- New updated S Class features a host of technological upgrades.
- Option of DRIVE PILOT automated driving system, should the UK allow the use of automated vehicles on roads next year.
- Priced from £78,000, available to order now.
- Three variants available in the UK - S 350 d, S 400 d 4MATIC and S 500 4MATIC.
Sit back and let the new Mercedes-Benz S Class do all the thinking for you - because with truly ground-breaking new tech it promises to be one of the first properly automated and ‘hands free’ vehicles to hit the UK.
The release of this heavily updated new S Class couldn’t have been better timed.
Earlier this month the Government launched a consultation into the use of self-driving cars on our roads.
There’s even suggestions the Government could allow such vehicles to use the tech on motorways, up to speeds of 70mph, as early as next year.
The transport minister Rachel Maclean told Parliament: “Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for motorists, and the UK should be the first country to see these benefits, attracting manufacturers to develop and test new technologies.”
So, in steps the luxurious S Class, boasting cutting edge collision-avoidance and lane-keeping technology.
Priced from £78,000 to £108,000, the S Class is utterly brimming with sophisticated gadgetry, which puts it top of the pile of business-class transportation.
One of the key features of the update is the ‘DRIVE PILOT’ system, available as an optional extra, and which will come into play should the UK allow its use. Here a driver must be alert and attentive - no snoozing in the back - and must be ready to take control of the vehicle when required.
A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson explained: “It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode with the new DRIVE PILOT.
“By taking pressure off the driver, this allows them to undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with emails in the In-Car Office, and so win extra time."
The DRIVE PILOT system works through a mix of cameras, radar, lidar (light detection and ranging optical sensors) as well as sat-nav and HD mapping.
The firm adds: “In the new S-Class, Mercedes-Benz comes another big step closer to its vision of accident-free driving. The driver is supported by numerous new or extended driving assistance systems. He/she thereby has a reduced workload in day-to-day situations, and is able to drive comfortably and safely. When danger threatens, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. The operating principle of the systems is made visible by a new display concept in the driver display."
Owners will be able to park and unpark the car remotely via smartphone.
Meanwhile the S Class - given the right selected options - is capable of Automated Valet Parking, again where the law permits it. That means it will take itself out of its parking spot in the nearest multi-storey and simply arrive at the kerb next to you at the touch of a button.
Those are just the headline grabbing stats, and there’s a host of other talking points.
There’s a new ‘MBUX’ (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system, with up to five screens on board, a new 3D driver display, and a large head-up display with augmented reality.
When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.
There’s new active ambient lighting, which you can control through your voice.
And an updated Driving Assistance Package now includes intelligent compliance with speed limits.
Meanwhile to illustrate the comfort levels available in the sumptuous and class-leading interior, the front passenger seat alone is assisted by up to 19 motors - 8 for adjustments, 4 for massage and 5 for ventilation, one for the lumbar support and one to move the monitor on the reverse - and there are 10 different massage programmes to choose from.
In terms of drivetrains, initially three variants will be offered in the UK - the S 350 d, S 400 d 4MATIC and S 500 4MATIC, all hooked up to a 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox.
The S 350 d is a 3.0 litre diesel mill with 286 hp, and which can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds. All wheel drive with the S 350 d 4MATIC reduces that sprint time to 6.2 seconds.
Meanwhile the S 400 d 4MATIC has power of 330 hp and will reach 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds.
The S Class is available to order now.