Mercedes-Benz aspires to build "the best automobile in the world" with the all-new S-Class serving as its new flagship luxury sedan.
Those who see the world in black and white will likely divide the automotive market into two categories: benchmarks and contenders. With sports sedans, for example, the BMW 3 Series is the benchmark, and everything else is a contender. With pickup trucks, the Ford F-150. Sportscars? Porsche 911. The list goes on and on, and you see where this is going: in the realm of full-size luxury sedans, it's all about the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with everything else – be it the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, Maserati Quattroporte, or Lexus LS – trying to take its place.
At least that used to be the case before the W221 generation, now on the market since 2005, started growing a little long in the tooth as all those aforementioned challengers were replaced with new models. But now, at long last, Mercedes has introduced the all-new S-Class, vying to reclaim its place at the top of the market. Unveiled just yesterday at a special event at the Airbus delivery center in Hamburg, Germany, the all-new S-Class was designed (with an eye towards the Chinese market) around the long-wheelbase model, with the shorter version based on that, instead of the other way around.
It's longer and wider than the model it replaces, but aluminum construction helps keep weight down. The new shape features more dynamic styling and a low drag coefficient, helping to ensure that the new S-Class will stay current for years to come. The first-class interior is crafted of the finest leather, wood and other materials you'd expect from the luxury carmaker's new flagship model. Buyers will be able to choose from 5 rear seat configurations, and enjoy such features as ambient lighting (with 300 LEDs embedded around the cabin) and individual access to the infotainment system from each seat.
The new S-Class boasts all the latest electronics systems for a safe and smooth ride, including Intelligent Drive (with Active Parking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Night View Assist Plus, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, Brake Assist Plus and Pre-Safe Brake) and Magic Body Control that adjusts the suspension according to road conditions. Mercedes is launching the new S-Class in the US in long-wheelbase S550 spec, powered by an upgraded 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 with 455 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque with optional 4Matic all-wheel drive. Further engine options (including hybrid and AMG models) are expected to follow.