Mercedes has released prices for its recently revealed S-Class saloon, which is described as the most technically advanced car that Mercedes-Benz has ever placed into series production.
Five equipment lines are available for the revised saloon, now on sale, spanning the entry-level AMG Line (starting from £78,705) to the range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus Executive models (available from £99,490).
In between these sit the AMG Line Premium, Premium Executive and Premium Plus versions, starting from £85,200, £92,995 and £95,695, respectively. The Premium Executive, Premium Plus and Premium Plus Executive trims are only available on long wheelbase models.
Set for UK delivery in early 2021, the luxurious four-door has been comprehensively re-engineered around a new body structure that’s claimed to be 60kg lighter than the old S-Class’s despite added levels of rigidity and, it’s claimed, even greater refinement.
Key among the revisions to the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series rival is a newly developed plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. The new S580e model promises an electric range of up to 62 miles on the WLTP test cycle. That’s more than double the zero-emission range of its predecessor, the S560e.
Despite a renewed focus on electrification, though, Mercedes has confirmed to Autocar that it will hold true to a tradition started in 1992 by continuing to offer the S-Class with a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine. It will be used by a new, yet to be revealed replacement for the Maybach S650 flagship.
Bringing it in line with its key rivals, the Mercedes flagship also offers buyers the choice of two optional rear-wheel steering systems, the most extreme of which provides the rear wheels with up to 10deg of steering angle and a turning circle that’s 1.9m tighter than the old car’s, at 10.9m, less than the A-Class hatchback’s. The system also boosts high-speed stability as well as low-speed manoeuvrability.
In a significant move, the new S-Class, codenamed W223, will be the first Mercedes model to offer level three autonomous driving capability at speeds of up to 37mph. Although not planned from the beginning of deliveries, the new Drive Pilot system, which uses lidar among a range of different sensors, will be introduced during the second half of 2021. It allows the driver to go hands-off for extended periods in high traffic density and “suitable sections of motorway”, Mercedes says, although LED lights integrated into the steering wheel prompt the driver to take control when necessary.
The Drive Pilot system can be bundled with a new function called Intelligent Park Pilot. Offered in countries where legislation permits its use, it employs level four autonomous tech to allow the driver to remotely park the new S-Class from outside the car in garages with the necessary infrastructure via a smartphone app. The system can seek out usable spaces by itself and park of its own accord.