S-Class Facelift - Press Release

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Staff member
May 21, 2003
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

The automotive benchmark in intelligence and comfort
Stuttgart/Shanghai. The newly updated S-Class Sedan celebrates its world premiere with extensive innovations at the Shanghai Auto Show. Among the highlights are the extended suite of Intelligent Drive features that take another step towards autonomous driving and a new generation of Mercedes-Benz engines. The undisputed leader in the premium segment with regards to comfort and wellness sets new standards in the interior with the new generation of dual 12.3” high-resolution displays with a single bonded glass panel, new trim options and new upholstery offerings.

The top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz sedan takes another big step towards the future of autonomous driving and elevates Intelligent Drive to the next level. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions.

Further unique features of the S-Class in its segment include the LED Intelligent Light System with Ultra Wide Beam, Road Surface Scan (the forward-looking detection of bumps) and curve-tilting function.

ENERGIZING Comfort is also a world-first entering series production. This optional feature links various comfort systems in the vehicle together, such as climate control, ambient lighting, massage and fragrancing functions, and allows customers to configure a specific wellness setup to suit their current mood or needs, enhancing physical comfort and performance on the road.

"The development of the new S-Class was extremely extensive. With a whole series of new features and functions, the S-Class remains a technological pioneer," says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The Mercedes-Benz flagship model was the best-selling luxury sedan in the world in 2016. Since 2013, the company has sold well over 300,000 sedans.

Three accents of light as an exclusive exterior design feature

Modern luxury in the new S-Class is clearly evident in the impressive quality of
materials and workmanship. All models are fitted with a new grille: the models with
six and eight-cylinder engines sport three twin louvers as well as vertical strips with
a high-gloss black finish.

On the Mercedes-Maybach, the upgraded front with extensive chrome trim
underscores its exceptional status in the S-Class lineup. Also new is the Maybach
logo between the louvers of the radiator grille.

In conjunction with the new LED Intelligent Light System, the S-Class features three
distinctive accents of light as an exclusive design element, as well as the newly
redesigned sporty front bumper with pronounced air intakes. The new LED
taillamps, reminiscent of crystal jewels, stand out at the rear and ensure a
characteristic design both by day and by night.

All models are fitted with a redesigned lower bumper section with an integrated
visible tailpipe trim. The tailpipes are framed by a chrome trim element, which
spans the entire width of the vehicle. Two new 20” alloy wheels are also available.

Control and display concept with widescreen cockpit and new generation
of steering wheels

The interior of the new S-Class is characterized by two, new high-resolution
displays, each with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. Visually, the two displays
under one shared glass cover blend into a wide-screen cockpit; this central element
consequently emphasizes the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
Like the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with
virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver as well as a central
display above the center console. With the fully digital cockpit, the driver can
choose from three different display styles (Classic, Sport and Progressive) and also
configure the information and views relevant to them.

The newly redesigned S-Class has Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel that
respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone and enables the driver
to control the entire multimedia system without having to take their hands off the
steering wheel.

The multimedia system can also be operated via the touchpad with controller in the
center console and by Voice Control. The operation of Active Distance Assist
DISTRONIC or standard cruise control is controlled via steering wheel-mounted

Authentic materials and meticulous attention to detail

High-quality materials define the interior of the S-Class, including the two new
natural grain ash wood trim offerings. The refined look and feel created through
meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship are a Mercedes-Benz hallmark.
The material and color concept has also been carefully composed, and features a
wide range of brown tones, including three new upholstery color combinations: Silk
Beige/Deep-Sea Blue, Magma Grey/Espresso Brown and Mahogany/Silk Beige.

Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors

As before, the interior lighting uses only long-lasting, energy-saving LED technology.
With 64 colors, the optionally extended ambient lighting offers a wealth of individual
settings. It adds lighting elements on the trim elements, central display, stowage
facility at the front of the center console, handle recesses, door pockets, in the
front and rear footwells and on the overhead control panel when the vehicle is
equipped with the Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System.
All S-Class models are also fitted as standard with KEYLESS-GO®.

World-first: wellness while driving

ENERGIZING Comfort is a world-first entering series production. This optional
feature links various comfort systems in the vehicle together. It systematically uses
the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats
(heater, ventilation, massage), the console heating as well as lighting and musical
atmospheres, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need
of the driver. This enhances the physical comfort and performance both while
driving and during breaks. ENERGIZING Comfort can be experienced in all seats,
depending on the equipment level.

