Forget flowery marketing verbiage. Mercedes-Benz simply described their new S-Class, launched in South Africa this week, as the best car in the world.
There are six derivatives on offer. Pricing for the S 350 BlueTEC (190kW) starts off at R1 214 000, you’ll pay R1 564 100 for the S 500 BlueEfficiency (335kW) and the flagship performance-orientated S 63 AMG (463kW) goes for R2 174 000.
Everyone knows that the S-Class models are a showcase for technologies buyers can expect to become mainstream in future. This new model can lay claim to being the first ever car without light bulbs: all illumination is provided by LED technology instead. There are almost 500 of them on the car.
Systems like Road Surface Scan and Magic Body Control use cameras to detect road surface changes, adjusting the suspension accordingly for a cosseting ride. That feature is only available on the eight-cylinder models. Mercedes describes their new air-conditioner perfuming system as a “world first” – but Citroen did that back in 2005 with the C4.
You can also have the Energising Massage Function, which purportedly uses hot-stone therapy principles to soothe passengers. Cucumber slices and face masks aren’t standard. New safety kit includes a beltbag – an airbag fitted into the seat-belt straps – and a Stop&Go Pilot. This allows the car to follow vehicles in traffic tailbacks semi-autonomously.
The new S-Class is standard with a PremiumDrive six-year/100 000-kilometre maintenance plan.