I get into the rear seat of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 when my driver takes his hands off the steering wheel and looks aside. Relying on the guidance of the car’s track and adaptive speed control systems, it allows our large sedan to drive itself through an unprotected intersection at about 60 km / h. Without notice, a car emerges and crosses our path, and we break in to break in his tail until the Benz suddenly irritates his brakes, drops the car and resumes his way.
The Mercedes-Benz was staged by a Mercedes-Benz on an airfield outside of Stuttgart, but the message is clear: not only did the S560 manage to avoid a potentially lethal collision, it had the brain To calculate the speed and direction of the car, anticipate potential impact, and apply brakes before resuming its trajectory. In another event, our S-Class avoided a T-bone accident by stopping abruptly; Another alternative exercise recognizes the cross-border threat but slips beyond it without consequence. All in all, these simulations of the opening of the eyes signal a much more precise technology in the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan.
Big sedan luxury, 2.0: New nuts, bolts and software
Not long ago, the luxury headlights adhered to the simple formula of large motors and plush and equipped interiors. Although the new S-Class 2018 is still optimal starting at around $ 100,000, the mid-cycle refresh focuses on building a smart sedan around three new engines whose model names recall the large Benz years.
The new S450 is driven by a 3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 producing 363 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque that can carry it up to 60 km / h in 5 seconds. The S560 returns its nomenclature to the V8 big-bore era, but narrows its dual turbocharger engine from 4.7 to 4.0 liters, which is good for 463 horsepower (16 hp gain) and 516 lb-ft , Which gives 60 km / h 4.5 clicks. Both models are suitable for nine-speed vehicles and are available with rear-wheel drive or a new 4Matic + system, which for the first time can completely vary its front / rear torque distribution.
The new AMG S63 drops its 5.5-liter V8 to 4.0-liter, but gains twin-scroll turbos that help add 26 horsepower for a total of 603, while retaining its (still staggering) torque of 664 pound-feet. With the new 4Matic system and a nine-speed auto that exchanges a torque converter for a wet start clutch, the S63 is good for 0 to 60 mph in a supercar like 3.4 seconds. The Grand Dad S65 remains mechanically unchanged, with his monstruoso 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 waving 621 horses and 738 lb-ft. Due to its configuration of the rear drive and the inherent tendency to spray rubber (besides the only gearbox capable of handling all this twist is seven-speed), the S65 manages 60 mph in a -glacial) 4.2 Seconds.
Look beyond the new engines and you will even find more snazzer objects with S-Class electronics. Taking yet another step of autonomous driving, the S-Class now uses the adaptation of road speed to slow corners, junctions, roundabouts or toll booths. An active steering system may change lane following a driver – initiated turn signal and the above – mentioned active brake assist with a common traffic function utilizes a long – range radar camera and a stereoscopic camera to avoid over – Possible collisions.
Trust the machine
Settle into the left-hand trunk of the S560, and you quickly remember why the S-Class is one of the most admired and most imitated luxury cars on the planet. The seats are favorable without hitting a particular pressure point, and this is before you even started the massage function. Ignore the new “Wellness” feature, which connects air conditioning, seat, lighting and five pre-programmed music programs to release passengers; The true relaxation lies in the strange insulation of the S-Class type of wind and road noise. Press the throttle, and the S560 winds up quickly and smoothly. Select the “Sport” mode, and the transmission gains a little more sharpness, keeps speeds longer and decreases faster.
Because the peak torque of the engine starts at only 2,000 rpm and reaches up to 4,000 rpm, more aggressive driving modes are really only necessary if you are in a hurry and do not disturb the impeccable weakness of The S-Class. Although comfort is a bit harmless and Eco is a bit toothless, either mode satisfies in most driving conditions. The suspension is flexible and easy, with sufficient body control to encourage fast driving on roads b. While the S560 is more tended to comfort throughout the day than the sculpture, our tester was equipped with the so-called tilt option, seen for the first time on the S-Class Coupe. The feature allows the car’s air suspension dampers to lean into corners to reduce the perceived G load on passengers; With up to 2.65 degrees of lean body, the S560 seems completely flat corner, a sensation that might seem strange to those who are used to the reassuring sensation of a light body roller.
The AMG S63 adds a little more involvement to the driver without leaving the familiar paradigm of isolation and class S control. The 4.0-liter V8 makes the sedan nearly 2.5 tons feel positively light , And the transmission handles this power smoothly until it is switched into Sport or Sport + modes, which adds a little more character and sharpness to otherwise fast movements. The acceleration of this massive sedan is anything but irresistible because of how unlikely it is to cause this mass so quickly. The feeling is still accentuated on the highway where the S63 pulls like a supercar and embarrasses sports cars by walking on their bumpers in the fast lane until they move definitively. I passed several fast cars on an unrestricted section before I finally reached an open stretch where I could overtake the Affalterbach beast at 264 km / h (164 mph) indicated. Despite the speed, the S63 felt confident and composed.
My one-day course in the German countryside also offered a great opportunity to test the semi-autonomous features of the S560. Although they worked as advertised (and the safety systems were impressive), track assistance was not active enough to encourage total abandonment. Release the steering wheel and the car remains in the track for 15 seconds before a warning chime appears. You can get rid of a minute before the system releases the steering even though you will feel more comfortable taking orders in even light years because the electronics does not always keep the car perfectly centered. Awareness of the system on the upcoming turns is impressive, but not exactly revolutionary (we saw Audi taking this first), but the performance of Mercedes-Benz is exceptional, offering an unwavering anticipation of the next rounds.
Interestingly (and not surprisingly), the most intriguing S-class engine I’ve experienced will not be immediately available in the US: the 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line cylinder. The engine operates with a 48-volt electrical system that works directly with the starter, water pump and air conditioning compressor, eliminating the need for pulleys and belts. The system also uses an electric supercharger (what Mercedes calls an electric auxiliary compressor), which uses a 48V juice to increase the intensity before the conventional turbocharger is sabotaged. The system is good for 10 to 15 percent efficiency gains, while adding palpable benefits like a silent automatic shut-off / start system with virtually no lag. Stand by for this advanced powertrain to reach the US market; But it will first be available in the S-Class, its performance and fuel economy gains will likely take it to other models.
The S-Class is the vanguard of the Mercedes-Benz drive towards autonomous driving, and thus the first to benefit from the brand’s advances. Although the delivery of control to the computer is not yet mandatory – in fact most bells and whistles of class S can be disabled – the most notable benefit comes in the form of accident avoidance devices, Which can save lives.
Of course, the new S-Class engines offer more performance and greater efficiency, but the luxury wars will no longer be won on these grounds. Rather, the battle for supremacy will claim from a matrix of luxury features, cabin comfort, performance – and yes, computer-aided driving. Based on these factors alone, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is more than ready for the future.