The following six Energizing Comfort programs can be selected:
 Freshness
 Warmth
 Vitality
 Joy
 Comfort
 Training (three trainings – muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance
- each with several exercises)

Each program runs for ten minutes and are visualized on the headunit with color
graphics, and backed by suitable music. Five songs are already stored in the
program. The key function in the "Vitality” program, for example, is fast and upbeat
music. If personal music selections are available, for example via the Media
Interface, the system analyzes them in the background and assigns them to a
program based on the beats per minute (bpm). Individual functions of the program
can also be deactivated.

ENERGIZING Comfort also incorporates ambient lighting, which is harmoniously
tailored to each of the individual screen designs. The light stages the interior like a
work of art by composing color worlds from different colors.

The color worlds can be temporarily replaced with special effects – for example, a
special lighting atmosphere can welcome the driver. In addition, the climate control
system indicates whether the temperature is adjusted up or down through the color
of the ambient lighting. The brightness of the LEDs adapts equally variably and can
be set in five levels and four zones: wide-screen cockpit, area of front seats, rear
compartment, and all lights.

In addition, the ambient lighting creates emotionally appealing contrasts and
structures the interior into levels. 64 colors, ten color worlds and three different
lighting zones (footwells, trim element level and wide-screen cockpit) enable an
avant-garde lighting scene with spectacular color changes.

Powertrain: new engines with landmark technology

The S-Class model range now includes the S450 and S450 4MATIC with a 3.0L V6
biturbo engine that produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

The new 4.0L V8 comes to the starting line with 463 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in
the Mercedes-Benz S560 and Mercedes-Maybach S560 4MATIC. The new biturbo
engine is among the most economical V8 engines in the world, and consumes
about ten percent less fuel than the predecessor. To lower the fuel consumption,
four cylinders of the new V8 are deactivated simultaneously under partial load with
the help of the CAMTRONIC valve-lift adjustment system. This reduces gas-cycle
losses and enhances the overall efficiency of the four firing cylinders by shifting the
operating point towards higher loads. The turbochargers positioned in the V of the
cylinder banks represent another special feature.

For superior performance with significantly reduced fuel consumption, the
Handcrafted-AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation replaces the
previous 5.5L V8 biturbo engine in the Mercedes-AMG S65. Despite less
displacement, the new engine produces 603 hp.

Intelligent Drive: the next step in driver assistance systems

The S-Class takes another major step towards autonomous driving, elevating
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. Active Distance Assist
DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support
for the driver to keep a safe distance and stay in their lane. The speed is now
adjusted automatically ahead of curves or intersections, which is complemented by
a considerably improved Active Lane Change Assist and additional functions of
Active Emergency Stop Assist.

Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the facelifted S-Class has an even
better view of the surrounding traffic. In addition, for the first time it makes use of
map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior.

This means that Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC is able to assist the driver in
many situations based on the route, and conveniently adjust the vehicle speed

The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one
glance which assistance functions are selected and to what situations the systems
are currently responding to. Unmistakable icons provide information on the screen
as well in the head-up display and all functions are now controlled from the steering
wheel. The new Driver Assistance Package includes but is not limited to the
following functions:

 Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC uses substantially more map and
navigation data, can support the driver based on the route, and Active
Speed Limit Assist is able to conveniently adjust the vehicle’s speed.

 Active Steering Assist has been noticeably improved across its entire
performance range, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits.

 Active Lane Change Assist has also been considerably upgraded. Now
tapping the indicator stalk is all it takes to initiate a lane change. This lane
change is executed within the next ten seconds and indicated in the
instrument cluster with the appropriate visual display, if the vehicle sensor
system does not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone the driver
might have missed.

 Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a stop when Active
Steering Assist is engaged and the system recognizes that the driver is not
intervening in the driving process on a sustained basis.

 Traffic Sign Assist: Posted speed limits are displayed for the current
section of the route through image recognition and information from the
digital road map of the navigation system. The vehicle speed is compared
with the speed limit. When the driver selects the appropriate settings, a
visual/ audible warning signal is issued any time the speed limit is

Ride quality: MAGIC BODY CONTROL improved and now with CURVE function

The S-Class made a technological breakthrough in 2013 with Road Surface Scan, a
system that detects bumps ahead of the vehicle and adjusts the Active Body
Control suspension accordingly. In the facelifted S-Class, this suspension control is
further improved. The stereo multipurpose camera of the system now scans the
road even more thoroughly, even in dusk and at higher speeds. Another comfort
enhancement is the CURVE function, available in the S-Class Sedan for the first
time (previously available on the S-Class Coupe only), allowing the body to tilt to
the inside of the turn by up to 2.65 degrees, reducing the centrifugal forces
perceived by passengers.

