Hybrid-only seventh-gen S-Class will feature advancements in every area, a new platform and a radical interior redesign
14 February 2019

Mercedes-Benz is readying an all-new S-Class for release in 2020, and new spyshots show the car's radical interior design for the first time.

Spy photographers caught another prototype for the upcoming luxury flagship undergoing winter testing. But one also managed to point his lens inside, revealing Mercedes has totally redesigned the cabin around a large, portrait-oriented central touchscreen.

The Tesla-style display is significantly larger than any screen Mercedes has offered in previous models, and detail shots show the bottom half of it is dedicated to the limo's climate control functions, with touch-capacitive shortcut buttons below.

It's likely further updates to the brand's already new MBUX user interface will boost features and usability, while the brand's trademark digital dials are also visible. 

The seventh-generation S-Class looks set to regain its place at the forefront of the brand's technical knowhow, with a range of new electrified powertrains and advanced driver assist features. Comfort and technology levels will take a boost with the target of lifting it beyond rivals such as the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series.

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The self-proclaimed 'best car in the world' gets a touch more luxury, a heap of new technology and a mild hybrid electrical system, but is it enough to hold off the latest attempts from BMW and Audi?

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The new Mercedes flagship, which is due in UK showrooms next year, has been developed to support two distinctly different saloon models for the first time. While standard versions are set to receive a range of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, the German car maker also plans to introduce an aerodynamically optimised pure-electric version that insiders say will serve as the flagship model for its new EQ electric vehicle sub-brand

Badged EQ S, the new model will offer a claimed range in excess of 310 miles on the latest WLTP test cycle when it goes on sale in 2022. Plug-in hybrid versions of the S-Class will feature part-time zero-emission capability for distances of up to 62 miles, together with the option of a newly developed 4Matic four-wheel-drive system with fully variable apportioning of drive between the front and rear axles.

 

The EQ S forms part of Mercedes’ £9 billion programme to introduce more than 10 dedicated electric vehicles to the UK market within the next six years. 

In a further change, it is believed that Mercedes-Benz has decided to do away with its long tradition of offering the standard S-Class, which goes under the internal codename W223, with two different wheelbases. Nothing is official at this stage, but it is understood that the growth of the E-Class to a length of 4920mm is behind a decision to produce the new S-Class exclusively in long-wheelbase guise, with the car measuring around 5280mm in length. 

However, while the standard S-Class sits on the MRA platform, the more technically advanced four-wheel drive EQ S will be the first Mercedes-Benz model to be based on the new modular electric architecture (MEA) platform. Unlike the structures being developed to underpin smaller EQ models, it is not based on an existing platform but has been developed as dedicated EV architecture with a flat floor to house batteries.

The drivelines set to power hybrid versions of the new S-Class are based around Mercedes’ latest 3.0-litre and 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and the AMG-developed 4.0-litre V8, all of which operate in combination with a disc-shaped electric motor housed within the automatic gearbox and a lithium ion battery located in the boot floor. 

The pure-electric EQ S is set to receive two electric motors – one acting on the front axle and the other driving the rear – providing permanent four-wheel drive in all variants. In the upcoming EQ C, this set-up delivers more than 400bhp and some 516lb ft, although engineers involved on the development of the EQ S suggest it will offer even greater levels of power and torque, with a planned AMG performance model earmarked to produce more than 600bhp.

 

Despite the differing platforms, both the standard S-Class and the EQ S are set to share the same active suspension system. A development of the existing S-Class’s AirMatic+ system, it works in combination with a 48V electrical architecture and a stereo camera that scans the road ahead to adjust the spring and damper action on each wheel, allowing it to not only counteract body lean in corners but also to better control pitch. 

Stylistically, the new S-Class is claimed to break new ground with a lineage that Mercedes-Benz design studio sources say will influence a whole new generation of models. Recent prototype spy shots preview a design that will feature distinctive tri-band LED multibeam headlights, a new interpretation of the classic Mercedes-Benz grille and door handles that retract back into the bodywork to help improve aerodynamic properties. 

It is understood that the EQ S will adopt its own distinct styling. Reflecting the packaging advantages inherent in electric vehicles, the EQ S will receive a shorter bonnet and more heavily raked windscreen than the standard version of the new S-Class, similar to that of the Mercedes CLS

Read more

New Mercedes-Benz EQC: all-electric SUV revealed

Mercedes-AMG A45: power output revealed for super-hatch

 

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Comments
25

TS7

28 September 2017

...the sort of person driving/buying one of these has access to a named parking place where they work. Otherwise I'm sure they'll have a comforting time driving round looking for somewhere huge enough to park. Or maybe in autonomous mode one just gets out and leaves the car to drive around for a bit while doing one's bzznzz?

