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.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Front Right - Surf4cars

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.