Mercedes-Benz Gives Its Flagship Sedan a Thorough Refresh

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class lineup has been unveiled at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show.

Heading to the U.S. in six trim levels this fall, the updated S-Class features newly designed front and rear bumpers, new headlights and tail lights and the front grille that’s now standard across the lineup was previously reserved for V12 models. Buyers also have more choice with the additional of two new 20-inch wheels, two new trim offerings and three new interior upholstery offerings. Speaking of the interior, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class also receives a new three-spoke steering wheel and the latest version of the COMAND multimedia system with a pair of 12.3-inch high-resolution displays merged under a single-bonded glass panel.

Under the hood of all four models is a new generation of Mercedes-Benz engines, with the S450 powered by a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine. The S560 gets a 4.0-liter biturbo V8, while the AMG S63 has a handcrafted 4.0-liter biturbo V8 under the hood. At the top of the range is the Mercedes-AMG S65 featuring a handcrafted 6.0-liter biturbo V12 engine. Those looking for more luxury can opt for two different Maybach models: S560 (4.0-liter biturbo V8) and S650 (6.0-liter biturbo V12).

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Power output on the S450 comes in at 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, while the S560 offers 463 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Both models will be available with optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and feature nine-speed automatic transmissions.

The AMG S63 model now provides 603 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, while the range-topping S65 has 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. The S63’s engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the S65 gets a seven-speed unit.

Power from the Maybach S560 is the same as the standard S560, but the S650 Maybach model has 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque from its 6.0-liter biturbo V12.

One of the major changes with the refresh is the addition of new Intelligent Drive technology, bringing the S-Class closer to the future of autonomous driving. Active Distance Assist Distronic and Active Steering Assist now provide even more support for the driver and speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. Another world’s first entering series production is what Mercedes calls Energizing Comfort, an optional feature that links various comfort systems in the vehicle together, like climate control, ambient lighting, massage and fragrancing functions as well as allowing customers to configure a specific wellness setup to suit their current mood or needs.

Six Energizing Comfort programs can be selected: Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training. Each program runs for 10 minutes and are visualized on the head unit with color graphics and backed by suitable music.

Expect pricing for the refreshed 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to be announced closer to its release this fall.

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