Currently reading: Next Mercedes S-class: new pics
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

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nosha 6 September 2010

Re: Next Mercedes S-class: new pics

Ask anyone who has owned and lived with these large luxury saloons and the S-Class has for several generations been the best in it's class. Other than going for uber-luxury cars like the Rolls Royce Phantom, nothing comes close to an S-CLass for all round ability. I have tried 7-series and A8s and they fall short in critical areas. The test is driving an S320CDi LWB (W220) to Edinburgh and back to the midlands in a day with 4 passengers on one tank of fuel and everyone feeling completely refreshed and relaxed at the end of the journey. My family have owned various Mercs, predominantly S-Classes since the early 80s. My most recent one was a CLS and let me tell you Jaguar, BMW and Audi have nothing in their range I would rather have owned. Even friends who are BMW fanatics hold their hands up when it comes to an S-Class.

Overdrive 17 July 2010

Re: Next Mercedes S-class: new pics

The current S-Class the best in class?

Not everyone thinks so (and not talking about the new XJ either).

moe360 17 July 2010

Re: Next Mercedes S-class: new pics

the current s class is so advanced can they make it even more advanced and better what else can they add to the current car to make it even better, will be interesting to see if they make any major changes or will it be a more repackage job like they did with the Jags