The new five-strong Mercedes S-class line-up will include a new coupé model intended to compete directly with the Bentley Continental GT. The Mercedes CL replacement will get a more muscular appearance along the lines of the Continental GT, with an insider saying the model will get “less of a two-door saloon look”.
“The front is a lot more aggressive, there’s added structure to the flanks with a prominent drop line, a more rounded turret line and the rear overhang is significantly shorter,” said our source.
The likely premier for the S-class coupé will take place at the 2014 Geneva motor show, some six months before a new S-class cabriolet model makes a debut at the Paris motor show the same year. The new drop-top is being targeted at the Bentley Continental GTC.
The fabric roof cabriolet was first hinted at back in 2007 with the Mercedes-Benz Ocean Drive concept.
The new S-class line-up has been expanded to five models in three different bodystyles and wheelbase lengths, following the German car maker’s recent decision to axe its Maybach brand after a decade of disappointing sales following its resurrection in 2002.
In addition to the new coupé and cabriolet models in the new line-up, which is being developed under the internal working title W222, is a replacement to today’s flagship saloon in three different lengths.
Mercedes-Benz design sources say the new S-class has a more stately stature, and that the new look is in line with customer feedback, which suggests the current model lacks for visual prominence in comparison to its limousine rivals. The new car will come in standard-, long-wheelbase and extra-long-wheelbase forms, with the latter set to carry Pullman identification as part of Mercedes-Benz’s plans to compete head-to-head with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Continential Flying Spur.
All three saloons are set to carry the same basic styling, albeit with differing rear door and rear side window lengths in line with their differing wheelbases.
On current planning, the standard- and long-wheelbase versions of the new S-class will make their world debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013, with the Pullman – which stretches to over 5700mm in length and likely to fill the position vacated by the Maybach 57 – to possibly get an airing at the 2014 Beijing motor show.