The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class: full specs revealed

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Author: | Updated: 18 Apr 2017 03:30

Mercedes-Benz has revealed photos and specs of its updated 2018 S-Class, ahead of the flagship model hitting showrooms in the summer.

Externally, it would appear the new car benefits from only a few minor tweaks, but underneath it’s brimming with tech that takes Mercedes one step closer to a self-driving car.

Updated S-Class may look like its predecessor, but it's brimming with new tech underneath.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

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The front and rear bumpers have been updated, while the whole range now gets a grille that was limited to the top-of-the-range models in the current line-up. Fresher LED headlights and a new daytime running light pattern finishes off the look.

It’s much the same story on the inside, where the interior looks much the same as the outgoing model. However, updated materials are used throughout, while two 12.3in screens dominate the fascia. It also gets a fresh steering wheel, while new infotainment ‘swipe-touch’ controls are on offer too.

The interior makes use of new materials and two large 12.3in LCD screens.

Changes to the engine line-up however, are more far-reaching. The official UK line-up is yet to be confirmed, but the new S-Class will be available with an all-new straight-six diesel engine that gets a range of power outputs.

Straight-six petrol engines are also on the cards, as well as 48V light-hybrid tech that’ll make the petrol models’ economy more comparable to their diesel counterparts. A V8 twin-turbo petrol will also be available for those plumping for the fiery S63 AMG model, which produces 612bhp.

But the new S-Class’ party-piece is the plethora of active and passive safety tech that’s on offer for the first time. In this regard, it’ll be way ahead of some key rivals.

As is often said in the auto industry, if you want to know what the average car of tomorrow’s equipment list will look like, it’s worth looking at the S-Class of today.

S-Class steering wheel active cruise control

With a host of cameras, computer systems and sensors, the 2018 S-Class will be one of the safest cars on the road and maintain its enviable reputation as king of the luxury saloons.  To give you an idea of just what this car will offer, here’s a rundown of some of its systems:

  • Active Lane Change Assist – at speeds over 50mph, the S-Class will change lanes for the driver on multi-lane carriageways. All the driver (or chaffeur, in the S-Class’ case) will have to do is operate the indicator and the car will automatically guide itself around slower vehicles;
  • Active Brake Assist – this system warns drivers of imminent collision. If the driver doesn’t react in time, it’ll operate its autonomous emergency braking system;
  • Active ‘Distronic’ Distance Assist – this keeps the car at the correct distance from the car in front, no matter what the type of road;
  • Active Park Assist – nothing particularly new here you may be thinking, but the S-Class doesn’t just park itself when you’re behind the wheel. It can also be parked remotely via Mercedes’ own smartphone app if, for whatever reason, you feel the need to vacate the car before you’ve even finished your journey;
  • Evasive Steering Assist – Working with the Brake Assist system, if a pedestrian or other obstruction is detected in front of the car, it will help by applying extra torque in whichever direction the driver is steering.

And that’s not even half the tech that’ll be on offer when the new S-Class is launched next year. Mercedes states that “the scope of automated driving functions has been expanded in line with practical needs and now provides further enhanced, tangible customer benefits on virtually all types of road.”

Rear of the interior

"The new S-Class raises Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level," says Dr Michael Hafner, head of automated driving and active safety at Mercedes-Benz. "We are approaching the goal of automated driving more purposefully and faster than many people suspect. From the autumn, the new S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems which have been available to date."

UK prices are to be confirmed, although first deliveries will commence in the autumn.

Full prices for UK models have yet to be confirmed, but we know the first deliveries will begin in October. If you can’t wait until then, you can check out lease deals on the current S Class here. Alternatively, check out our video review of the latest E-Class; a car with similar levels of opulence for less.

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