‘Best automobile in the world’ is a hefty title to carry for any car, so the fact that Mercedes is already applying it to their brand new S-Class suggests that they’ve got high hopes for the luxury limousine.

Unveiled yesterday, the new S-Class is the latest in a long line of posh Mercedes saloons, going back as far as the 1950s – and if the list of tech is anything to go by, it’s set to be the best yet.

In addition to all the usual S-Class bits and pieces – reclining rear seats, a beautifully luxurious interior and so on – Mercedes has developed a whole host of new features.

Starting with safety – one of the S-Class line’s strong points – the new model has airbags not only dotted around the interior, but also in its seatbelts: designed to reduce the pressure they place on passengers in the event of a crash.

There’s also a pair of clever airbags in the seat cushions that stop reclining rear passengers ‘submarining’ in an accident.

Back to luxury, and the whole car is designed to be even plusher than before. Interior door panels are heated so occupants don’t get chilly on cold mornings, the whole cabin is filled with a new ambient lighting system, and cameras in the front of the car even scan the road ahead for the quality of the surface – preparing the suspension for any upcoming bumps.

There’s upgraded sound deadening all around to ensure the car is as quiet as possible too, while the suspension has also been developed with noise reduction in mind.

It’s a haven of technology – there are no actual dials anywhere in the car, with the speedometer simply an image on a computer screen-like panel in front of the driver.

It will be available with petrol and diesel engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid version for astonishing fuel economy and cleanliness.

Keen drivers need not fear as an AMG model has also been confirmed. Called the S63 AMG, it will use a 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 for continent-crushing pace.

Prices for the big Merc are yet to be announced, but the range is likely to start from around £70,000 when it hits our shores later this year.

Until then, why not take a look at our used S-Classes?

Daljinder Nagra


May 16, 2013