Mercedes-Benz Malaysia announced the highly anticipated arrival of its flagship vehicle, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, setting the benchmark of luxury limousines.
The S-Class is the centerpiece of the brand, and stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz. It follows a long tradition that extends back to the beginnings of the Mercedes brand in the early 20th Century. Each model has decisively influenced the automotive engineering of its era. Well before the official designation S-Class, the models in the executive and luxury class were the mainstay of the Stuttgart-based company’s portfolio and have always stood for luxury, comfort, safety and lifestyle. The continuous ancestry of the S-Class begins with the model 220 (W 187) of 1951. The designation “S-Class” was officially introduced with the 116 series in 1972.
Since its market launch, more than 4 million S-Class limousines have been delivered to customers around the world. Locally, Mercedes-Benz has sold over 18,000 S-Class limousines since its first introduction in the late 1970’s.
Modern luxury attains the next level in the interior of the S-Class. The designers have created a luxurious ambience with lounge character marked by elegance, high quality and lightness. The dashboard with its new architecture, modern surface design and ergonomic display arrangement is a particular highlight.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has become more intelligent in many areas. Digital innovations such as in the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) are joined by innovations that increase driving enjoyment while making driving even safer.
Following systematic development, the driving assistance systems are a further step towards autonomous driving. Thanks to improved environmental sensors, for example, the parking systems give the driver even better support when maneuvering at low speed. The integration into MBUX means that the level of visualization has now entered a whole new dimension.
MBUX: a new dimension in personalization and interaction
The S-Class combines artificial intelligence with the experience gained from 135 years of automobile engineering.
No other innovation in recent years has so radically changed the operation of a Mercedes-Benz as MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The second generation of this learn-capable system now débuts in the new S-Class. The vehicle interior is even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: brilliant displays on up to five large screens, in part with OLED technology, make the control of vehicle and comfort functions even easier. The system now features fingerprint scanner just below the central display. When you touch the colour-illuminated button, the system unlocks access. This is secure and additionally more straightforward than entering a PIN.
The possibilities for personalization and intuitive operation have become far more extensive. This certainly applies in the rear, but also to the driver: For example, the new 3D driver display allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time. A real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses.
Also available is the MBUX Augmented Reality Navigation which connects the virtual world with the real world. The technology incorporates graphical navigation instructions and traffic information into live images to ensure drivers will reach safely and stress-free.
The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” is constantly learning, by activation of online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”. These include accepting a telephone call. “Hey Mercedes” now also explains vehicle functions and answers general knowledge questions. In the S-Class the voice assistant can also be controlled from the rear.
Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist recognizes 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. As well as enhancing operating convenience, MBUX Interior Assist improves safety. Even before the journey begins, it notifies the driver if the camera has detected a child seat on the front passenger seat but seat belt is not fastened, for example.
Dimensional concept and interior design: generous ambience with a lounge-like nature
The S-Class has always been a place for comfortable travel and relaxed working. With the new generation, the interior has fully evolved into a “third place”, a refuge between the home and workplace.
The desired harmony between digital and analogue luxury results in a revolutionary interior design, including associations with interior architecture and yacht design elements. The sculptured look of the dashboard, centre console and armrests appears to float above an expansive interior landscape. The systematic reduction in the number of controls underscores the minimalist appearance of the interior. A fine divide between the upper section of the dashboard and the large trim element structures the area and creates horizontal breadth.
Alongside five screens, the highlights include the large areas of trim in the dashboard and in the rear. These flow around the passengers and are a systematic further development of the wrap-around effect. The Anthracite open-pore poplar wood trip lends the interior an individual look. It blends harmoniously while creating exciting contrast. New design elements include the flat, four-square centre vents with horizontal nacelles. Two slim, vertical side vents on each side round off the ends of the dashboard.
The driver display and media display offer a comprehensive aesthetic experience The appearance of the screens can be individualised with a choice of four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service)
Also featured in the new S-class is the class-leading Burmester® 3D surround sound system. The high-quality speakers achieve impressive surround sound. You can specifically optimise this for the front and rear seats to intensify the listening experience. The unmistakable Burmester® speaker covers also enhance the interior visually.
Seats: Technological benchmark for long-distance comfort
The seats literally invite the occupants to sit down and relax. The flowing, three-dimensional layer design theme gives an impression of lightness with its nappa leather upholstery.
Multiple motors in the front seats make for comfortable seating – that indicates the complexity of the technology installed in the seats. Yet comfort is not enough: the seats also play a major part where safety is concerned.
One new feature is the heat-able additional cushion for the head restraint, which is available for the two electrically adjustable rear seats. The adjustment range and angle of the front passenger seat in the chauffeur configuration and the reclining seat behind it have been improved as well.
Driving assistance systems: even more support for the driver.
In the new S-Class, Mercedes-Benz comes another big step closer to its vision of accident-free driving. The driver is supported by numerous new or extended driving assistance systems. He/she thereby has a reduced workload in day-to-day situations, and is able to drive comfortably and safely. When danger threatens, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. The operating principle of the systems is made visible by a new display concept in the driver display.
Thanks to improved environmental sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when maneuvering at low speed. Operation is faster and more intuitive thanks to integration into MBUX. Emergency braking functions serve to protect other road users, too.