Long-distance vision: LED Intelligent Light System with Ultra Wide Beam

In 2013, the S-Class became the first automobile to exclusively use LEDs as light
sources. The LED Intelligent Light System is now optionally available with advanced
LED headlamps and Ultra Wide Beam high beams. The Ultra Wide Beam produce
light at an increased width for maximum illumination of the road and surround area.
For the driver, this means a clear improvement of the already great lighting
performance of the LED Intelligent Light System. Adaptive Highbeam Assist is also
part of the LED Intelligent Light System and allows drivers to drive with activated
main beams without dazzling other road users. When there are oncoming vehicles
or vehicles in front, the LEDs of the high beam modules are switched off. The other
areas of the road continue to be illuminated with the mainbeam.

Wireless charging of smartphones and new Concierge Service

The new headunit generation expands telephone options. With the help of Near
Field Communication, compatible smartphones can be charged wirelessly (wireless
charging works with all mobile devices that support or can be retrofitted to support
the Qi wireless charging standard). The charging pad is integrated into the stowage
compartment at the front of the center console.

The available Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System with an output of
1520 watts was expanded even further with a speaker in the overhead control
panel and two speakers in the sides.

The mbrace® Concierge service puts a host of individual services at the disposal of
mbrace® subscribers: from making restaurant reservations, gathering information
on movie times or sporting events and obtaining route guidance. Subscribers can
establish a direct connection to mbrace® Concierge through the i-button in their
vehicle. The personal concierge takes care of everything else.

The Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 Sedans

Update for the performance luxury sedan

Affalterbach. New engine, new transmission, new all-wheel drive, new
exterior and interior design: on the S63, Mercedes-AMG has dramatically
honed driving dynamics and looks even further. For improved performance
with significantly reduced fuel consumption, the Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8
biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation replaces the previous 5.5L V8
biturbo. Despite the smaller displacement, the new engine puts out 603
hp, 26 hp more than the preceding model. With a zero to 60 mph time of
just 3.4 seconds, the performance luxury sedan is on par with full-blooded
sports cars. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 9-speed transmission replaces
the previous 7-speed gearbox, and the fully variable AMG Performance
4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system provides optimal traction.

As with the AMG S63 Sedan, the top-of-the-range AMG S65 Sedan receives a
visual update that underscores the exclusivity of the high-end 12-cylinder model.
The Handcrafted AMG 6.0L V12 biturbo engine retains its output of 621 hp and
peak torque of 738 lb-ft. Thanks to the highest stage of development of the V8 and
V12 biturbo engines, both new models deliver more output and torque than the

The new LED Intelligent Light System and updated front bumper with jet wing
design underscores the more expressive appearance of both AMG S-Class models.
The newly redesigned rear bumper and modified tailpipe trim add distinctive design
focus as well.

“Impressive power, torque and performance on the road, as well as expressive
design distinguish the new Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65. With the S63, we
additionally took a major development step that supports our leadership claim in
the areas of driving dynamics, performance, traction, equipment and demonstrative
comfort. The S65, with its high-torque 6.0L V12 biturbo engine, remains the
spearhead of the S-Class models,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of
Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Technical data at a glance:
Mercedes-AMG S63 Sedan Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan
Engine Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo
with cylinder deactivation
Handcrafted AMG 6.0L V12 biturbo
Displacement 3,982 cc 5,980 cc
Output 603 hp @ 5,500-6,000 rpm 621 hp @ 4,800-5,400 rpm
Peak torque 664 lb-ft @ 2,750-4,500 rpm 738 lb-ft @ 2,300-4,300 rpm
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+
permanent all-wheel drive with
fully-variable torque split
Rear-wheel drive
9-speed sports transmission
7G-TRONIC transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph 3.4 sec 4.2 sec
Top speed 186 mph (electronically limited) 186 mph (electronically limited)

Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers

The handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine in the S63 Sedan comes exclusively
in the highest performance stage to date, with a rating of 603 hp. The peak torque
of 664 lb-ft also represents a new maximum, and is available across a wide rev
range (between 2,750 and 4,500 rpm). The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just
3.4 seconds, faster than in any other performance luxury sedan, and the
electronically-limited top speed is 186 mph.

The further advanced handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo engine utilizes well-proven
twin-turbo forced induction, with the two chargers not located outside on the
cylinder banks, but rather between them in the V of the cylinders. The advantages
of the "hot inner V" are a compact engine design, an immediate response from the
turbochargers and low exhaust emissions thanks to optimum airflow to the closecoupled
catalytic converters.

