Full details: the new Mercedes S-Class | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Shanghai Motor Show

Full details: the new Mercedes S-Class

Self-driving technology, a bonkers 604bhp AMG and a new S560 model. Details here

Published: 18 Apr 2017

This is a story of tech and engines, because as you can quite clearly see, the overhauled Mercedes S-Class looks almost exactly like the car it replaces. 

Revealed at this week’s Shanghai motor show, ahead of its market launch this July, the new S-Class gets all the latest Mercedes autonomous driving tech. Most of which debuted on the E-Class last year.

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New to the S-Class is Distronic Active Proximity Control, which when set uses GPS data to slow it down for roundabouts, junctions, corners, toll booths and so on. We’ve already had a demo of all the new features, which also include autonomous parking, and you can read all about them by clicking on these words

Finished? Good, because there are some new engines to talk about too. A 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel replaces the existing V6. In the S350d it produces 282bhp and 443lb ft (a 27bhp increase and 14lb ft decrease), and in the S400d you get 335bhp and 516lb ft. That's the most powerful diesel Mercedes ever, and isn’t yet confirmed for the UK.

The famous S500 badge makes way for S560, with the old 4.7-litre V8 replaced by the newer 4.0-litre biturbo with 463bhp, 516lb ft and cylinder deactivation.

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You want AMGs? Of course there are some. The S63 AMG gets the 4.0-litre V8 – from the E63, C63 and so on – but with 604bhp, a faintly outrageous 664lb ft of torque (the same as a LaFerrari) and a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, one per-centers will be pleased to hear the S65 AMG keeps its V12.

In left-hand-drive countries, all bar the S65 get 4Matic all-wheel drive. So equipped, the S63 will do 0-63mph in 3.5secs. Yikes. But in the UK everything is rear-wheel drive only. Boo. 

Inside, it’s as opulent as ever. There’s a new steering wheel (with controls that replace the familiar Mercedes cruise control stalk, which is no more) and the widescreen LCD screens from the E-Class. A new ‘energising comfort control’ feature links together the seats (massage, heating etc), climate control and stereo to deliver set ambiances like freshness, warmth or joy. 

Right-hand drive cars will arrive in October.

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