“The worlds first” is a term synonymous to the Mercedes Benz S-Class. From decades this flagship executive luxobarge has been the preferred choice of the rich and powerful. From its grand stance on the outside to its decked up options list on the inside, the S-Class has been Mercedes-Benz’s Axis of Innovation for over fifty years. Its sole purpose – The occupant’s safety with utter luxury, bespoke materials and carry them in comforts even most hotels don’t have at offer. Mercedes-Benz has gone lengths in research and development to make every new model of the S-Class raise the bar so high, with innovations so unthinkable that it takes a while to explain their working. And the new ‘S’ is no exception to that rule.
Before going ahead, I want to poke it back at the last generation S-Class. Introduced back in 2005, the W221 was in itself a spaceship of alien features. For its time, the car had functionality that no one ever could have imagined to create in his or her sane mind. But then the S-Class comes from a country where ‘sane’ is a catchphrase derived for the weak. The reasoning issimple; let no one else match the level of thought by going not just one step, but a decade ahead of the others. The W221 introduced revolutionary safety features to the world. Night View Assist – Infra-red cameras mounted to the front of the car watching over the road where humans cant see, Pre-Safe – Where the car would sense collisions and pre-prepare all the safety nets around the passengers, Distronic Braking Assist – where the carjudges the braking force and increases or decreases the same based on inputs from the radars and sensors around the vehicle. In terms of comfort, the older car had Active Body Control for keeping the body roll to the minimum while cornering and Multi-contour seats that could provide control over lumbar, shoulders and side bolsters with the turn of a switch. There was even an active bolstering system that helped the driver from rolling about in their seats by tightening the side bolstering while cornering. And the list went on.
So when the replacement arrived, it was beyond imagination what would the new features be. The W221 yet did leave everyone awestruck with its feature list in every aspect. It continues on exemplifying Il-hun Yoon and Robert Lešnik’s new design language that started off from the new CLA Class. The new design is based on one seamless structure that connects the whole car together. This philosophy continues on the inside, evident by the flowing lines of the centre dash that merges into the doors. With the use of smarter materials in construction the new car now weights 90kgs lighter than the earlier model, yet there are more features and functionality crammed into the package. The cabin feels more minimal than before, yet functional.
‘The World’s First’ – is back! The new car is the world’s first car to completely ditch Thomas Edison’s invention. All ‘old fashioned’ light bulbs have been replaced by LEDs, and believe me there are lots! The headlights alone have more than 55 LEDS, each! On a whole the car has more than 470 LEDS from head to toe. Talking of numbers, there are more that boggle one’s mind. The range topping variant makes 1000Nm of torque, has a 24-speaker Brumester audio system, 7 different interior ambient light settings, 2 reverse gears and numerous permutation and combinations for the seat settings.
Safety and comfort get their bumps in features too. The new S-Class comes with an improved Pre-Safe collision control system that now also uses the cameras that monitor the surroundings. The Active Body Control suspensions, introduced with the W220 model have been given a huge bump of intelligence. The system now seamlessly works with cameras and sensors pre judging the road conditions ahead and readying the suspension setup to absorb the potholes and bumps on the road. The intelligent package where the suspensions work in tandem with camera is coined as Magic Body Control.
The S-Class once again showcased their German owner’s prowess in thinking into the future of how cars and safety is to be. Whether other companies innovate or copy the same, they would all most certainly be heading in a direction of a better and safer world of cars. Although some might debate around such advancements in technologies taking the joy out of old-fashioned driving, but time comes to move on and with it more and more cars bearing such tech would once again get their goals right, pasting a smile on their owner’s faces.