Following the launch of the ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz has launched the all-new S-Class in India as well. Launched a while ago globally, the seventh generation of the S-Class has pushed the boundaries of luxury and technology even further. It now fits its famous alias as ‘The best car in the world’. Two versions of the luxury saloon have been launched with an S450 4MATIC petrol priced at Rs 2.17 crores and an S450d 4MATIC diesel priced at Rs 2.19 crores.
How does it look?
Dimensionally, the new S-Class is now a bit longer and also has a longer wheelbase. Also, if you have seen the new E-Class, you’d be familiar with the overall design language that is a lot less rounded and a bit more angular. Starting up front, you now have a more angular chrome grille with three chrome blades that accentuate the car’s width. Then there is the front bumper which is a significant change from the previous model. It also sportier as the new S-Class will be available in the AMG line as well. The headlamps are now sharper, and get Mercs ‘Digital LED’ treatment.
Over to the side, you might not notice the extra wheelbase, but you will see the sharp silhouette and the 20-inch alloys. The door handles have a nifty trick as they pop out when you need to open the door and also adds to the whole premium experience. Part of the wrap-around taillamps can also be seen from the side, and as you move to the rear, it showcases the similarities with the new E-Class.
The large rear LED taillamps also get a cool effect on startup, and individual elements placed inside the cluster give it a futuristic look. The 4MATIC badging signifies its all-wheel-drive capabilities.
Is the interior drool-worthy?
Yes, it is—no two ways about it. The new S-Class has somehow managed to up the ante when it comes to the interior. The cabin is exquisite in terms of design and the materials used. One look, and you’d know why it has already acquired bookings from 150 customers. Arguably, the main highlight on the inside is the centre media panel with so much going on. The latest MBUX system finds its way in this, and you have a host of other features like gesture control and even a fingerprint lock for your set profile. That means nobody can disturb the settings that you prefer. However, the party piece is still the first-class rear seats. The comfort and cushioning is something we need to experience, so we won’t comment on that, but to be honest, we sort of know how it is going to be like. There is also a ‘Chauffeur Package’ on offer that gets you neck warmers for the seats and extended thigh support to stretch out like a king.
Other techy bits are the two screens set on the front seats for entertainment and a new tablet in the centre console that can control pretty much the entire car.
A new addition is a 4D sound system by Burmester, which has exciters in the seats for added effect, but again, we will have to experience it first hand before commenting.
Then there are cool bits like the superb ambient lighting, which also doubles up as a blind spot monitor should you open the door while there is oncoming traffic. Neat!
Safety is another aspect where the new S-Class has upped the game. It now gets ten airbags thanks to the addition of airbags in the back of the front seats. Confused? Well, they are airbags for the rear passengers that fold out in the event of a collision.
Then there is also the rear-wheel steering to help with parking and manoeuvring this large stately saloon.
In terms of powertrain, the petrol S450 will be powered by a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo-petrol engine making 362bhp and 500Nm, whereas the S400d diesel will be powered by a 3.0-litre in-line turbo-diesel engine producing 326bhp and 700Nm. Both the engines will be mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox and will get air suspension as well.
Performance isn’t a priority, but with a 0-100kph time of 5.1 secs and 5.4 secs for the petrol and diesel versions, respectively, the S-Class is no slouch.
What’s it against?
The main rival for the S-Class has always been the BMW 7 Series, but there is now also the new Audi A8L. Both of those luxury saloons are extremely good, but they both also lack behind the S-Class in a lot of areas. However, the price is something that the S-Class can’t boast of as it is significantly more expensive. How that pans out, we shall see, but if history is anything to go by, the new S-Class is set to carry the winners flag ahead.