Although it was the 1954 Ponton series which was considered as the first official Mercedes-Benz S Class, the German manufacturer only introduced it in 1972 with the W116 and since then it has been the largest selling luxury saloon. The company is all set to strengthen this feat as it launches the 2014 latest generation S Class in India. Ammar Alvi gets up close and personal with this luxury on wheels.
There were many firsts to the S Class; first car in Europe with airbags, first in the world to popularize ABS systems, first in the world with traction control and crumple zones. The idea was to give customers the highest standards of luxury, performance and safety and the latest generation is no different and lives up to its name. There is a new 4-slat chrome grille that gives it a unique appearance, the large swept-back LED clustered headlamps, the S-Class is also the first car in the world without a single conventional light bulb on it and complete illumination is thanks to LEDs. There is a lot of similarities of this 2014 model with the Maybach. However, the new design makes the car look simple yet beautiful.
Inside it is a luxury cocoon; you will find extremely comfortable leather seats equipped with cooling and heating options with a set of six different 15-minute massage packages, 1540 watts of sound output from a staggering 24 speakers—43.5 degrees of recline on the backrest of the rear left hand side seat, 7 different light colours for the interior lighting, a new informative Multi Media display, well appointed front display and all the work you will find in a car of this stature.
When it comes to the engines, the German company will launch first the 4.6 Litre, twin-turbo, V8, Petrol engine car first with the S500 badging pumping 469 PS and 700NM of peak torque. All 2014 S Class models will feature the 7G-TRONIC, 7 speed, dual clutch gearbox. The company will later roll out the diesel engine powered S class. The S-Class in standard (non-AMG) form is limited to 255kmph and Mercedes-Benz claims that it consumes at least 20% less fuel as compared to its direct predecessor. Mercedes-Benz is also betting big on hybrid technologies and will have both a Petrol and Diesel Hydrid motor in their fleet of S-Class options.
As far as the ride is concerned, the S Class is one of the best luxury vehicles and the 2014 model will be no less. The Active Body Control, Mercedes-Benz’s version of adaptive hydraulic suspension is absolutely fantastic, the S Class comes with a new system called ‘Magic Body Control’ that adjusts the cars suspension using a set of Stereoscopic Cameras that scan the road to upto 15 meters ahead and adjust the suspension according to what it feels would be the best setting to tackle road conditions (do not expect this feature in the Indian S Class). However the ride is brilliant, steering wheel extremely light and above all the backseat passengers can find themselves in the best comfort on wheels.
As far as the price is concerned, we expect the S500 model to be around Rs 1.25 crore ex showroom and with the whole package it will be definitely be very good value for money.