I’d be intrigued to find out what angry smells like but alas, it isn’t one of the modes offered…
Three torches of light
In top-spec models, in conjunction with the Multibeam LED headlight system, three torches of light make up an interesting design element within the headlight cluster. These are what we usually refer to as Daytime Running Lights or “DRL’s”.
Amongst all of these features, one can also expect visual changes such as enhanced bumpers and headlight clusters, a new steering wheel, different trim, wheel and paint options and different pricing. The updated S-Class goes on sale in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2017.