Following the release of multiple teaser images as well as an equal amount of leaked information, Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan which brings new technology, performance, and refinement to the company’s flagship while also raising the bar when it comes to value and class.
Debuting at the Airbus A380 delivery center in Hamburg Germany, the 2014 S-Class embodies the “essence of luxury” (in its makers’ words), and this is very apparent in the car’s exterior styling which has been heavily redone for 2014. Boasting an evolutionary theme that shares its basic profile with the 2014 E-Class, the front fascia of the S-Class has been reworked to be sportier while a larger front grille gives the S-Class a bolder yet elegant face. Another key change is that the 2014 S-Class now features full LED head and tail lights which are brighter than the units than they replace and promise better efficiency and durability versus the previous generation model. The rear fascia has also been reworked, though on a much more subtle scale than the front end, with a gentle slant cue adding a dash of elegance and sportiness. As an added bonus the S-Class’s new clothes allow the car to have an impressive drag coefficent of 0.24 which puts it very close to the much smaller CLA and its also-slippery drag coefficent rating of 0.23.
The interior of the 2014 S-Class also embodies this newfound “essence of luxury” thanks to a more elegant redesign that features strategically placed wood and metal elements, as well as several new technologies that coddle occupants in world-class comfort. Dual TFT screens in the instrument cluster and center stack work together to provide occupants with comprehensive information while a touch sensitive telephone style keypad provides even more control to occupants and features twelve “freely selectable memory places.” The company’s familiar “Linguatronic” speech recognition system has the ability to process “one shot input” commands that should allow occupants to access various functions in a more efficient and simpler manner. The interior also shelves conventional bulbs in favor of LED’s which can be configured to a wide range of driver tastes.
Audiophiles will be pleased to hear that the 2014 S-Class will feature several high-end stereo choices including a newly-optional Burmester 3D surround sound system that utilizes the new Frontbass resonance chamber that first debuted in the redesigned SL roadster a few years ago to produce maximum sound quality. The car also boasts world class infotainment software that features Google Maps and a new aviation inspired “DriveShow” that features an animated compass.
In addition to all of this technology, the 2014 S-Class also boasts several new comfort-oriented features that should please buyers looking to relax after a long day at the office. Heated and massaging front seats are available (along with heated door panels and armrests), while buyers can choose five different rear seat configurations, with the top of the line “First Class” setup boasting features such as a full center console and special thermo cupholders that utilize Peltier technology to instantly warm or cool beverages. In an interesting feat of creativity, Mercedes engineers have equipped the reworked climate system with a new “active perfuming system” that discreetly delivers a mild fragrance to keep the cabin fresh and inviting. For those that might have allergies or may find the fragrance too overpowering, the system can be manually turned on or off to suit a wide range of occupant tastes.
Performance for the 2014 S-Class will come from a variety of engines, but the luxury laden flagship will initially arrive here in the U.S as the S550. Contrary to the 550 numbering, it will utilize the company’s 4.7 liter twin turbocharged V8 which is good for a solid 455 horsepower and a healthy 517 lb-ft of torque. All of this power is routed to either the rear or all four wheels through an eight speed automatic transmission which allows the S550 to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 4.8 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 130 mph. To make sure that the S-Class can deliver equally impressive handling behavior, an electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering system is standard equipment while a multi-link front and rear suspension setup with continuously adjustable damping shock absorbers soak up road imperfections and promise to deliver a ride that is even smoother than the previous generation S-Class.
While Mercedes has not released the official pricing for the 2014 S-Class, the company did reveal that the first batch of S550s will begin arriving at a Mercedes dealership near you this September with AWD variants arriving shortly after in November while other S-Class variants will gradually trickle down into dealer showrooms in the near future.