With a spectacular display at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 2018 S-Class. The news line delivers a great punch with more efficient engines, advances in the autonomous driving system, and refinement that make it one of the best super-luxury sedans in the world.
In 2016, the S-Class brought Mercedes back to the number one spot among leading luxury sedans, selling more units than Audi and BMW combined. The triumphal return of the range and its most iconic vehicle, the Maybach, prompted the brand to further develop this line aiming to even surpass that commercial success.
The main components introduced for 2018 are the modern and sophisticated engines. The previous V8, of 4.7 and 5.5cm3 are replaced with smaller displacement while the only engine that has not changed is the mighty V12 of 6.0cm3. The cars also come with nine-speed double-clutch automatic transmissions and feature twin-turbocharged supercharging. These technologies allow them to increase power ratios, lower consumption and improve performance.
The engines available in the 2018 edition are:
• V6, 3.0, 362hp – for S450
• V8, 4.0, 463hp – for S560 4MATIC / Maybach S 560 4MATIC
• V8, 4.0, 603hp – for AMG S63 4MATIC +
• V12, 6.0, 621hp – for Maybach S650
The changes in design, though, are very subtle, highlighting the distribution of lights, which now have long-range technologies that reach a distance of more than 2,130 feet, scan the road ahead for bumps, and tilt to illuminate curves on the track. Daylight illumination consists of a triple row of LED lights at the top of the optics that identify the 2018 line.
The interiors deliver a stunning elegance with such novelties as the two impressive-looking 12-inch high-resolution display screens that share a single glass cover. The smart steering wheel is entirely new in design and functionality, including multiple remote commands and touch-sensitive buttons (touchpad function) that allow the driver to navigate the options without releasing the hand grip.
Mercedes-Benz has provided the 2018 S-Class with the latest in active safety and driver-assistance technology, going further toward autonomy. 360º monitoring allows new functions such as passing a vehicle autonomously by only activating the turn signal. The rolling surface scanner has been integrated to an automatic tilting system that anticipates curves and tilts the car up to a maximum of 2.6 degrees to lessen the effect of centrifugal force.
For the first time, the intelligent assistance system includes live traffic information and new sensors and cameras capable of identifying traffic signals. The goal was to offer maximum protection to the passengers, preventing accidents and avoidable infractions.
In all versions, the new optional Energizing Comfort feature links the climate control system, fragrance system, heater, ventilation, massage seat functions, console heating, ambient lighting and music to create six different comfort programs. Each program runs for 10 minutes and displays color visuals on the head unit.
Mercedes-Benz aims to once again become the absolute leader in the segment with its new S line, outperforming its direct competitors like the Audi A8 or the BMW Series 7. ■