Mercedes-Benz has leveraged the Shanghai Motor Show to reveal its updated flagship sedan. The brand is sticking to tradition by updating the S Class at the mid-point of its life-cycle with minor updates, more features and more efficient powertrain options.
Upon first glance of the W222 S Class, the design changes to the 2018 model are difficult to notice. Mercedes has replaces the bezels of the headlights with new innards that are more detailed and include additional accent lighting than the outgoing version. The taillights have also been swapped out with additional lighting accents. The biggest exterior design change is on the AMG models, which have a more aggressive front fascia, while Maybach buyers have a new Maybach badge on the front.
Inside Mercedes has just cleaned up the S Class interior design. The goofy looking two-spoke steering wheel has been replaced by a new three-spoke unit that looks much better, while the twin 12.3-inch screens are now housed behind one, continuous pane of glass in the gauge cluster and instrument panel.
Those two screens help control a new Brumester sound system that adds a few more speakers for 2018 and a new “wellness” feature. The wellness option takes control over the climate system, heated/ventilated seats and LED accent lighting in the car to make passengers feel more relaxed in their S Class.
Also adding to passenger comfort is the addition of more driver-assist technologies. At the core is a new system that scans the road ahead to adjust speed to compensate for bends, toll booths and other oddities. Mercedes has also tied the system to the car’s suspension, so it can leverage the camera and radar system to see rough pavement or obstacles and adjust the S Class suspension accordingly.
As if avoiding the feeling of coarse pavement wasn’t enough, the S Class sedan is also gaining the coupe’s curve-tilting technology. Basically the suspension will work to adjust the body up to 2.65 degrees during a curve to reduce the centrifugal force passengers feel.
On the powertrain side, the base model is now the S450, which is powered by Mercedes’ 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 borrowed from other Benz models to deliver 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The S560 is powered by the well-known twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with 463 horsepower 516 pound-feet of torque. Both S450 and S560 are geared with a 9-speed automatic.
On the AMG side of the house, the S63 is seeing a displacement reduction to the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 (down from the 5.5-liter) that’s now rated at 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, equating to a modest power increase from today’s S63. If that isn’t enough, the S65 remains with its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 that pumps out a whopping 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque.
Maybach buyers can now select between the S560 and S650. The S560 features the same engine as the base S560 model, while the S650 features the V-12 that’s rated at 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.
The updated S Class will arrive in Mercedes-Benz showrooms this fall as a 2018 model. A plug-in hybrid version of the car with the “EQ” badge is expected at a later date as well.