Mercedes-Benz unveiled the refreshed S-Class at the Shanghai Motor Show, and every model in the lineup received a laundry list of upgrades.
While technological conveniences remain the S-Class’ bread and butter, Mercedes has expanded trim choices, color options, and is even offering new engine choices on several models.
The sedans received revised front and rear bumpers that create a more cohesive appearance, falling in line with the E-Class lineup. All models have been fitted with a grille that was formerly reserved only for top trim levels, as well as fancy new LED illumination. To distinguish lower-tier models from the ultra-expensive variants, Benz outfitted the six- and eight-cylinder cars with three twin louvers as well as vertical strips with a high-gloss black finish. The AMG models will persist with telltale air inlets and splitters, while the V12 gains a woven metal covering.
S-Class interiors will receive expanded upholstery options, a new three-point steering wheel, wireless phone charging, and an upgraded infotainment system with a larger glass display running across the center dash.
As per tradition, Mercedes has improved the safety and assistance options for the upcoming model year by enhancing Attention Assist, Pre-Safe, and Active Distronic. The new S-Class will now adjust its speed ahead of corners and accelerate automatically when cruise control is enabled. The Magic Body suspension system now includes Curve as an option for the sedans. Benz claims the system now scans the road more thoroughly than before and can adapt the suspension to changing surfaces more quickly. Meanwhile, Curve can tilt the body by 2.65 degrees to minimize the centrifugal forces perceived by passengers.
Standard features on the 2018 S450 and S560 sedans have been updated to include MB’s Energizing Comfort system, which links climate control, the in-car fragrance system, console heating, LED backlighting (which now includes 64 colors), seat heating/cooling/massage settings, and even noise control for individual occupants. Mercedes says the feature can be customized and then designated to mood or need-based presets. Obviously, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain standard.
The new Mercedes-Benz S450 is driven by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the 2018 S560 (which replaces the S550) will receive a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 producing 463 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both engines are linked to a new nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Rear-drive is standard but 4Matic models will be just as prevalent on the road.
AMG sedans come with the works and arrive wearing the S63 and S65 badges. Where the S63 is to be powered by a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 hitting 603 hp and 664 lb-ft, the S65 gets a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 making 621 hp and a colossal 738 pounds of torque.
Further differentiating the two powertrains are the S63’s Speedshift MCT nine-speed and AMG-rated 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system with variable torque split. The V12 comes with a AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission that dumps all of its power directly to the rear wheels.
While the the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 doesn’t doesn’t receive the V12’s Magic Body system as standard, it does get the intelligent lighting system, dynamic selection modes, launch control/race start, Airmatic sport suspension, sport seats, AMG’s burbling exhaust system, and 20-inch AMG wheels housing 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear rotors with six-piston front calipers (single in the rear). AMG also outfitted the sedans with its Track Pace app for the tiny number of people that would ever make use of such a feature.
The S-Class trim that received the fewest number of upgrades was the wildly opulent Maybach variant. Mercedes have given it the 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 liter as a standard powertrain and made the Maybach logo slightly more conspicuous. However, with the exception of some additional chrome trim and slight changes to its front bumper, it’s the same bespoke ultra-lux accessory it has always been.