Prices start at $418,888 for the S 320L, as the Mercedes flagship gains new features and styling updates
SINGAPORE — A new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has rolled into town, with two versions of the three-pointed star brand’s flagship going on sale today.
Prices kick off at $418,888 (with Certificate Of Entitlement) for the S 320L, with the S 450L serving as the next model up, at $474,888. The “L” denotes that both are long wheelbase models.
A range-topping Mercedes-AMG S 63 L with 612 horsepower will also be available on an indent-only basis, for those who want their plutocratic transport to be able to outrun the odd Maserati.
A facelift for the S-Class brings a number of cosmetic changes, and the new car is most easily distinguished by a redesigned grille with three twin louvres and an optional new LED headlamp that Mercedes says has “three torches” of light.
A redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes gives the car a sportier look, too.
Over at the back there’s also a new bumper (look for a chrome strip that connects the tailpipes) and a fancy new “crystal-look” taillight design that Mercedes says is design to look like jewels.
The cabin gets a pair of new, high-res 12.3-inch display screens mounted behind a single pane of glass to create a widescreen effect for the digital cockpit, and a redesigned steering wheel receives touch-sensitive controls.
Also, say goodbye to the cruise control stalk as its function migrates to the steering wheel spokes.
While the designers have done the dutiful, the rest of the S-Class has been given more attention from the engineers.
The Mercedes flagship has usually been about two things: ultimate refinement, and introducing technology that the rest of the car world eventually adopts (stability control and anti-lock brakes are two of the most noteworthy).
The new tech has to do with self-driving systems, as the car takes Mercedes’ deepest steps yet into the world of autonomy. Not all the latest systems are available in Singapore (no remote parking, for example), but there’s a Driving Assistance Package Plus option that costs $11,000.
It gives the S-Class a camera and radar-based cruise control (so you can follow the car ahead automatically) with stop-and-go assistance in a traffic jam, along with lane keep assistance and blind spot collision avoidance. The S-Class can even detect pedestrians and brake automatically if someone steps out in front of your car.
By itself, the lane tracking system is standard on the S 450L (and costs $4,100 on the S 320L).
In terms of comfort, the S-Class has undergone some meaningful enhancements.
There’s an interesting new option (for $1,000) called Energizing Comfort Control; it tweaks the climate control, scent delivery, massage seats and lighting systems to put the cabin into one of six modes: Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort, Training. That last one puts the seat occupant through muscle training, muscle relaxation and muscle balance exercises.
Each Energizing cabin mode lasts 10 minutes, presumably to ensure that no one leaves it on and suffers too much of a good thing.
Both models come standard with rear seats that can recline by 37 degrees, but as before, all manner of enhancement back there is possible if you’re willing to spend a bit of dosh.
A Chauffeur Package ($4,300) can be specced which lets the towkay in the back move the front passenger seat forward by 77mm extra, and that further enables at $4,500 Executive Seat which has fold-up leg support. It also unlocks the individual entertainment system option for the rear, which costs (gulp!) $12,900.
If you fancy two individual chairs in the back instead of three-across seating, then tick the “First Class rear suite” option for $5,500. Then you can add fold-up tray tables for $8,600, too.
That just scratches the surface of what’s available.
Things are far simple when it comes to engine choices. Further into the future there are new in-line six petrol engines with a 48-volt mild hybrid drive system slated for the S-Class, but the two models on sale now run on V6 power with a nine-speed auto.
Both have 3.0-litre V6 turbos that deliver 8.2L/100km and emit 187 grammes of CO2/km, but they vary in their state of tune.
The S 320L has 272hp and 400Nm of peak torque, enough power to hit 100km/h in 7.1 seconds.
Meanwhile, the S 450L has 367hp and 500Nm of torque, and is notably faster, taking just 5.4 seconds to reach 100km/h.
Apart from the extra power, the S 450L has a bit of extra equipment in the form of wireless phone charging in the back (both models have it in front), two USB ports for rear passengers, the aforementioned Lane Tracking system with blind spot assist and a 64-colour LED cabin lighting package, which costs $1,900 in the S 320L.
The S-Class is Mercedes’ final new car for 2017, and down the line, derivatives of the limo will also receive the updates seen in this car, as the S-Class Coupe and S-Class Cabriolet undergo their own mid-life upgrade.
Meanwhile, however, for the section of the population for whom only the S-Class will ever do, the arrival of the facelifted car means only one thing: The best has just gotten better.
612 horsepower, 0 to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds… it’s the Uber S-Class from hell!