Two twin-scroll turbochargers provide even better fresh-mixture cylinder charge.
The results are a higher output, more torque at low engine speed and very
spontaneous throttle response.

'AMG Cylinder Management' cylinder deactivation system

For maximum efficiency, Mercedes-AMG equipped the V8 engine in the
S63 Sedan with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. In
the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which
significantly lowers the fuel consumption.

When the driver has selected the “Comfort” transmission driving mode, the cylinder
deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1,000 to
3,250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver
whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is
presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to
eight-cylinder operation is immediate, fast and imperceptible, so that the
passengers do not experience any loss of comfort whatsoever.

Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 9-speed transmission

For the first time, the S63 is fitted with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 9-speed
transmission, which impresses with extremely short shift times, fast multiple
downshifts and a rev-matching function. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque
converter of the production model. This saves weight and improves the response to
the driver's accelerator pedal input, particularly during acceleration and load

The extremely high torque of the S65 is transferred by the proven AMG
SPEEDSHIFT® PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission. It delivers convincing tailor-made
dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the
steering wheel paddle shifters, upshifts or downshifts are affected quickly and
instantly. Especially in the “Sport+” and in manual driving modes, the transmission
is very fast and responsive.

AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully-variable all-wheel drive

The S63 Sedan comes as standard with the fully variable AMG Performance
4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system. This intelligent system combines the advantages
of different drive concepts: the fully variable torque split between front and rear
axle, another first, ensures not optimal traction. The driver is also able to rely on
high handling stability and a high level of safety under all conditions, in the dry, in
the wet or in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa
is seamless, because the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle
system architecture.

An electro-mechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear
axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously
computed according to the driving conditions and driver's input. The performance
sedan can thus be driven in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented allwheel
drive to purely rear-wheel drive. Transitions are seamless and based on a
sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive
also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.

For a personalized experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes

The four AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes -- “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Sport+” and
“Individual,” -- allow the driver to influence the characteristics of the AMG S63 and
AMG S65 Sedans. Each driving mode modifies key parameters such as the
response of engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive (in
the AMG S63). Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, the driver
has the option of pressing the “M” button to switch directly to manual mode, in
which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the paddle shifters on the steering
wheel. If required, the suspension settings can be specially selected as well.

The 3-stage ESP® and exhaust flap can also be switched with a special button.
The “Comfort” setting is the well-balanced driving mode with a comfort-oriented
suspension and steering set-up, as well as a low consumption powertrain
configuration and early upshifts – including smooth gear changes and a discreet
engine sound. Cylinder deactivation (in the S63), ECO Start/Stop function and
sailing function (in the S63) are also actived: when the driver releases the
accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch of the MCT
transmission disengages and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The
electronics lower the engine speed to idle and driving resistance is reduced by the
compression and friction forces of the engine on overrun.

















Liking the new headlight design (1 bar for C, 2 for E and 3 for S). The new tiny Airbag on the steering wheel is also nice, however far too many buttons on the cluttered steering wheel, looks like somthing you would see on a Kia. (even with the touch pad for both thumbs).
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It's hard to make it any better IMO. Such an awesome machine.

First impressions - I'm not keen on the steering wheel either. I'm sure it's a pleasure to use but not sure on the look - reminds me of later generation BMW steering wheels.

Another masterpiece by MB tho, well done chaps.
Masterpiece yes, but scatter cushions?

I'll probably be banned from the forum for saying this, but, the C E S class rear ends, all have something of the Rover 75 about them. I just can't un-see it


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Masterpiece yes, but scatter cushions?

I'll probably be banned from the forum for saying this, but, the C E S class rear ends, all have something of the Rover 75 about them. I just can't un-see it


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Not just any cushions, but Maybach cushions :p
So, what exactly is the point of the S65 given that the S63 is now faster (not to mention still considerably cheaper presumably)?
I hope they upgrade the software on existing W222s when that is all that is needed to implement important safety features. I had wondered why the latest W222 on offer, doesn't have Distronic that can get data from the GPS and cameras about intersections, curves and roundabouts - to slow down in advance. With properly integrated systems, these kind of software-only safety upgrades would be a good selling point into investing now in a new car, rather than waiting for the new model. Ie revenue shifts earlier.

* 2017 W222 S350d SWB AMG Line Premium Plus
* Ashford, Kent & Mons, Belgium
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