Welcome, then, to the return of the self-styled ‘best car in the world’, this time for the seventh occasion since 1972, when Mercedes-Benz first used the S-Class name.
Naturally, like every new S-Class, this is the most advanced car Mercedes has made. Or is it? Because for the first time, the top-billing limousine in the line-up at Stuttgart has some internal competition, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz EQS, which aims to do everything the S-Class can do, only against the backdrop of all-electric power. Does this moment represent a changing of the guard? Perhaps, and that’s a matter worthy of its own dedicated story in these pages.
In the meantime, the car for which “in investment terms, no other model comes close”, according to head of development Jürgen Weissinger, returns with a new remit. Luxury and isolation still in theory lead the order of priorities, but digitisation and connectivity are if not quite on a par then a very close second.
The new S-Class is the first Mercedes capable of driving fully autonomously and without a driver, even if the capability is limited to closed-circuit environments such as parking garages. The car can now receive over-the-air software updates and, with the right equipment from Mercedes’ chosen suppliers, the MBUX Smart Home function can from within your car monitor and control the temperature, the lighting and even the position of window blinds at home, all through voice control. Useful?