There was a time that we would say, "this car can practically drive itself," when referring to the technology and advances on specific models. In the case of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, it seems that this terminology is becoming much more of a reality. Your expectations are immediately raised when looking at the press release that is over a hundred pages long just to include all of the explanations and descriptions of the advanced technology being utilized in this sleek new S-Class.
In typical Mercedes fashion, the big revel took place under the bright lights of the massive Airbus Factory in Hamburg, Germany. The rear-wheel drive 2014 S-Class will hit the showrooms in September of this year, followed by the all-wheel drive S63AMG model in November. To add excitement to this new model, the 2015 models will be arriving next year, and include a plug-in hybid model promised to be more efficient than the Toyota Prius, as well as two variant models with the super powerful V12 engine.
The rear-wheel model will certainly not disappoint with its twin turbo charged 4.7-liter V8 engine, complete with 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. For such a solid car, it can do 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds, which is a full second faster than it's predecessor. The details on the pricing has not yet been released, but is expected to be about $100,000, compared to $93,000 for the current base model.
The Top 5 Technology Advancements
1. The Self Driving Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop & Go Pilot is the source of a lot of buzz in the automobile industry these days. The 360-degree sensing system consists of 6 radar systems and 12 ultrasonic sensors. The on board cameras and radar sensors detect lane markings and vehicles; making it capable of braking, accelerating and even navigating around cars and moderate turns. Ideal in traffic situations, there has been talk that it's also capable of operating hands-free, but for now, your hands have to be on the wheel in order for these features to function.
2. The active suspension system goes to extremes to provide a smooth ride, regardless of the road's conditions. A pair of cameras mounted on the windshield continuously scans the road for any upcoming imperfections. When something is sensed, the information is then sent to the "Magic Body Control System," which adjusts the suspension to the proper settings that maintains the smooth ride.
3. The lighting will surely revolutionize the automobile industry and be the new standard for luxury brands. The new S-Class will be first "bulb-less" car, using only LED lighting. Ideal for safely and efficiency, this will spark a growing trend. To put this into perspective, the headlights consist of 56 LED lights, 35 in the taillights and 4 in the rear fog lamps. The interior lighting is more advanced than anything I've seen before and provides numerous options. With a mere 300 LED lights, they are adjustable in 7 colors and 5 dimmer levels, within the 4 distinct lighting zones. This is just the beginning - the headlights are in a world beyond anything seen before with each unit having it's own mini computer to control the technology. The Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus actually allows the high beams to stay on while driving by continuously "masking-out" other vehicles so they do not interfere with other drivers.
4. You can call and cancel your spa appointment now. The new S-Class has the most advanced massage options available today in both the front and rear seats. This Energizing Massage system is designed to mimic a hot stone massage with 14 actuated air cushions with a warming function. This is sure to make sitting in traffic or long trips much more enjoyable with a total of 6 massage settings, 2 of them with the heat option.
5. The Active Seat Belt is part of the pre-safe system, which prepares the passenger during a crash to provide the best protection possible. It's amazing to see these mechanisms and technology work together to revolutionize the seat belt's activity in such a few short seconds. The split second the car acknowledges a crash is taking place, the rear seat belts begin to tighten before actually inflating across the chest. While this is happening, the belt jams at the latch to allow the lower part of the belt to remain tight while the diagonal part of the upper belt is progressively released on impact to help reduce the amount of upper chest injuries.
Even with these 5 amazing technology features packed into the new Mercedes Benz S-Class, there are still many other enhancements and features being discovered, and we are still several months from official delivery. The interior houses two of the largest video screens seen in sedans today, with 2 video screens measuring 12.3 inches. We were all sad to see the Maybach officially laid to rest this past year, but Mercedes is continuing to borrow some of the luxury features from this brand to integrate into these Mercedes-Benz models. A great example of this is the active perfuming system, which is housed in the glove box and continuously provides the scent of your choice for an estimated 7,000 miles before needing to be replaced. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will certainly make an impressive addition to next year's luxury automobile lineup, and sure to lure more back to Mercedes-Benz brand beginning this Fall.