British customers can now place orders for the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which comes with a £78,705 starting price. Updated earlier this year, the big saloon has a modernised design, mild-hybrid engines and a revamped cabin, complete with a huge central touchscreen.
Buyers will get a choice of three core trim levels, with AMG Line marking the cheapest of those. That comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather upholstery and the 12.8-inch OLED media display. That comes alongside a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, keyless start and heated seats in the front and rear. A wireless charging pad and a reversing camera are also among the highlights.
Moving up to the AMG Line Premium model takes the price up to at least £85,200 and offers the chance to upgrade to a long-wheelbase body with extra rear space. Of equal importance, though, are the 20-inch alloys, Burmester surround-sound system and panoramic sunroof, as well as the 360-degree camera and the ‘3D’ driver display. Long-wheelbase models, meanwhile, add electrically adjustable rear seats with memory settings, luxury head restraints and climatised outer rear seats.
Even further up the range is the AMG Line Premium Plus, which is only available in combination with the long-wheelbase body. That £95,695 version gets even larger 21-inch alloy wheels and an augmented reality head-up display, plus heated armrests on the centre console and in the doors. The windscreen and steering wheel are heated, too, while the front seats also have ventilation.
And if that isn’t enough, buyers of the AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus can get the Executive line option pack, offering a seven-inch touchscreen tablet in the rear, sun blinds in the rear doors and rear window and a ‘chauffeur package’ with a modified passenger seat. As part of the set-up, the front passenger seat has a removable head restraint and an electrically extendable footrest, while the whole kit and kaboodle can be adjusted from the rear.
Under the bonnet, customers get a choice of three six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but a plug-in hybrid is expected to arrive next year. For now, though, the base model is the S 350d diesel, which produces 282 bhp and manages just over 40mpg in short-wheelbase guise. That’s joined by the S 400d, which is only available with the long-wheelbase model and produces 325 bhp.
The sole petrol option is currently the S 500, which comes with four-wheel drive and a whopping 429 bhp. This mild-hybrid engine uses a 48-volt electrical system to harvest energy normally lost while decelerating, then redeploys it to help the engine out when needed, improving economy.