Benchmark safety and assistance systems
PRE-SAFE can prepare the occupants for a side-on collision and reduce the risk of injury. Like a bodyguard, it pushes the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone towards the inside. The impulse is created by the movement of the seat side bolsters in the front backrests. Beneath the upholstery there is a balloon which is activated pyrotechnically – similar to an airbag. In the event of an imminent side collision being detected, a gas generator fills the balloon in an extremely short time. As a result the seat side bolster is drawn inwards and transfers the momentum on the occupants towards the middle of the vehicle.
A greater distance is therefore created to the side between the driver or front passenger and the door or trim parts. At the same time the impulse moderately accelerates the occupant’s forwards. This therefore reduces the difference in speed between the other party impacting the side and the occupant: possible contact with the door trim is able to occur later and can be lessened. As part of this, PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side works in conjunction with the other restraint systems such as the seat belts. This also applies to the side impact airbags and window airbags which are deployed in accidents of greater severity.
The new S-Class also features the world’s first rear airbags, which are integrated into the backrests of the front seats and deploy in a severe front impact. They deploy gently and protect strapped-in outer rear seat passengers against contact with the front seats. The loads on the head and neck can thus be reduced significantly.
Intelligent body shell design and innovations in restraint systems confirm the leading role of the S-Class when it comes to passive safety. The new aluminum hybrid body shell with an aluminum content exceeding 50 percent meets numerous requirements: A high level of crash safety, lower weight and a highly rigid body shell ensure outstanding handling characteristics accompanied by excellent noise and vibration comfort.
Exterior design: perfect proportions for a classical appearance
With a short front overhang, a long wheelbase and a balanced rear overhang, the S-Class is designed as a classical saloon with perfect proportions. The wide track and flush-mounted wheels with modern designs give the vehicle a muscular look. The so-called character lines have been greatly reduced along the sides. Cleverly contoured surfaces with a sculptured look create special light effects. The front section impresses with its high-status radiator grille.
The headlamps characterize the front aspect of the car. The dynamic appearance of the car is continued at the rear. Thanks to precisely designed, highly detailed interior features and certain animated functions, the rear lights contribute to the impression of high quality. They make the new S-Class unmistakable in both their day and night design.
The lights: with innovative digital technology both inside and out
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. This allows highly precise light distribution. It makes Highbeam Assist over 100 times more precise then 84-pixel light when excluding oncoming traffic or road signs from the light beam. Light/shadow graduations and the light distribution of all the other adaptive light functions are also realised with considerably more precision, optimising illumination by e.g. fog light, motorway light or city light.
Thanks to LED technology, the new S-Class has also taken a leap forward in its interior lighting: Mercedes-Benz has now realised interactive interior lighting for the first time. The active ambient lighting supplements ambient lighting with an additional layer of light. It is integrated into the driving assistance systems, and is able to reinforce alerts visually. This also makes corresponding feedback possible for the comfort systems. This applies to the climate control system or the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant.
Aerodynamics: extensive airflow simulations in the early development phase
With a Cd figure from 0.22 the S-Class is one of the world’s most aerodynamic cars, and especially so in the luxury sedan segment. Although the frontal area (A) of the new S-Class has increased slightly to 2.5 sq. m., the drag coefficient has been reduced even further compared to the preceding model. The product of Cd and A is 0.56 sq. m., which is 200 sq. cm less than for the previous model after its last facelift. Aerodynamic measures affecting the body, underbody and detachable parts allow a good showing in the wind tunnel and in real operation. Extensive airflow simulations were already carried out using high-performance computer clusters during an early development phase.
The S-Class has also achieved further improvements in aeroacoustics. The previous generation already excelled with a very high level of interior noise comfort. The new model is even quieter. The high rigidity of the body shell provides the basis for outstanding noise and vibration comfort, and this is enhanced with fine-tuning. For example, the apertures for the cable grommets in the firewall have double seals. To achieve an engine sound that is perceived as refined and unobtrusive in the interior, the firewall insulation has been extended into the side areas of the A-pillars and the floor area. Mercedes-Benz is also using acoustic foam in certain body shell sections for the first time.
Owing to road traffic regulations, the availability and functions of these new assistance functions may be restricted on a market-specific basis.
Powertrain: more electrification, more efficiency
With the 3.0 litre inline-6 engine and 9G-Tronic transmission, the vehicle is capable of performing the century sprint in just 5.2 seconds. Additionally, the S 580 e offers an estimated 100km pure electric driving range, courtesy of its hybrid electric motor. A plug-in hybrid with an inline 6-cylinder engine.
Sustainability: environmentally compatible development
More than 98 kg of components made from resource-conserving materials are used in the S-Class. The number of components containing recyclates is now 120 – more than twice as many as in the preceding model. Another 40 kg or so are made from renewable raw materials. The process of environmentally compatible development with specific targets is firmly embedded in the overall development process. Environmental aspects are already taken into account in the conceptual phase.
A new, recycled thread is now used for the floor coverings. This thread – brand name ECONYL – consists of regenerated Nylon. It is manufactured by recovering Nylon waste destined for the landfill, for example old fish nets and fabric remnants from mills and carpets. These are collected and transformed into a new thread having the same properties as nylon from new raw materials. The recycling process used to produce the thread saves CO2 in comparison with new production. It also enables Mercedes-Benz to keep materials in circulation.