What is it?
It comes as little surprise that Mercedes-Benz has gone light on the styling changes in its mid-life facelift of the S-Class Coupé.
Since its launch in 2014, the big two-door has gained a strong following for its svelte appearance, which arguably represents the best expression of the German car maker’s latest design lineage.
There are some subtle tweaks, including an altered bumper design, additional chrome exterior highlights, new OLED rear lights and revised tail-pipes, but they hardly help to distinguish the 2018 model visually.
Inside, Mercedes-Benz has provided the reworked S-Class Coupé with a revised instrument cluster sporting new graphics, an upgraded infotainment system supporting 3D topographical map displays, a new Active Distance Control cruise control system and Active Steering Assist function.
Another new function is Mercedes’ Car to X communication system, which relays messages between cars and the traffic infrastructure to give the driver information about potential hazards over the horizon. This has been described as the first step in the firm’s e-mobility plan.
What's it like?
The big news, though, is the appearance of a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine based on the more heavily tuned unit used in the Mercedes-AMG S63. This new engine replaces the old twin-turbocharged 4.7-litre V8 from the outgoing S500. Its additional 13bhp takes power up to 462bhp, while torque is the same at 516lb ft.
With a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers operating centrally within the space between the cylinder banks, thus requiring shorter induction paths than those of its predecessor, the new engine has not only better low-end response but also greater mid-range flexibility and a sturdier top end.
The power delivery is very linear, extending to the 6200rpm redline in one wonderfully muscular surge on a loaded throttle. With Sport mode engaged, at which a series of flaps open to increase the volume of the exhaust system, it’s also terrifically melodious.
Switch into Comfort mode to trigger a more conservative set of software maps and the new V8 is wonderfully refined and satisfyingly reserved in nature. On light throttle loads, a cylinder deactivation function seamlessly closes down four cylinders to improve fuel economy.