Rumor

Mercedes to Offer Seven Shades of S

The next-gen big Benz could be offered in seven different variations.

It's a testament to the strength of the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class that it remains at the top of its segment in both China and Germany even though the new model is expected in less than a year's time. But when it arrives, expect to see it in no less than seven different guises. The range is tipped to include sedans in four different wheelbase lengths (standard, long and extra-long and Pullman limousine), a replacement for the CL-Class coupe as well as a CL convertible and new four-door coupe larger than the current CLS.

According to Automobile this will represent the full range of the new big Benz, which is expanding to fill the gap to be left by the discontinuation of the Maybach line. It will be based on new modular Mercedes Rear (RWD) Architecture, lighter and stronger than the current platform and made up of a blend of steel, aluminum and magnesium. The interior will boast a completely redesigned dashboard with two monitors, head-up display, extended voice and gesture control, and a string of driver aids from dynamic LED headlights and Magic Carpet Ride to brake assist with cross-traffic recognition and active cruise control.

The engine lineup will range from a 2.1-liter four to the top-of-the-line S65 AMG performance model, with hybrid models as well. We can't be sure which powerplants will make it stateside, but the usual V8 and V12 suspects are a safe bet. Photos are of a 2013 S-Class sedan test mule undergoing winter testing.

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