"Leave the driving to us," the advertisements for Greyhound used to state. While taking the bus has to do with regarding one could receive from traveling via Mercedes-Benz S-class, that tagline also is appropriate for the most up to date version of the special big Benz. For 2018, the S-class sees a mid-cycle upgrade that brings powertrain modifications, exterior and interior layout tweaks, as well as, the majority of considerably, boosted semi-autonomous driving functions.
Much more Cruising
In the brand-new 2018 S-class, the cruise control automatically adjusts its rate for curves, junctions, changes in the speed limitation, and also toll plazas. (Its understanding of the surface is based on GPS information.) This goes an action past the functionality formerly provided in the mid-size E-class. The internet effect is that could utilize cruise ship control-- and also its attendant steering-assist function-- much more commonly on secondary roads and also not just on highways.
This could be the most significant development in cruise control because flexible cruise permitted motorists to use the function in heavy traffic, provided that motorists get comfortable with it. It is a little more difficult to trust than simple flexible cruise control. With the car in its default Comfort owning mode, the cruise control will certainly slow down significantly for curves-- compared to you could by yourself-- in the past quickly speeding up back to the established speed. In Sport or Sport+, nonetheless, it doesn't reduce as much as well as carries much more momentum with edges.
That element functions penalty, but just what's somewhat disconcerting is discovering how to trust the cars and truck to slow by itself when approaching intersections, because the vehicle driver has to be ready to brake for oncoming traffic at a yield or to brake for a stop at a stop sign. If there's no oncoming web traffic at a yield as well as no braking is called for, the chauffeur could stay off the brakes and allow the car do it all; if one does have to brake at a return or for a stop, the motorist afterward has to hit the return button to shut off the cruise control. (The resume and also various other cruise-control buttons have actually relocated to the left mentioned the guiding wheel; M-B's stalk-mounted controls are no more.) In addition to slowing for curves or crossways on the existing roadway, if the driver indicates a turn onto a backstreet or into a parking area, the vehicle once again will automatically reduce it.
An additional significant enhancement over last year's S-class is that the semi-autonomous steering currently can perform a lane change. The driver turns on the turn signal, and also the guiding assist will make the lane change, supplied the surrounding lane is clear. If not, the automobile will certainly cancel the directional signal as well as wait to switch over lanes. When it's clear (within 10 seconds approximately), the system will automatically reactivate the turn signal and also guide right into the surrounding lane; the instrument collection suggests exactly what's taking place. Independent lane transforming jobs only on multilane roadways; it will certainly not perform a pass on a two-lane roadway.
Engines of Change
Other changes to the S-class are extra significant when a human is in control, with the biggest found under the hood. A brand-new base-model S450 uses a V-6 engine making 362 horsepower from 3.0 liters and also a pair of turbochargers. The pillar S550 comes to be the S560-- reanimating a longtime S-class version number-- as its twin-turbo V-8 rises in result even as it lowers in variation. Its previous 449-hp 4.7-liter V-8 is supplanted by a 4.0-liter great for 463 horsepower and also 516 lb-ft of torque.
The AMG versions retain their S63 and also S65 model names. The eight-cylinder S63 downsizes its V-8 from 5.5 liters to the brand-new 4.0-liter shown to the S560. AMG, nonetheless, takes care of to extract 603 horsepower as well as 664 lb-ft from those 4 liters, a gain of 26 horsepower over the old 5.5-liter engine (torque is unmodified). The S65 retains its V-12, which obviously has actually plateaued at 621 horsepower and also 738 lb-ft. That V-12 likewise appears in the S650 Maybach. Not yet for our market is a brand-new inline-six engine with an electrical supercharger in addition to a traditional turbo, an integrated 48-volt starter/alternator, as well as direct-drive accessories. (There additionally will certainly be a diesel inline-six that we'll most likely never ever see in America.).
We drove the S560 and also the S63, which show up on our coasts this autumn. In spite of not obtaining a brand-new model classification, the S63 has, even more, mechanical modifications. Along with the brand-new engine, it trades its seven-speed automatic transmission for a nine-speed unit. Its standard all-wheel-drive system, 4MATIC+, supplies a variable front-to-rear split. (The S560 maintains the fixed, rear-biased 4MATIC system, however, it's optional.).
