The best car in the world just got more desirable and more importantly, available in the Indian market. Yes, Mercedes-Benz India has launched the seventh-generation S-Class starting at Rs 2.17 crore for the S 400d 4MATIC and Rs 2.19 crore (ex-showroom) for the S 450 4MATIC. The company says that more than 150 units of the CBU launch edition were already booked before the launch of the car. The luxury limo is available with a choice of two engine options and it boasts an extensive feature list that focuses on comfort, luxury, safety, and technology. The S-Class recently won the World Luxury Car of the Year 2021 at the World Car of the Year Awards.
The exterior of the new S-Class
While it may not be a radical departure on this front, the silhouette is unmistakably an S-Class, albeit much bigger in all directions compared to the outgoing model. The new S-Class is longer, wider, and taller than the previous S-Class by 34mm, 22mm, and 13mm respectively. The new S also has a longer wheelbase (51mm more than its predecessor) liberating more space for the rear passengers. The new design on the front features a bigger grille and for the first time, the S-Class gets some AMG parts.
Now don’t get too excited that the words ‘AMG’ and ‘S-Class’ are used in the same sentence because the car gets only the AMG alloys and body kit, not a fire-breathing V8 bi-turbo engine that makes a thousand horsepower. Gone are the three LED strips on the headlamp unit that identify this as an S. The new digital headlamps in the S-Class are now fully automatic and are capable of adjusting the illumination as per the road and light conditions.
It also gets door handles that sit flush inside the bodywork. The rear is easy on the eyes and very elegant to look at, with the triangular-shaped two-section tail light units. The S-Class is also a slippery car as it has a cd of just 0.22, making it one of the most aerodynamic luxury limos in the world.
Interior, tech, and features of the S-Class
If you thought that the exterior lacks drama, then the interior more than makes up for it. Now, this is where Mercedes-Benz hits it out of the park. The S-Class has now become a tech-fest inside and the piece de resistance is the laptop-like 12.8-inch central OLED touch screen infotainment system with MBUX, which could give Teslas a run for their money.
Features such as music, navigation, voice control, fingerprint scanner, gesture control, and you also get a touchpad on the centre console to access features. You can also control the central display by the buttons on the steering wheel. The new S also gets the latest ADAS package which includes the driver assistance package, active distance assist, lane assist, a parking package, and parking assist.
Other stand-out features include a Burmester 4D sound system, frontal airbags for rear passengers, ambient lighting, 10 different programs for massage, cross-stitched napper leather seats, and much more. The rear passengers are also pampered well as expected and are the most important place in the S-Class. Reclining seat that can become almost flat, with neck and shoulder heating – suffice to say that even business class passengers won’t be pampered the way the S-Class does.
There are three infotainment screens for the rear passengers as well. All seats are ventilated with memory function. The interiors of the car look like a spaceship with a big screen dominating the centre console, the different ambient lighting, wireless smartphone integration, illuminated door sill, and ambient lighting with logo projection on the ground whenever you open the front doors to please your ego.
Engine and spec
Powering the new S-Class are two engines – a 3-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine that develops 325bhp and 500Nm of torque and a 3-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 362bhp and 700Nm of peak twist. The top speed is limited to 250kmph and the petrol version hits the ton in 5.1 seconds while the diesel does the same in 5.4 seconds, thanks to the torque being sent to all four wheels via the automatic transmission and the 4MATIC AWD system. The car has air suspension and rear-wheel steering as standard, and the latter helps in making the big car agile.
All in all, the S-Class looks to retain the crown in this segment and it still sets the benchmark when it comes to luxury cars. It is also worth noting that there are more than 8000 S-Classes running in the country, according to Mercedes-Benz India. With this pricing, Mercedes-Benz has put quite a gap between the EQC SUV and the new S-Class, because the previous-gen S-Class had a similar price tag to that of the EQC. With the local assembly of the new S-Class, the prices will come down. The company is also set to launch the EQS – the all-electric luxury limo – sometime next year. It was unveiled in April this year. Expect the EQS to have similar pricing to the S-Class.
Now, the prices of the new S-Class might seem high when compared to the Audi A8 (Rs 1.57 crore) or the BMW 7 Series (starting at Rs 1.37 crore) and that is because the S-Class is currently sold as a CBU. Expect the prices to come down once the local assembly of the S-Class begins at the company’s manufacturing unit in Pune. Do you think the S-Class is still the king in this segment? What is your pick among the three?