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Shanghai show: Mercedes reveals S-Class facelift

Straight shooter: The Mercedes-Benz S-Class will feature new inline six-cylinder engines in both petrol and diesel guise.

Inline six-cylinder engines, styling updates for November Mercedes S-Class arrival


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19 Apr 2017

MERCEDES-BENZ has detailed its facelifted S-Class luxury sedan ahead of its Australian arrival in November, with the mid-life refresh ushering in updated styling and brand new six-cylinder engines to the range in both petrol and diesel form.

The range will initially consist of two inline six-cylinder diesels in S350d and S400d guise, a twin-turbo V8 S500 – called S560 overseas – and the AMG-fettled twin-turbo V8 S63 AMG and twin-turbo V12 S65 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz Australi/Pacific senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that Australia would only get one of the diesel engines, and that the S65 would be a very low volume car that would be available as a special order variant only.

These powertrains will be followed by an inline six-cylinder petrol engine – likely twin-turbo, as were the outgoing V6 engines – in the coming months, and further down the line a plug-in hybrid variant.

The new range starts with the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel S350d which makes 210kW/600Nm while sipping 5.5 litres of fuel per 100km, while the S400d churns out 250kW/700Nm from the same engine – making it the most powerful diesel in the brand’s history – and it consumes 0.1L/100km more fuel.

Mercedes has dropped the old 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 in the S500 for a 4.0-litre twin-turbo unit shared by various AMG models, which makes 345kW/700Nm – a 10kW boost over the outgoing model – with fuel consumption sitting at 8.5L/100km.

The S63 AMG is also powered by the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 but power is amped up to 450kW and 900Nm, making it 20kW more powerful than the old 5.5-litre engine. Fuel consumption is rated at 8.9L/100km.

While most variants will be offered in Europe with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system as an option, the S-Class will remain a rear-drive only proposition in Australia.

New active safety features have been added and updated in the S-Class’ Driving Assistance package, including the Distronic Active Proximity Assist, which can autonomously accelerate and brake within speed limits, and Active Steer Assist which can steer itself for up to 30 seconds.

Other safety feature include lane change assist, autonomous emergency braking, stop and go function, traffic sign assist, and remote parking assist in which the car can park itself via a smartphone function.

Ride comfort is improved by the new Curve function which tilts the car into corners, reducing centrifugal forces, which works in with the existing Road Surface Scan that detects bumps and potholes in the road and adjusts the car’s air suspension accordingly up to 180km/h.

Mercedes has also come up with a novel optional feature called Energizing comfort control, which pulls together functions such as climate control (including fragrances), seat heating, ventilation and massage, lighting and music to create an optimal atmosphere for the driver, and comes in settings such as freshness, warmth, vitality, joy and comfort.

Inside, the new S-Class gets a pair of 12.3-inch displays as seen on the new E-Class that act as the instrument cluster and infotainment system, as well as a new touch-sensitive steering wheel that allows the driver to adust the infotainment system without taking their hands off the wheel.

Some light tweaks have also been made to the exterior styling, including a revised grille, more prominent lower air intake and side intakes, and a revised headlight cluster.

Last year the S-Class was the best-selling upper-large luxury sedan with 312 sales and a 35.8 per cent market share, followed by the BMW 7 Series with 293 sales and the Maserati Quattroporte with 63.

In the first three months of 2017, Mercedes has sold 39 examples of the S-Class, narrowly ahead of the 7 Series (36) and Porsche Panamera (27).

Exact Australian pricing and specification will be revealed closer to its launch in November.

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