Rotating through town, the S63's brand-new transmission never ever betrays its lack of a torque converter. The nine-speed, which is paired with the engine with a clutch pack, is smooth as well as well-mannered. Take out to pass in the S63, as well as it's like obtaining punted from behind. The gearbox instantly drops a couple of gears, and also the engine's strong wave of torque rockets you ahead. In Sport as well as Sport+ modes, the vehicle driver doesn't have to dig as deeply into the accelerator travel to get a downshift or 2, which seems about right. So, as well, is the determined, progressive throttle response, never mind that this is a relatively tiny engine making large power thanks to two turbos.
The S560 utilizes a nine-speed automated, also, however, this one has a standard torque converter. Its downshifts in response to a mashed accelerator are simply fractionally much less prompt compared to the S63's, and the resulting rush of velocity is significantly much less unbalanced. Mercedes places the S560's zero-to-60-mph time at 4.5 secs as well as the S63's at 3.4. When it comes time to scrub off speed, the large brakes are very easy to regulate. Need to you fail to utilize them, the automated emergency braking system now could stay clear of a collision-- with another automobile or a pedestrian-- at greater rates, and also if the vehicle driver tries to swerve around a challenge, the steering could help an incredibly elusive maneuver.
In addition to the option of "curved curve function" on the S560, there is not much new in how to ride and handle big Benz. Both variants have nicely sorted driving modes, without jarring steps from one to the other (Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual in the S63; the S560 trades Sport+ for Eco mode). The soft but precise steering is not too much in demand even at low speeds in Comfort, and this makes a smooth effort if you switch to a more sporty setting. Similarly, the appropriate chassis in the Comfort company is somewhat up in the Sport but does not become hard even in S63's Sport +. This is a big, heavy car, however, and even in the AMG in its firmest setting, one is keenly aware of that mass when diving into tight corners. The S-class is supremely capable—particularly the S63—but you wouldn’t call it playful
If it’s amusement you’re looking for, you might find it in the wonderland that is the Benz’s widescreen digital dashboard display. The previous pair of 12.3-inch TFT screens is now housed together to appear as a single unit. The center screen’s functions are navigated via the familiar COMAND console-mounted wheel and touchpad or via a tiny touch-sensitive nub on the right spoke of the steering wheel. You swipe across it or up or down with your thumb, then press it to select—which sounds fussy but actually is pretty easy to use. A similar nub on the left side controls what is displayed in the virtual gauge cluster, which can be set up in three different formats: Sporty, Classic, and Progressive.
Some new discoveries: The S63 has a Track Pace menu in the center screen that can record lap times; a Drag Race page can measure acceleration, quarter-mile times, and braking distances. For such occasions, Mercedes has made the S63 Race Race function more accessible: Brake pedal problem with the left foot while putting the accelerator in your right; use shift paddles to increase or decrease engine speed before releasing the brakes.
An Energizing Comfort menu purports to create an interior ambiance via audio, lighting, seat massaging, and fragrance. The choices are Refresh, Vitality, Joy, Well-Being, and Training. Our drive partner at the media event vetoed Joy, so we tried Well-Being. But that fired up the seat heaters—not ideal on a summer day—and the fragrance was overpowering. We switched to Vitality but hated the music (the system also can pull from your own music collection, provided the beats per minute are appropriate). We completed the rest of our drive without the benefit of Energizing Comfort.
Cast a glance away from the screens and the cabin is largely the same, rich environment we know now, with the main changes being a switch to a three-spoke steering wheel (in the S63 it gets a squared-off rim wrapped in leather and microsuede) and a new standard inductive charging pad on the center console (and an optional second one in the rear). Both the S560 and S63 we drove were dressed up with Nappa leather interiors from Benz’s Exclusive collection, featuring a two-tone color scheme, perforated leather in a diamond pattern, and carbon-fiber trim with brushed-metal accents.
No Greyhound ever looked like this inside. Nor was it as comfortable—even without a snoring vagrant in the next seat. But the 2018 S-class does take another step down the path of turning drivers into passengers. It’s just doing so at the far opposite end of the socioeconomic scale.
front-engine, rear- or all-wheel-drive, 4- or 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
ESTIMATED BASE PRICES:
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8, 463 or 603 hp, 516 or 664 lb-ft
9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 124.6 in
Length: 206.9-208.5 in
Width: 74.8-75.0 in Height: 58.8-59.0 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 4800-4950 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 3.3-4.3 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 8.6-10.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.1-12.7 sec
Top speed: 130-186 mph
FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA combined/city/highway: 20-23/17-20/25-28 mpg