Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling the new S-Class at the Auto Shanghai motor show in just a few more days. What should we expect from the new car? The S-Class is known to be the benchmark in which all of its technologies will slowly trickle down to the usual production cars. Of course, not all of them will do (such as massage chairs). Still, the S-Class always give a good indicator on which new technology will be going mainstream.
What you should expect is a new range of engines as well as new technologies for the electrification of the powertrain. Of course, the interior and comfort of the car will be improved on as well.
The new engines planned for the S-Class are the in-line six cylinders (diesel and petrol engines) as well as a new V-8 biturbo petrol engine. In addition, Mercedes-Benz plans a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of about 50 kilometres. At the same time, ground-breaking technologies such as the 48‑volt Integrated Starter Alternator and the electric booster compressor) celebrate their world première.
The highest specced model would have the DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist to provide an even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and ULTRA RANGE High Beam turn night into day.
“The development of the new S-Class was extremely extensive. With a whole series of new features and functions the S-Class remains the technological pioneer”, says Ola Källenius, responsible on the Board of Daimler AG for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The flagship from Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling luxury saloon in the world in 2016. Since 2013, the company sold well over 300,000 saloons. Today there are six different S-Class body variants.
Intelligent Drive: the next step in driving assistance systems
Everyone is getting into the autonomous driving game. Of course, Mercedes-Benz is taking small steps towards that goal. So, with DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist, the S-class speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions as well as Active Lane Change Assist and additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
Thanks to an enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S-Class has an even better view of the surrounding traffic: In addition, for the first time, it makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour.
This means that DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist is able to assist the driver in many situations based on the route, and conveniently adjust the vehicle speed.
The “Assistance Graphics” menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one glance which assistance functions have been selected and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on the screen as well in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel. The new Driving Assistance package includes but is not limited to the following functions:
- DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist uses substantially more map and navigation data, can support the driver based on the route, and conveniently adjusts the vehicle speed.
- Active Steer Assist has been noticeably improved across its entire performance range, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits.
- Active Lane Change Assist has been considerably upgraded. Now tapping the indicator stalk is all it takes to initiate a lane change. This lane change is executed within the next ten seconds and indicated in the instrument cluster with the appropriate visual display, if the vehicle sensor system does not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone the driver might have missed.
- Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a stop when Active Steer Assist is engaged and the system recognises that the driver is not intervening in the driving process on a sustained basis.
- Following vehicles in a tailback: In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 30 seconds are now possible, during which time the S-Class starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic ahead (in conjunction Active Parking Assist).
- Traffic Sign Assist: Posted speed limits and any potential no-overtaking signs are displayed for the current section of the route through image recognition and information from the digital road map of the navigation system. The vehicle speed is compared with the speed limit. When the driver selects the appropriate settings, a visual/visual-audible warning signal is issued any time the speed limit is exceeded. No-entry restrictions are also recognised. Furthermore, the system warns of detected persons in the area of pedestrian crossings.
Depending on the respective applicable national road traffic regulations, Remote Parking Assist enables the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle into tight parking spaces or garages by smartphone, so as to facilitate getting in and out. The vehicle can be manoeuvred into parallel and end-on parking spaces in both forward and reverse directions. Manoeuvring out of end-on parking spaces is also possible, e.g. if the driver returns to their vehicle to find that it has been blocked in. In Explore mode, the vehicle can be manoeuvred forward and back for up to 15 metres and can avoid detected obstacles with small steering corrections in the process.