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Merc's leading star, the new S-Class, looks set to dazzle

As the flagship sedan of the stable, the new S-Class is also the most technically astute

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Mercedes-Benz has pulled back the covers off its brand-new full-size luxury saloon, the S-Class. Scheduled to arrive in South Africa in 2021, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class aims to take technology and comfort to a whole new level. 

Like its predecessor, two body sizes are on offer,a standard wheelbase and a long wheelbase. The boot space is measured at 550-litres for both body styles.

Mercedes-Benz managed to fiddle with the new S-Class’ dimensions hence the standard-wheelbase now measures 5,179 mm in length and the long-wheelbase 5,289 mm. 

Inside, the new saloon comes standard with a 12.8-inch touchscreen system, and according to Mercedes-Benz, it consumes 30% less energy than the 10.3-inch screen that lurks in the outgoing model. There are other four screens inside the S-Class, while LED lighting technology has been used even more extensively this time around.

The 12.8-inch touchscreen comes with the latest MBUX system that is more intuitive and can explain essential functions like Bluetooth connectivity and can accept calls. Mercedes-Benz says that the new system can also understand up to 27 languages and even rear passengers can make use of it. 

Outside,it follows the same design language worn by the Stuttgart-based automaker’s latest products such as sharper headlights as well as smoother lines.

Under the bonnet lurks a range of petrol and diesel engines in different states of tunes. There is an S450 4Matic with 270 kW and 500 Nm, and an S500 4Matic with 320 kW and 520 Nm. All that amount of power is accessed via a nine-speed automatic transmission. For extra grunt, 16 kW and 250 Nm generated by the EQ Boost system is available for short bursts. As claimed by Mercedes-Benz, the S450 hurtles from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds while its petrol counterpart, the S500 gets the same job done in 4.9 seconds. 

Oil-burners come in the form of the S350d and S400d. The former employs a turbo diesel engine with 210 kW and 600 Nm of torque and can be had either in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive format. The 400d comes equipped with a turbocharged engine with 243 kW and 700 Nm.

The S350d with optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive dashes from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds while the S400d lowers the numbers to 5.4 seconds. Of course there is likely to be more engine derivatives offered at a later stage, including high-performance AMG variants.

As you’d expect from an S-Class, safety items come courtesy of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, active steering assist, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, traffic sign recognition, front and rear cross traffic alert, and active blind-spot monitoring. 

Features debuting for the first time in the S-Class is something called hands-off recognition, which allows up to Level 3 of Autonomous Driving capability, while Pre-Safe Impulse Control, in the unfortunate instance of a head-on collision, can reduce the forces acting on you and your front passenger, thus significantly reducing the risk of injury. The system tensions and primes the seat belts prior to impact and then releases them again at the point of highest load.

More details on the availability, pricing and model range for Mzansi market will be announced closer to the model's launch date in 2021.





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