The 2018 Mercedes S-Class, as promised, has landed in faraway China in time for the official presentation at the 2017 Auto Shanghai, where it boasts a thorough midlife cycle refresh.
As if befitting for a flagship, the exterior and interior design touches are light, but the new array of technologies is certainly impressive. The company’s flagship will again boast the highest level of driver assistance systems, with an emphasis on near autonomous driving. All versions of the S Class boast new design elements front and back, while six and eight-cylinder models also get a new grille that was previously exclusive to V12 models. The Maybach models in turn get extra chrome trim with a Maybach logo between the louvers of the grille. There are also new LED head- and taillamps for the new optional LED Intelligent Light System – with Ultra Wide Beam high-beam, Road Surface Scan and a curve-tilting function.
In terms of powertrains, the novelties include a family of upgraded engines, kicking off with the biturbo 3.0-liter V6 delivering 362 horsepower, then going for a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 complete with 463 horsepower for the S560 and Maybach, while the AMG S63 gets a 603-horsepower version of the same engine. The S63 will complete the tech update with a new AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed automatic. Inside, the most obvious upgrades include the three-spoke steering, new wood trim options and the fact that both 12.3-inch high-resolution display share the same glass panel. There are also Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel, while a new gizmo called Energizing Comfort delivers 10-minute “moods” that “enhances the physical comfort and performance both while driving and during breaks.”