Colin-on-Cars – Taking luxury a step up in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class

It is not fully automated driving, but it may as well be since there is so much technology included in the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship aimed at creating a comfortable and relaxing experience for the driver.

The new S-Class can be experienced with all the senses – seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling – while offering numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, protection and interaction.

The second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) débuts in the new S-Class. Another milestone as the interface between the driver, passengers and vehicle: there are up to five screens on board, some with OLED technology. At the touch of a button, the new 3D driver display for the first time allows spatial perception of the scene with a real 3D effect thanks to eye-tracking. A similarly impressive feature is the very large head-up display with augmented reality content. When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows (‘fishbones’) are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.

Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions.

For example, if the driver looks over his/her shoulder towards the rear window, Interior Assist automatically opens the sunblind.

The active ambient lighting (optional extra) supplements ambient lighting (standard equipment) with an additional layer of light. With around 250 LEDs it is integrated into the driving assistance systems, and is able to reinforce their warnings visually. In addition, feedback is possible when operating the climate control system or the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant, for instance.

The latest generation of the Driving Assistance Package has new and numerous improved functions. One example is the intelligent compliance with speed limits. The new assistance display in the driver display clearly shows the operating principle of the driving assistance systems as a full-screen view.

During severe frontal collisions, the rear crash bag can considerably reduce the loads acting on the head and neck area of the seat-belt-wearing occupants in the outer rear seats. The frontal crash bag for the rear seat deploys particularly gently thanks to its innovative construction using a tubular structure.

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse, 2020, Outdoor, Standaufnahme, Exterieur: Diamantweiß // Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2020, outdoor, still shot, exterior: diamond white

Thanks to rear-axle steering, the S-Class is as manoeuvrable as a compact car in the city. The steering angle at the rear axle is up to 10 degrees. The turning circle is reduced by up to two metres.

More than 50 electronic components in the new S-Class can be updated with new software over-the-air (OTA). These include the entire MBUX infotainment system, the driver display, the driving assistance systems and the Multibeam LED and Digital Light lighting systems. This technology saves the customer time, as he/she does not need to visit a workshop for this purpose. Furthermore, the vehicle remains up to date throughout its lifecycle and is equipped for new features. The explicit consent of the user is always a precondition for OTA updates.

When a side impact with another vehicle threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension within a few tenths of a second. This is a new function of PRE-SAFE Impulse Side: It can reduce the loads acting on the occupants because it directs the impact forces towards particularly resistant structures in the lower area of the vehicle.

It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode with the new DRIVE PILOT (optional extra), in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks, on suitable motorway sections in Germany. By taking pressure off the driver, this allows them to undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with emails in the In-Car Office, and so win extra time.

The revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT (optional extra) allows completely new functions, such as the projection of marking aids or warning symbols onto the road ahead. In each headlamp, DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is therefore more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle.

The boot capacity has increased by 20 litres to up to 550 litres compared to the previous model.

With a CD figure from 0,22, the S-Class is one of the world’s most aerodynamic cars. Its drag coefficient is therefore lower than before, despite a larger frontal area 200 cm2.

Compared to the preceding model, elbow-room for the driver has increased by 38 millimetres and by up to 23 millimetres for rear passengers. Headroom in the rear has increased by up to 16 millimetres.

“The S-Class is the world’s best-selling luxury saloon. With the latest generation we want to offer our customers innovation, safety, comfort and quality as never before,” says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

“The new S-Class underpins our claim to produce the best automobile in the world”, states Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. “This is where covetable luxury meets the greatest possible safety and highest level of comfort.”

The designation ‘S-Class’ was officially introduced with the 116 series in 1972. In the last 10 years the S-Class Saloon has been particularly popular in China, the USA, South Korea and Germany. All in all, since the launch of the generation that is now in its runout phase, more than 500 000 S-Class Saloons have been sold.

The model range at the launch of the S-Class

  S 450 4MATICS 500 4MATICS 350 dS 350 d 4MATICS 400 d 4MATIC
Add. output with EQ BoostkW/hp16/2216/22
Peak torqueNm500520600600700
Add. torque with EQ BoostNm250250
Combined fuel consumption[1] NEDCl/100 km8.4-7.8 (8.3-7.8)8.4-7.8 (8.4-7.8)6.7-6.2 (6.7-6.2)6,9-6,4 (6,8-6,3)7.0-6.5 6.9-6.4)
Combined CO2 emissions1 NEDCg/km191-178 (191-178)192-179 (192-178)176-163 (176-163)183-168 (180-166)186-171 (183-169)
Acceleration 0-100 km/hs5.
Top speedkm/h250250250250250

NOTE: This is the international range and not all models or specifications may be available when it is launched locally. There is also no launch date confirmation.

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