2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Debuts
- The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is revealed in Hamburg, Germany ahead of a planned U.S. market introduction in September.
- A revised version of the outgoing S-Class's twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter direct-injection gasoline V8 engine rated at 449 horsepower will be the only offering at launch.
- The new S-Class remains largely the same size as the outgoing model.
HAMBURG, Germany — The covers have come off the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class at a glitzy media presentation in Hamburg, Germany ahead of a planned U.S. market introduction in September.
Developed under the internal code name W222, the distinctively styled sixth-generation S-Class is claimed to be among the most sophisticated road cars ever placed into series production.
Included in a long list of options that will be available for the new Mercedes when it reaches the U.S. later this year is an advanced camera-assisted chassis. The new feature is able to scan the road surface and alter the suspension settings to suit the conditions for optimum ride comfort.
Set to play a more significant role in the future Mercedes-Benz lineup than the outgoing model, the 2014 S-Class sedan has been conceived in three different guises: short wheelbase, long wheelbase and extra-long wheelbase — the latter of which will act as a replacement for the discontinued Maybach 57 and 62 limousines.
The new four-door will also provide the mechanical package for a successor to the Mercedes-Benz CL, which is planned to re-adopt the traditional S-Class coupe name. Mechanics will also be shared with an all-new S-Class convertible, first hinted at by the Mercedes Ocean Drive concept car.
The new S-Class remains largely the same size as the outgoing model. Length has increased by 0.8 inch to 206.5 inches, width by 1.1 inches to 74.8 inches and height by 0.4 inch to 58.9 inches in long-wheelbase form, as sold in the U.S. The new luxury sedan also rides on the same 124.6-inch wheelbase as before, indicating the chassis is a development of that used by the fifth-generation model.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed a single engine for the S-Class's September U.S. sales launch: a revised version of the outgoing model's twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 direct-injection gasoline engine. It produces 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the S500 — giving it 20 hp more but the same torque loading as it predecessor. The claimed 0-62-mph time has been lowered from a previous 5.4 seconds to 4.8 seconds, while top speed remains limited to 155 mph.
As with all of the new S-Class's power plants, the S500's engine comes mated to a standard seven-speed automatic gearbox boasting fuel-saving features such as automatic stop-start and brake energy recuperation. Plans exist to provide the new car with a more contemporary in-house-produced nine-speed automatic as a running change, although it won't likely appear until 2015, according to Edmunds' sources.
The S500 will initially be delivered in rear-wheel-drive form only, although Mercedes-Benz has already officially confirmed that a four-wheel-drive S500 4Matic model will be added to the U.S. lineup in November.
At the same time, it also plans to introduce a successor to the S63 AMG. It will continue to run a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 gasoline engine, producing in the vicinity of 544 hp in standard form and 571 hp in combination with an optional performance package. But unlike the outgoing model, which was available in rear-wheel-drive form only, the new S63 AMG will receive 4Matic four-wheel drive as standard.
Three additional engines will be offered in other global markets. Included is a gasoline-electric hybrid unit in the S400 Hybrid. It receives a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine and electric motor for a total output of 302 hp — an increase of 27 hp on the old S400 Hybrid.
A carryover 255-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 common rail diesel engine is used in the S350 Bluetec, a model that traditionally garners the largest percentage of sales in Europe. It will be joined by the S300 Hybrid, which runs a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel in combination with an electric motor for an overall 201 hp.
Another three engines are planned to be added to the S-Class lineup during the 2014 calendar year. Among them will be a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 with around 530 hp in the S600. A 621-hp 6.0-liter version of this engine will also power the range-topping S65 AMG, which will continue to be sold exclusively with rear-wheel drive but with a seven-speed automatic in place of the two-decade-old five-speed unit used by its predecessor.
Rounding out the lineup will be the S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which Mercedes-Benz's head of R&D Thomas Weber suggests will be certified with a combined fuel consumption figure just shy of 60.0 mpg on the European test cycle when it is launched toward the end of 2014.
Edmunds says: A classic shape combined with an outstanding cabin and the latest electronics should make this version of the S-Class another solid entry in the ultra-luxury sedan class.