Best look yet at Mercedes' updated flagship.
[UPDATE] Mercedes has released a short teaser video shot at the New York Auto Show. Check it out at the end of the article.
Rather than hosting the 2018 S-Class’ world premiere at the New York Auto Show, Mercedes will unveil its updated range topper in full next week in China during the Auto Shanghai event. To ease the wait, the Germans have dropped a couple of fresh teaser images providing a better look at the car’s lightly updated front end and the discreetly modified interior cabin.
It’s a bit tricky to identify all of the changes brought by the mid-cycle refresh, but at least we can notice the headlights have a new LED signature with three lines shaped somewhat like a boomerang. Judging by the design of the prominent grille, we are likely looking at the upper-spec Maybach-branded version of the luxury saloon.
Moving inside the cabin, there are two significant changes. First, the steering wheel is completely new and it likely has the “Maybach” lettering on the central spoke, but we just can’t see it from this angle. In previous teaser images published last week (see attached gallery below), the steering wheel was revealed in full, along with the “Maybach” signature.
As for the other modification, the two 12.3-inch digital screens are no longer separated as Mercedes has decided to merge them and create one extra-wide display to enable a more cohesive appearance. They're likely the same units from the latest E-Class, recently named World Luxury Car of the Year. We should also mention the touchpad has gone through some updates and there will likely be new upholstery and trim options to spice things up even further.
Beyond these tweaks, the updated flagship model with the three-pointed star badge will come with a full array of safety and driver assistance systems bringing the S-Class closer to fully autonomous driving. In addition, a pair of inline-six petrol and diesel engines will be available, along with a new biturbo 4.0-litre V8 gasoline mill. As for the plug-in hybrid version, the engineers will update the hardware to squeeze 31 miles of electric range.
Mercedes will organise the public debut of the 2018 S-Class facelift on April 19th at Auto Shanghai, but we won’t be too surprised if the car will receive its online premiere in the coming days.
Gallery: 2018 Mercedes S-Class facelift technology
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class: The automotive benchmark in efficiency and comfort
Stuttgart/New York. The new S-Class celebrates its world première with extensive innovations in a few days at the Auto Shanghai (19 to 28 April). Among the highlights is an all-new and highly efficient engine range with a series of new technologies for electrification of the powertrain. Intelligent Drive takes another step towards autonomous driving. And the undisputed leader in the premium segment with regard to comfort and wellness sets new standards in the interior. The market launch of the new S-Class starts in the European markets in July.
Several new engines are planned for the new S-Class: in-line six cylinders as diesel and petrol engines as well as a new V-8 biturbo petrol engine. In addition, Mercedes-Benz plans a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of about 50 kilometres. At the same time, ground-breaking technologies such as the 48‑volt Integrated Starter Alternator and the electric booster compressor) celebrate their world première.
The top-of-the-range model of Mercedes-Benz takes another big step towards autonomous driving and elevates Intelligent Drive to the next level. DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and ULTRA RANGE High Beam turn night into day.
"The development of the new S-Class was extremely extensive. With a whole series of new features and functions the S-Class remains the technological pioneer", says Ola Källenius, responsible on the Board of Daimler AG for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The flagship from Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling luxury saloon in the world in 2016. Since 2013, the company sold well over 300,000 saloons. Today there are six different S-Class body variants.
Intelligent Drive: the next step in driving assistance systems
The new S-Class takes another major step towards autonomous driving, elevating Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. This is complemented by a considerably improved Active Lane Change Assist and additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S-Class has an even better view of the surrounding traffic: In addition, for the first time it makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour.
This means that DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist is able to assist the driver in many situations based on the route, and conveniently adjust the vehicle speed.
The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one glance which assistance functions have been selected and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on the screen as well in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel. The new Driving Assistance package includes but is not limited to the following functions:
- DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist uses substantially more map and navigation data, can support the driver based on the route, and conveniently adjusts the vehicle speed.
- Active Steer Assist has been noticeably improved across its entire performance range, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits.
- Active Lane Change Assist has been considerably upgraded. Now tapping the indicator stalk is all it takes to initiate a lane change. This lane change is executed within the next ten seconds and indicated in the instrument cluster with the appropriate visual display, if the vehicle sensor system does not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone the driver might have missed.
- Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a stop when Active Steer Assist is engaged and the system recognises that the driver is not intervening in the driving process on a sustained basis.
- Following vehicles in a tailback: In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 30 seconds are now possible, during which time the S-Class starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic ahead (in conjunction Active Parking Assist).
- Traffic Sign Assist: Posted speed limits and any potential no-overtaking signs are displayed for the current section of the route through image recognition and information from the digital road map of the navigation system. The vehicle speed is compared with the speed limit. When the driver selects the appropriate settings, a visual/visual-audible warning signal is issued any time the speed limit is exceeded. No-entry restrictions are also recognised. Furthermore, the system warns of detected persons in the area of pedestrian crossings.
Depending on the respective applicable national road traffic regulations, Remote Parking Assist enables the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle into tight parking spaces or garages by smartphone, so as to facilitate getting in and out. The vehicle can be manoeuvred into parallel and end-on parking spaces in both forward and reverse directions. Manoeuvring out of end-on parking spaces is also possible, e.g. if the driver returns to their vehicle to find that it has been blocked in. In Explore mode, the vehicle can be manoeuvred forward and back for up to 15 metres and can avoid detected obstacles with small steering corrections in the process.