Mercedes-Benz S-class revised; debuts at the Shanghai show

New engines, even more luxury and even more technology for the Mercedes flagship

Mercedes-Benz has launched a revised version of its flagship S-class at the 2017 Shanghai motor show. Set to debut in UK markets from July, the updated car features a range of new engines and further tweaks to its autonomous driving capabilities, as well as other technological improvements.

Mercedes has made the job of differentiating the new S-class a little easier thanks to a new radiator grille. Six- and eight-cylinder models share a three twin-louvre design with vertical strips and a gloss black finish for the fins, while long-wheelbase and V12 models get additional chrome vertical strips.

If that doesn’t work as a method of identification, the more eagle-eyed will spot new multi-beam LED headlights at the front and crystal-like LED tail lamps. Like the recently-introduced E-class Coupe, these play something of a light show when the car is unlocked and locked, echoing the coloured DRL display at the other end of the car.

> Mercedes-Benz E-class Coupe review - Luxury coupe best served as a 'six

Front and rear bumpers are subtly different too, and there’s a smattering more chrome - but otherwise, the S-class is the same behemoth it’s always been. Thankfully, that also applies inside, where the S still has one of the best cabins in the business. Two 12.3-inch high-resolution displays sit behind a single glass cover and provide as much information as any driver could require.

Touch sensitive controls on the steering wheel can be operated much like the screen of a smartphone, with swiping motions giving access to various menu, while a similarly touch-sensitive control on the centre console controls the infotainment functions. Elsewhere there’s an “Energizing” comfort control to make the interior as relaxed an environment as possible - changing the seat heating and cooling, massage functions, interior air fragrance, mood lighting and various other features.

Relaxation in the S-class is as much about the way it gets down the road as it is spraying perfume through the vents though, and to that end the new 463bhp, 516lb ft V8 in the S 560, the bi-turbo V8 of the S 63, and Mercedes’ most powerful diesel ever - with up to 335bhp and 516lb ft - in the S 400d. A slightly less powerful S 350d also makes its debut.

While the latter wouldn’t normally be a subject of intrigue, the diesel marks the revival of the straight-six layout for Mercedes, as well as variable valve lift, and the combination of an aluminium block and steel pistons. It’s said to comply with the future Real Driving Emissions legislation, which will be a more accurate way of measuring emissions and consumption than the existing NEDC cycle.

An inline-six petrol is also on the way, as well as a plug-in hybrid. So is Mercedes’ 48-volt electrical system, which powers the integrated starter alternator, various high power consumers such as the water pump and aircon compressor.

> New inline six-cylinder heads Mercedes engine strategy

S-class luxury is also a function of its ride quality, so improvements to the Magic Body Control suspension, curve-tilting (as already found in the S-class Coupe) and an improved ability to read the road as part of the Road Surface Scan system to prepare the suspension for the surface ahead.

Autonomous tech has also improved, with tweaks to Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist, improved lane-changing abilities and new functions for the Active Emergency Stop Assist. Enhanced camera and radar systems allow all elements to work more effectively than before, while the car can use map and navigation data to adjust vehicle speed depending on the driving environment and conditions.

The updated S-class is being shown at Shanghai in standard, Maybach and AMG forms. Click here to read about more new vehicles being unveiled in Shanghai.

Recommended

2022 Porsche Panamera 4 Platinum Edition revealed
Porsche Panamera 4 Platinum Edition – front quarter
Porsche Panamera

2022 Porsche Panamera 4 Platinum Edition revealed

Porsche’s luxury four-door picks up new Platinum Edition trim for the 2022 model year
8 Nov 2021
2022 Audi A8 facelift revealed – refreshed limo to rival Merc S-class and incoming BMW 7-series
Audi S8 2022 FL – header
Audi A8

2022 Audi A8 facelift revealed – refreshed limo to rival Merc S-class and incoming BMW 7-series

Audi’s last combustion A8, and the S8 derivative, will have a big job seeing off rivals from Mercedes and BMW
2 Nov 2021
Mazda confirms new rear-drive platform and straight-six powertrains
Mazda Vision Concept Coupe - front
Mazda

Mazda confirms new rear-drive platform and straight-six powertrains

Mazda’s new range will kick-off with a pair of SUVs, but a sleek sports saloon and estate will follow
7 Oct 2021
Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better
Mercedes S-class – front tracking
Mercedes

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better

It may be slipping out of fashion, but the institution that is Mercedes’ S-class is only getting stronger
22 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S
Audi RS3 review 2021
Audi RS3

Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S

Audi’s new RS3 hyper hatch finally gets the technology to take on AMG’s range-topper
22 Nov 2021
Car pictures of the week
Lotus Carlton evo Icon – cornering 1
Lotus

Car pictures of the week

We go behind the lens on our latest evo Icon photoshoot in this week’s gallery
26 Nov 2021
Used car deals of the week
header
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
25 Nov 2021