2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class - The Best Sedan In The World?
First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
TORONTO, July 12, 2013; The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class can smooth out speed bumps, it sees people and animals in the dark, offers heated arm rests and hot stone massage. A slew of innovations, both with respect to safety and comfort, combined with more efficient engines and a sophisticated body style mark the 2014 S-Class.
Anyway, the result is the sixth generation S-Class, that has been developed on the long wheel chassis (W222), of which the short wheel base model (V222) has been derived.
As I mentioned earlier this week, the 2014 S-Class has a slew of innovative technologies. I mentioned several, in fact there is too much to write about it all, but I can refer to the link Innovations in S-Class on the bottom of this article.
However, when reporting my driving the new S 500, I cannot avoid talking about the ones that I could feel.
Rear Seat Passenger
Front Driver Seat
On the freeway, it is so easy to drive 80 mph, you do not hear any wind noise, no engine noise, only some far away rumble of the tires on the asphalt. Only when you open the throttle the 4.7-liter bi-turbo lets you modestly know it is at work and the transmission faintly lets you know it is shifting quickly.
In The Netherlands, the maximum speed limit is low, but in Canada it is even worse: the signs along two lane highways say 80! I thought it was in miles, until my colleague and I realized the Canadians use the metric system and 80 km/h is 50 mph. On multi-lane highways you are not allowed to go over 62 mph.
The new S-Class, W222 for the long wheel base and V222 for the short wheel base that has been derived from it, has an improved structure that is 50 percent higher torsion stiffness thanks to the fact that half of the construction is of aluminum, resulting also in a 220 lbs lower weight than the comparable outgoing model. All engines have been reworked for up to 20 per cent more efficiency, which in combination with the lighter construction and the aerodynamically very efficient body results in considerable lower fuel consumption of all variants.
Now, we were set up to experience it on a stretch of asphalt with speed bumps. The car should not be in Sport mode, but in Eco and then the system does its work up to 80 mph. And it should not rain as that would blur the two stereo cameras vision.
It is truly amazing to feel the difference. Without the magical system, taking the bump at 30 mph you feel your body going up and down with the car. Not nice. But as soon as the system is engaged, the S-Class behaves as if bewitched: the bumps are gone and you may think you are in a hovercraft.
In Europe, sales of the S-Class S350 BlueTEC, S-Class 400 Hybrid, S-Class S500 start on July 20. In the US, sales of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 550 will start in September, while the 4Matic all wheel drive models go on Sale in November. The 300 BlueTEC Hybrid will arrive in 2014, as well as the S500 Plug-in Hybrid, the S 600 and the AMG models. The S500 plug-in Hybrid offers a fuel economy of more than 58 mpg with a CO2 emission of 75 grams/liter.
The U.S. MSRP On the 2014 S-Class is $95,925-$164,010.
Innovations in the 2014 Mercedes S-Class2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Assistance Systems
• DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot
• BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
• Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
• Night View Assist Plus
• Active Lane Keeping Assist
• 360° camera
• Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
• PRE-SAFE® PLUS
• PRE-SAFE® brake with pedestrian recognitiona and city braking function
2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Safety Features
• Seat belt buckle extender (active seat-belt buckle)
• Adaptive airbag system (Active Vent)
• • Beltbag for outer rear seats
• • PRE-SAFE® Impulse
•2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sound Features
• Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system
2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Chassis and Suspension Features
• MAGIC BODY CONTROL
• AIRMATIC with continuously adaptive damping system