What is it?
Listening to Mercedes-Benz outline the latest incarnation of the S-Class at a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland last week, you could have been forgiven for thinking it really is an all-new model.
The latest S-Class features more than 6000 new components and three new engines – two of which are new to the model, including a six-cylinder petrol unit combined with an electric motor and 48-volt electrical system in a pair of mild hybrid models. There’s an updated infotainment system and a semi-autonomous driving system that can accelerate and brake by itself, including in and out of roundabouts.
But no matter how hard Mercedes-Benz tries to convey the step the latest S-Class has taken – and, admittedly, it is significant – it is still a mid-life facelift of the W222 model.
That said, it is a facelift the Mercedes’ head of research and development, Ola Kallenius, describes as the most comprehensive in the company’s long history. Indeed, the latest S-Class appears to be right up there with the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 in technological terms, no mean feat for a car originally introduced in 2014.
Dimensionally, the S-Class hasn’t changed; it stretches to 5125mm in standard guise and a rather palatial 5255mm in long-wheelbase form.