In the segment of executive cars, a new leader and benchmark, which will be equal to competitors. The previous Mercedes S-class coped with this role perfectly: more than 500 thousand cars were produced in seven years. The new S-Class W223 series is now presented. Although in fairness I must say that some innovations reached him later than to his classmates.
Design? The S-class has remained one hundred percent recognizable. However, the team of chief designer Gorden Wagener decided on a number of unusual solutions. For example, how do you like the “triangular” shape of the rear lights? In addition, the S-Class was the first Mercedes to feature retractable door handles. Although the developers have not yet decided on cameras instead of mirrors. But even without them, the sedan has a very low drag coefficient Cx – only 0.22.
Mercedes S-Class has grown significantly in size. The base sedan is 5,210 mm long (94 mm longer than the previous model). But another comparison is much more interesting: the new standard S-class is only 20 mm shorter than the long-wheelbase sedan of the W221 series before last! And the long “esc” W223 has 5320 mm in length. The wheelbase is 3106 and 3216 mm, respectively. The width with the change of generation has grown by 55 mm (up to 1954 mm), and the height – by 9 mm (up to 1503 mm).
The main revolution is in the salon. Recall that the S-class of the outgoing generation became the first Mercedes with a characteristic front panel architecture: the instrument screens and media systems are combined into one plane. The new sedan offers a completely different concept, peeped from Tesla: the virtual tidy (12.3 inches) and the screen of the media system are again separated.
The second generation MBUX multimedia is a 12.8-inch vertical touchscreen that completely replaces the usual center console. It has sewn control of music, microclimate and other car functions, as a result of which the S-class interior has lost 27 physical buttons. After the S-class, such a display will appear on several new Mercedes, but not all of them. Online opportunities are enormous: for example, in China, you can already order food or air tickets from the S-class cabin.
The total number of screens in the interior has grown to six. In addition to instruments and multimedia, these are two screens for back row passengers, a small touchpad in the center armrest (you can take it out of the slot and use it as a separate device) and a head-up display in front of the driver. The more expensive version is equipped with an augmented reality system that displays navigation tips on the windshield taking into account the traffic situation in real time.
Ambient lighting now plays an important role in the interaction of people with the car. It surrounds the backs of all seats, runs through the entire dashboard and doors, with each 16mm block in the lighting system consisting of 250 LED elements. They can change shade when the temperature changes in one of the parts of the passenger compartment, visualize the speech of the on-board assistant, give a red signal in case of emergency braking or lane-keeping, and also when trying to open a door in dangerously close proximity to a passing car or cyclist. Thanks to the illumination brightness increased tenfold, the backlight is visible even during daylight hours.
The new rear seats offer even more adjustments and an upgraded massage system. There are five seating options to choose from, which include a three-seater sofa and optional split chairs with pull-out ottomans and heated neck. The most advanced seats have 19 electric motors each to adjust the shape of the cushion and backrest to the figure of the passenger. The basic two-zone climate control has 17 stepper motors to adjust the air flow, while the four-zone climate control has 20 more motors in the rear. Trunk volume with the change of generation has grown from 530 to 550 liters.
The S-class is built on a new version of the modular platform of the classic layout, which will later go to other large Mercedes. One of its main features is the extended use of standardized assemblies and components. A fully controlled chassis appeared, and in two versions at once. In the first case, electric actuators turn the rear wheels at an angle of up to 4.5 degrees, and in the second – as much as 10 degrees. This is a really large value, but as a result, the turning circle was reduced by two meters: even the long wheelbase version will be able to turn on a penny less than 11 meters in diameter! At the same time, at speeds above 60 km / h, the rear wheels turn not in the opposite direction, but in the same direction as the front ones – to increase stability.
“At the base” – a conventional air suspension, and for an extra charge – an active hydropneumatic suspension E-Active Body Control, powered by a 48-volt electrical system and is able to control each wheel separately. Previously, such a suspension appeared in the arsenal of GLE and GLS crossovers, but on the new sedan it is responsible for more than just comfort. Combined with the Pre-Safe Impulse Side complex, the suspension can raise the body by 80 mm in the fraction of a second before a side collision and thus reduce the risk of injury. However, both a similar “bouncing” function, and a fully controlled chassis appeared in the Audi A8 three years ago.
The new S-Class debuted in several modifications with in-line six-cylinder engines. The Mercedes-Benz S 350 d is equipped with a 2.9 turbodiesel (286 hp, 600 Nm) and is the only version offered with both rear and all-wheel drive. All other options are all-wheel drive. In the S 400 d modification, the same turbodiesel produces 330 hp. and 700 Nm. The Mercedes-Benz S 450 is a 3.0 petrol turbo engine (367 hp, 500 Nm), and in the S 500 modification it is boosted to 435 hp. and 520 Nm. In addition, both gasoline S-Classes have a 48-volt EQ Boost starter-generator that adds 22 hp when starting off. and 250 Nm. The gearbox is one for all – it is a nine-speed “automatic” 9G-Tronic.
Subsequently, the range will be supplemented by the S-classes with a V8 engine, and a rechargeable hybrid with an electric range of up to 100 km is planned. Four-cylinder versions will only be available in specific markets like China. The S-Class will also retain the V12 engine! True, Daimler did not go to the development of a new unit and will leave the current engine with three valves per cylinder. Such motors will be installed only on the Maybach and Guard versions, and for the first time in combination with all-wheel drive. But the 12-cylinder Mercedes-AMG S 65 will not return to the range, as well as a coupe with a convertible (the production of the current two-doors will continue for another year). In the second half of 2021, the S-Class will have a Drive Pilot, that is, a highway autopilot.
The W223 series will be the first to be produced at the new Factory 56 in Sindelfingen. The construction of the factory began in February 2018 and cost 2.1 billion euros. Its main feature is the absence of a traditional conveyor: its functions are performed by unmanned transport platforms that will transport assembled vehicles from one post to another. This approach will allow you to flexibly change the number of assembly lines and posts without rebuilding the building. Also, the plant will have a high degree of production automation and fully electronic document management. The start of production is scheduled for September, and in 2021 it will also start producing representative electric cars. Mercedes-Benz EQS.
In its native Germany, the new S-Class will be available to order from mid-September, and cars will begin arriving at dealerships in December. Expansion to other markets is scheduled for early 2021.