For the first time we can see the shape and contours of the limousine’s major panels and make out the general shape of the headlights, grille and taillights.
From the front, it’s clear the grille of the S-Class is larger and more upright and prominent, following the design trend set by a number of other models recently released by the German luxury car maker. The headlights are also bolder, seemingly drawing inspiration from the CLS-Class four-door ‘coupe’.
It’s a familiar looks from the side, although the previous model’s flared wheel arches have been softened for a sleeker, more refined profile.
The rear overhang appears to have been shortened slightly and the entire back end is now much cleaner than before. The taillights appear less squared off and more fluidic, while the outgoing model’s distinctive protruding boot lid makes way for a more conventional, level boot that now meets the rear bumper with a slight ‘V’ shape.
The new S-Class is set to form the basis of a number of new flagship models from Mercedes. The standard-wheelbase model will reportedly be followed by a long-wheelbase variant, a coupe to replace the CL-Class, and an ultra-luxury ‘Pullman’ model to fill the void in Daimler’s line-up left by the soon-to-depart Maybach.
Mercedes’ flagship sedan has always been a vehicle that gives the automotive world a preview of the technology and features to expect in regular cars in the future, and the new model should be no different. Intelligent LED headlights, a camera-utilising suspension system and a nine-speed automatic transmission have all been rumoured for the next-generation model.
The official unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is still expected to be a year away, with the 2013 Geneva motor show in March believed to be its earliest possible debut date.
Mercedes-Benz Australia’s David McCarthy said there was no firm timing schedule for the launch of the new S-Class in Australia, but he suggested it would not arrive before late 2013 at the earliest.