In this fast-paced world of new gadgets, products and apps launching every other day, seven years seems like a long time for a whole new model. But that might not be the case when you’re Mercedes-Benz and the model in question is the S-Class, the benchmark in technology and luxury for Mercedes-Benz and, as it believes, for the entire automotive industry. A quick glimpse into the S-Class’s heritage should convince you that the company is not wrong. The S-Class, over the years, has indeed set benchmarks and improved cars at every level. The new S-Class, in line with these expectations, is grander, richer, safer and futuristic.
It doesn’t look drastically different from the outgoing model, on the outside. The bigger grille and smaller high-tech headlights up front, retractable door handles that flush flush with the doors, fewer creases in the profile and two-section taillights are the main changes, and they all come together. to reinforce the family look that we have seen on other Mercedes models like the E-Class and the CLS. The result is a clean, understated look that is instantly recognizable as a Mercedes. It is 208.3 inches long (up from 206.9 inches), 59.2 inches high (up from 58.8 inches), and has a wheelbase of 126.6 inches (up from 124.6 inches). More space for everyone inside and a cleaner, more contemporary look on the outside.
The interior is where you realize how much the S-Class has changed – and it’s hard not to be impressed. The S-Class welcomes its passengers with clean lines and a minimalist look. It’s not just the materials and finish, like previous generations, but the technology that makes the interior luxurious and futuristic. It is available with up to five screens, including a giant center touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Gone are the days of two screens under a single pane that took up two-thirds of the dashboard. Instead, the center display is set lower, it is an OLED display with richer colors, better contrast and lower power consumption of this technology. Twenty-seven physical buttons were sacrificed in the making of this interior, and while I took a moment to mourn them, I didn’t really miss them. The center display runs on the latest version of the MBUX software, which includes enhanced voice control functions and a user interface very much in line with what we see on our phones and tablets, including facial recognition and fingerprint scanning .
Luxury on most cars is a staple in the S-Class, but it has been taken to the next level. Navigation is standard, but the driver can choose 3D mode; the Burmester surround system pumps 1750 watts from 30 speakers and 8 exciters; the seats are not only electric and comfortable, but offer 10 different types of massage; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless are standard, but you can plug in a Firestick in the back for the rear screens; voice commands are supported in 27 different languages, and MBUX can learn the voices of individual drivers and passengers, while driver preferences can be accessed via voice commands, fingerprint recognition or facial recognition. If you’re old school, you can do all of this with a PIN as well – you understand the drift, right? Almost everything and everything that can make your driving comfortable is there, but only more luxurious and intuitive.
Like everything else on the new S-Class, safety is also getting a mega update, starting with the industry’s first rear airbags – mounted in the backs of the front seats – which inflate tubular fenders. designed to protect anyone from adults to occupants of children. seats. Up front, a standard “pre-secured pulse” inflates the outboard front seat cushions to quickly move passengers to the center of the vehicle, away from an impacted door and side window. A set of new, fast processors enables more sophisticated driver assistance systems: adaptive cruise control, active lane control and lane change assist, active brake assist, blind spot monitoring and much more. International markets will even get Level 3 autonomous driving, but in India you have to settle for, and be slightly irritated, beeps and alerts for the good of safe driving.
Looking at the cabin and the history of chauffeured S-Classes in India, one might think that the driver’s seat will be the least preferred. This is not the case, let me tell you, since I spent most of my limited time with the car in the driver’s seat. The new S-Class was launched in India with two engine options, a petrol and a diesel with a misleading nomenclature, so to speak. The S450 I drove is not a 4.5 liter V8, but a 3.0 liter inline six that develops 367 hp and 50 kgm and is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. There are drive modes to choose from and even ‘sport’ or ‘individual’, as long as you don’t expect the S-Class to be a performance sedan, you won’t be disappointed. The mechanics are always ready for a sprint or a quick stop, but nothing reaches you in the cocoon of luxury. The chunky, leather-wrapped steering builds confidence and is finely weighted. Body control is impressive for a big sedan over 5 meters, and the ride is still creamy. The rear wheel steering makes the car more maneuverable, hiding its size in tighter parking spaces.
While the debate over the “best car in the world” may continue to nausea, no one can deny what Mercedes-Benz has achieved with the latest generation of the S-Class. all at the level you would expect from a flagship car. Much of what we see on the new S-Class will be filtered through other, and hopefully more affordable, Mercs like in the past. This generation of the S-Class is the most realistic glimpse into the future when it comes to driver assistance systems or AI capabilities or comfort level. It is, in a way, living the future today. I will love it even more once the AMGs arrive.
Shift: 2999cc, inline six, turbo-gasoline
Maximum energy: 367 hp @ 6,100 rpm
Max torque: 50 kgm @ 1600-4000 rpm
A / A: 225/45 R19 / 225/45 R19
L / l / h (mm): 5289/1954/1503
Wheelbase: 3216 mm
Ground clearance : 183 mm
Unloaded weight: 1915 kg
Fuel Capacity: 76 liters
THE PRICE: Rs 2.17 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi)