Mercedes-Benz has been busy at Auto Shangai, revealing both the styling cues for their next generation of compact sedans as well as an updated S-Class. The Concept A Sedan is a smooth look for Mercedes that strongly resembles a scaled-down version of the GT concept sedan that they showed last month. The refreshed S-Class gets new engines, including a new base engine, and a whole lot of new tech inside and out.
Small cars have been a hit for Benz, and this dramatic new styling looks like it will help boost sales even further. The Concept A Sedan styling previews a new CLA but is slightly more upright than that car, if not quite full-sedan. It has short overhangs, a high beltline, and the Panamericana Grille that was previously an AMG exclusive.
Daimler design chief Gorden Wagener says that “the time of creases is over.” He talks about “a sensual treatment of surfaces with reduced lines” and says that this concept “has the potential to introduce a new design era.” It’s the styling that is going into the new small Benzes: the A (outside North America) and B-Class hatchback, CLA subcompact four-door, and GLA crossover.
The new S-Class gets some styling revisions, updated interior trims, lots of new tech and safety features, plus some new and more powerful engines.
All S-Class models get a facelift with new bumpers that look more like the 2017 E-Class. The extra grilles that were unique to the V12 models are now found in the full line. Along with those changes are new LED head and taillights.
The interior gets two new touchscreens, both measuring 12.3-inches. They share a cover, giving the appearance of one super wide dash display. The cockpit is fully digital, so drivers can choose three display styles and configure what information is presented. The S-Class now has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel that react to swipes and gestures, like your phone, allowing the driver to stay hands-on. There are some new colour choices for the interior and some new trim selections, including open pore woods.
There are six all-new interior modes that combine climate control, fragrancing, the seat heat, ventilation, and massage, along with lighting, to create different feelings while driving. It’s called Energizing comfort control, and has freshness, warmth, vitality, joy, comfort, and even a training mode that has muscle relaxation, activation, and balance exercises. The programs run for 10 minutes, and also have specific music for each mode.
The S 550 becomes the S 560, with a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 replacing the 4.7L version. The new car makes 469 hp, a bump of 20 over the old. The AMG S 63 gets a 4.0L V8 that makes 612 hp, up from 577 for 2017, and the V12 AMG S 65 gets 9 more horses for a total of 630. A new inline-six will be arriving as the base gas model and will have a 48-volt electrical system with an electric turbocharger, with plug-in hybrid versions expected.
New safety features and autonomous driving assists abound. Active proximity assist now has more navigation data, allowing it to adjust speed to meet local limits and support the driver with route information. Active lane change now works with the tap of the turn signal stalk. The lane change will be made within 10 seconds if traffic allows. Active emergency stop will stop the vehicle if the updated active steering assist is enabled but the driver isn’t keeping their hands on the wheel. Finally, the adaptive cruise can now come to a complete stop for up to 30 seconds when in stop and go traffic.
Magic body control has been updated with new road surface scanning and curve tilting function. The updated scanners will can now see the road to make constant suspension adjustments at speeds up to 180 km/h, and in more challenging light than before. The suspension will now also tilt into a corner to reduce the cornering forces perceived by passengers.
Expect the new S-Class to arrive at dealers later this year.
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