• 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class unveiled at the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany
• S-Class Benz expected to go on sale in September 2013
• Rear styling reminiscent of the CLS
• New option to control car features by smartphone app
• Rear passenger airbags integrated into seatbelts
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, expected to go on sale in September 2013, was unveiled at the Airbus factory in Hamburg amidst fireworks and a crooning Alicia Keys accompanied by the string section of the Hamburg Philharmonic.
Mercedes describes it as the safest car in the world, yet doesn't use a single light bulb. There are, however, around 500 LEDs stashed in various places to provide the necessary illumination.
Styling reveals that the steroidal fender flares of the outgoing car are gone, the rear is reminiscent of the CLS, and the flanks now bear a similar V-shape that adorns other Benz models.
It's also one of the slipperiest luxury cars around, with a drag coefficient of 0.24. The sleek Audi A8 comes in at 0.28.
Benz's proprietary Comand system uses a control wheel like a mouse, but now there's the option of controlling many of the car's features by smartphone app.
The interior boasts fine leather and brushed aluminum accents, and passengers are “hot stone” massaged and secured by multi-tasking seats. This is the first S-Class where the long-wheelbase version was the initial one, allowing M-B to offer reclining rear seats and folding aircraft tables – much like the now-defunct Maybach.
The level of technology employed includes lane keeping, blind spot monitoring, crosswind control, collision avoidance, and driver attention assistance. There’s also an apparatus that employs forward-looking stereo cameras (set into the rearview mirror) that scan the road surface ahead and adjusts the suspension for optimum ride quality.
Other cameras and radar sensors keep a constant watch on what’s happening around the car to help the driver make the right decision at the right time, and provide things like brake assistance exactly when needed. Rear passengers can now enjoy the benefits of airbags integrated into their seatbelts.
Prices for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be announced closer to the sale date of September 2013. For a ballpark figure, the 2013 S550 starts at $95000, brings 429hp and 15/25mpg (city/highway) to the table. The first new US-spec model will be the S550, with an all-wheel-drive S550 4Matic option. The S63 AMG is in the pipeline.