Next-gen S-Class will feature all-new platform, plug-in hybrid powertrains and will be long wheelbase only
4 January 2019

Mercedes-Benz has gone back to the drawing board with the S-Class in a bid to provide the upcoming seventh-generation model with a range of electrified powertrains, driver assistance features, technology and outright comfort to lift it beyond rivals such as the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series.

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. 

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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 sources at Mercedes-Benz’s design studio contend 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

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Comments
18

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.

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. 

Spanner

15 February 2018

... because it is the local taxi driver car of choice.

18 March 2018

 Autonomous driving cars? Other people can commandeer and drive your car via lap top computer now! A master computer could provide “control” for all traffic. Oh wait, I Robot movie already showed us that outcome. Auto drive and selective elimination of undesirables. Utopia.

 The driving experience is quintessential to the overall enjoyment of any car. Sense of independence and being in control is inextricably intwined in this experience. The interaction of man and machine is like unto man and horse. MAN is in charge.

 What a joy kill.

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