The facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been photographed in the latter stages of development in the lead-up to its planned launch late this year.
Exterior changes for the updated S-Class will be minor. These spy shots show some light camouflaging around the new front and rear bumpers, and slight adjustments to the tail-light design. Earlier prototypes have also shown new LED headlight cluster designs.
More complex changes are expected for the interior. The S-Class's digital instrument cluster was one of its hallmark features when the car was launched, but rivals have been quick to adopt the technology in their premium models.
For this facelifted model, Mercedes appears to be producing a wider, frameless dual-screen set-up, which will allow for a larger screen area. The new system will run the latest version of Mercedes' Comand infotainment software and it continues to be operated via a touch-sensitive controller on the centre console, although Mercedes is also known to be experimenting with gesture control.
Also new on this prototype is a thicker three-spoke steering wheel, which is understood to replace the current two-spoke design.
Engines from the current S-Class are likely to be carried over in their entirety, but they could come with minor improvements to fuel economy and CO2 emissions. A new 48V mild hybrid system is due to be rolled out as part of a wider plan to add more electrically assisted models.
Mercedes-AMG S 63
The facelifted Mercedes-AMG S 63 was spotted testing during the summer, ahead of its planned launch in the middle of next year.
Exterior revisions to the AMG-tuned S-Class remain subtle. Camouflage on the front bumper indicates that this is where the majority of the S 63-specific styling revisions will be made. Most of the facelift's more general changes – including new headlight clusters – have already been seen on standard S-Class test cars.
As with its soon-to-be-facelifted Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé sibling, power is set to increase from its current 577bhp, although insiders won't specify by how much.