There is not too long to wait until we will see the new Mercedes S-Class on the market. With it arriving in June, then the testing is coming close to the end and the car is in a very much less disguised form when out and about. This means that spy shots can show a lot more detail these days. The latest photos of it while being tested have revealed the look of the grille and it seems to be very much inspired by the F700 concept car from 2008.
Many people are much more interested in what will be inside the car though and this cannot be seen in the photos. There are expected to be some interesting changes that will be expected with the new S-class.
It is expected that there will be four sizes of saloon with the regular and long wheelbase being joined by two longer versions due to demand from markets such as the Chinese, who are frantically buying up the longer European saloon vehicles. The 6500mm will be able to seat two extra people but will not be an MPV, but have two rear facing seats which will fold away when not in use. There will also be a slightly smaller version which will have lots of rear legroom and compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The S-class will have Magic Ride Control which involves front facing cameras analysing the road conditions ahead and changing the damping rates accordingly. This means that rather than the driver adjusting suspension, that happens in some cars, this will now be completely automatic.
Another unique feature is the lack of light bulbs. The car will have all LED lights of which the front ones will dim automatically when traffic is seen ahead. There is even a system where animals and pedestrians will be automatically spotlighted so that the driver is aware of these hazards in the dark. The rear lights can also be varied with regards to their light intensity. These reductions cut power use and therefore CO2 use. Mercedes have reported that this reduction could be as much as 2.1g/km.
With these cameras, the car can actually see, well to some extent. It will react when there are obstacles ahead, by warning the driver, flashing the headlights and even braking automatically. This should help to prevent accidents when the driver is distracted.
It is even possible for the car to drive itself at times. Not only can it brake if necessary but it has built in radars which will mean that it can change lanes and overtake on its own. It will additionally be able to straighten the car in a lane and even notice if a car behind is making an attempt to undertake. These are useful features for motorway driving, especially as boredom tends to lead to erratic driving in some people.
There will be a selection of engine choices. There will be three hybrid choices with either 41bhp, 61bhp or 109bhp electrical engines as well as the internal combustion engine. This shows that they are very aware of the demand for cleaner and more efficient vehicles, but some drivers are not willing to compromise of power. For the AMG there is a V12 bi-turbo giving 680bhp. The S65 AMG will have lighter carbon fibre items such as doors, boot and bonnet, so that it will have additional speed. The V6 will be returned but in 2017 they will cease production and provide a more frugal replacement.