Latest spy pics of the new Mercedes S-class, which is set to be launched in 2012

These are the latest spy pics of the next Mercedes S-class in testing.

Mercedes is preparing to give its new S-class some curves — although the firm has done its best to disguise it by covering this early test hack with extensive cladding.

See the latest spy pics of the new Mercedes S-class in testing

Due by the end of 2012, this next-generation S-class — codenamed W222 — is expected to adopt key styling cues from the F700, the swoopy concept car displayed at the Detroit show in 2007.

This mule is clearly based on a current model, although the blacked-out headlamps, dummy front grille, new front bumper and a sizeable disguise over the boot and tail-lights hint at the key areas for the new look.

At the heart of the revised range will be Mercedes’ new V6 and V8 MoVe petrol powerplants, which will trickle out across the firm’s line-up from this autumn.

Read Autocar's first drive of the new Mercedes S63 AMG

The V6 has a narrow-angle block, stop-start technology and revised direct injection that improves fuel economy over the old-spec unit’s by as much as 24 per cent.

The V8 engine replaces the old 5.4-litre motor by reducing capacity (to 4.6 litres) but adding twin turbochargers. It has 429bhp, a 12 per cent increase, and 32 per cent more torque, but improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Diesel options are likely to include the smallest oil-burner ever offered in the model. Called S250 CDI, it will have a 204bhp 2.1-litre, four-cylinder motor. The same engine could also be used as the basis for a mild hybrid variant to sit alongside a petrol hybrid that will be based on a direct-injection V6 and new battery technology from LiTec.

The next S-class had been expected to use Mercedes’ radical Diesotto powerplant. Claimed to blend the characteristics of petrol and diesel engines, the unit has been showcased in a current model.

However, sources in Germany say the motor’s development has been knocked back in the schedule to allow Mercedes to fast-track work on hybrid technology. It’s now unlikely to appear in an S-class for at least two generations.

Greg Kable

See all the latest Mercedes S-class reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

The S-class is a benchmark in comfort and equipment. XJ is better to drive though

The Mercedes S-Class is a fine luxury car and a technological masterstroke. It is calm but rewarding

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Comments
26

16 July 2010

Have they re badged the Maybach to make money of it?!!

16 July 2010

Uh-oh, curves, what curves?

If you follow the window and roof line it's clear this is just a bigger E-Class. No imagination at all.

The current S was the best looking of all the saloons. With this new long E, the stale chips looks of the new 7, I think the Jag XJ and A8 will now be the best in class.

16 July 2010

[quote manicm]

Uh-oh, curves, what curves?

If you follow the window and roof line it's clear this is just a bigger E-Class. No imagination at all.

The current S was the best looking of all the saloons. With this new long E, the stale chips looks of the new 7, I think the Jag XJ and A8 will now be the best in class.

[/quote]

you can tell all this by looking at this heavily disguised mule? wow. and the XJ and A8 will be the best in class in terms of what? when was the last time Merc released an S Class that wasn't better than it's rivals put together?

16 July 2010

[quote Juzoik] when was the last time Merc released an S Class that wasn't better than it's rivals put together? [/quote]

Exactly, this car will be the new benchmark, no if's no buts, like it's rivals, it WILL be the best in it's or pretty much any other class.

7series? A8? just pretenders to the crown.

16 July 2010

I don't think that any one should be surprised if the new S-Class is an uninspiring design, most recent Merc's especially the largest ones are usually designed with evolution in mind rather than anything as radical as the new XJ. It will be interesting to see if they have managed to reduce the weight.

16 July 2010

It looks a bit chunky to me under all those plastic panels, more like a W140 (or as someone else said already, a bit of a Maybach). I hope not. I hope those rear arch bulges from the W221 are still there.

16 July 2010

[quote Juzoik]you can tell all this by looking at this heavily disguised mule? [/quote]

You can only disguise the window and roof line so much - if you look even half-carefully you'll agree it's very similar to the new E - long and square and boring.

Yes dynamically the new S might set a new benchmark, but for those of us who want a bit of style with the substance the XJ is a far better bet.

And the new A8's looks are growing on me.

16 July 2010

[quote rosstopher]rosstopher wrote the following post at Jul 16, 2010 9:52 AM:

[quote Juzoik] when was the last time Merc released an S Class that wasn't better than it's rivals put together? [/quote]

Exactly, this car will be the new benchmark, no if's no buts, like it's rivals, it WILL be the best in it's or pretty much any other class.

7series? A8? just pretenders to the crown.

[/quote]

Theoretically, the current S-Class should be best in class when you read the Jag XJ's roadtest but because the Merc, like all it's German rivals, now lacks the new Autocar measurement of the x-factor, style and passion which the XJ has, I can't see the next S-Class being deemed class best even it turns out to be the better car by miles.

16 July 2010

[quote Lanehogger]Lanehogger wrote the following post at Jul 16, 2010 11:38 AM:

[quote rosstopher]rosstopher wrote the following post at Jul 16, 2010 9:52 AM:

[quote Juzoik] when was the last time Merc released an S Class that wasn't better than it's rivals put together? [/quote]

Exactly, this car will be the new benchmark, no if's no buts, like it's rivals, it WILL be the best in it's or pretty much any other class.

7series? A8? just pretenders to the crown.

[/quote]

Theoretically, the current S-Class should be best in class when you read the Jag XJ's roadtest but because the Merc, like all it's German rivals, now lacks the new Autocar measurement of the x-factor, style and passion which the XJ has, I can't see the next S-Class being deemed class best even it turns out to be the better car by miles.

[/quote]

yep exactly. and i wonder who actually looks at the new XJ and thinks it's a more coherent design with that fussy Lancia look-a-like rear. the front end looks fabulous. they could've at least copied the rear end of the XF -Aston style- and they would've had one heck of a car. the rear end spoils it for me. yes i know the Merc ain't any better to look at but i'd still have the Merc.

16 July 2010

[quote manicm]

Yes dynamically the new S might set a new benchmark, but for those of us who want a bit of style with the substance the XJ is a far better bet.

[/quote]

if you want style with substance go for the Maserati Quattroporte.

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