28 September 2017

The conservative foot-dragging by manufacturers of large German execu-barges explains why so many people are migrating to Tesla.

With used diesels now hitting double-figure depreciation, it boggles the mind that German manufacturers aren't changing their business model faster. 

28 September 2017
HiPo 289 wrote:

The conservative foot-dragging by manufacturers of large German execu-barges explains why so many people are migrating to Tesla.

With used diesels now hitting double-figure depreciation, it boggles the mind that German manufacturers aren't changing their business model faster. 

The chant goes: 'We're German: we do what we like'.

28 September 2017
HiPo 289 wrote:

The conservative foot-dragging by manufacturers of large German execu-barges explains why so many people are migrating to Tesla.

With used diesels now hitting double-figure depreciation, it boggles the mind that German manufacturers aren't changing their business model faster. 

Tesla appeals to people who just want the latest thing and crave the performance. However the fit and finish and build quality of a Tesla is something you would expect to find in a Ford, not a car sold as very expensive luxury car. The Germans are in a different league with regard to cabin quality.

15 February 2019
armstrm wrote:

Tesla appeals to people who just want the latest thing and crave the performance. However the fit and finish and build quality of a Tesla is something you would expect to find in a Ford, not a car sold as very expensive luxury car. The Germans are in a different league with regard to cabin quality.

Thats actually an insult to Ford, but have you actually been in any recent German vehicles, I have read all the reviews of Audi's famed build quality, I had the chance to drive a brand new 11 miles on the clock A6, and I generally cant see what all the fus is about, yes the doors have a bit of leather on them (that actually feels manmade), but all its doing is covering sharp edged hard plastic, the new touchscreen ventilation controls are a gimic, and whats with the tune that comes on when it comes to life, like an old windows PC,  after about 20 minutes of prodding and playing with the screens, they looked awful, smeared and full of finger prints.

I came away underwhelmed, I then drove a new V60, and it just seemed a far nicer place to be, even if the engine was not as good. 

30 September 2019
HiPo 289 wrote:

The conservative foot-dragging by manufacturers of large German execu-barges explains why so many people are migrating to Tesla.

With used diesels now hitting double-figure depreciation, it boggles the mind that German manufacturers aren't changing their business model faster. 

Foot dragging? Or smart and safe marketing? Its all a matter of perspective, really...

The way I see it, Tesla puts out a new system while its in development for its oblivious owners to test out for it. So what if a few Teslas crashed, or if a few more caught on fire... Its on the owner's dime (actually, the owners insurers')... Not on Tesla's! They'll follow up with an OTA update or two, and "there... problem fixed!"

Compare that to German auto makers (Mercedes Benz, in particular) who have thus far had very few, if any, "oops" instances similar to Tesla's many goofs... Simply because they fully develop, test and only market their advancements when they are "market ready" and not a moment before!

28 September 2017

Just be done with this, skip five generations and make it 9 feet wide?

They could also fit metal grinders to the side to it takes other cars off the road as it drives - that way they'll be able to claim it does 10,000mpg rather than the 300mpg or whatever nonsense figure they pick out of the air for the hybrid version.

28 September 2017
An article that beautifully sums up the shitness of the direction of travel of car development.

There is nothing whatsoever appealing about any of this.

Obviously it is going to be wider and bigger - that much is a given.

But exactly who is craving this autonomous crap? Who uses the clever but emasculating self-parking shenanigans that has been around for a while now? I mean what sort of fool can't park a car? And wants to advertise the fact?

As always, I wait in hope that Autocar might express an opinion on this...

28 September 2017
eseaton wrote:

An article that beautifully sums up the shitness of the direction of travel of car development.

There is nothing whatsoever appealing about any of this.

Obviously it is going to be wider and bigger - that much is a given.

But exactly who is craving this autonomous crap? Who uses the clever but emasculating self-parking shenanigans that has been around for a while now? I mean what sort of fool can't park a car? And wants to advertise the fact?

As always, I wait in hope that Autocar might express an opinion on this...

Er, someone must be, otherwise all the manufacturers wouldn't be spending billions on it. Me? Nothing's as emasculating as power-steering and synchromesh.

28 September 2017

Smart motorways that are crushingly tedious tests of not losing your licence accidentally (ahh, 50mph, oh, not its 40 now, oh 60, no 40) and average speed cameras make autonomous cars quite appealing to me. 

Sadly a fridge white S class is not interesting to me. And teslas look crap, actually they look a bit like fridges come to think of it. Sod the admirable tech. 

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