Fresh look, new engines, more tech for two-door flagship
The updated 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet have been revealed overnight ahead of their debut at next week's Frankfurt motor show.
Externally, there are revised bumpers at the front and rear, more chrome highlights, and new OLED tail-lights as standard. Other visual changes include new side skirts, and chrome tailpipe trims that echo the quad-style look of V12 models.
Mercedes-Benz is keen to harp on about the new rear light units (above), which comprise of 66 ultra-flat OLEDs that act like floating elements inside the tail-light housing. When the vehicle is unlocked and locked, the tail-lights animate in a scrolling fashion similar to that in the new-generation E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet.
Filling the arches are two new alloy wheel choices that can be optioned in conjunction with the company's AMG Line specification, being variations of the same 20-inch 10-spoke design that can be had in either high-sheen titanium grey or high-gloss black.
Inside, the first thing you'll notice is the new steering wheel design, which made its debut in the 2018 S-Class limousine range. There's also three new trim lines; high-gloss brown burr walnut wood, satin grey ash wood and designo magnolia wood, along with three new Nappa leather upholstery lines.
The dual-screen setup has also seen updates for the new model-year, with the two 12.3-inch screens featuring updated graphics. Drivers can use the new touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel to toggle various menus and information – which are controlled by swiping gestures.
Other changes include the latest generation of the company's COMAND Online infotainment system, including 3D navigation with topographical map displays, photo-realistic 3D buildings and map rotations. Real-time traffic updates are included, as is compatibility with other Car-to-X connected services like weather, fuel stations and prices, warning messages, and free parking spaces.
The updated infotainment also includes the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone technologies as part of the Smartphone Integration package, while wireless charging for compatible devices is fitted as standard.
New for 2018 is 'Energizing' comfort control, which is optional. The technology links several systems in the vehicle such as the climate control, seat ventilation, fragrance, lighting and musical atmospheres and tailors them to the desired mood of the driver.
Six programs are available; Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training – though the latter has three modes in itself which comprise of several exercises each, including muscle relaxation, muscle activation, and balance.
Each of the modes run for 10 minutes, and have their own colour graphics visualised on the infotainment system. The ambient lighting will also change according to the program chosen.
Meanwhile, the updated driver assistance functions take one step further towards autonomous driving. Active Distance Control (adaptive cruise) and active steering assist are claimed to provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer.
Speed can be adjusted automatically ahead of bends, intersections or roundabouts, with the Active Distance Control system making heavy use of map and navigation data to make decisions.
The S-Class Coupe gets an upgraded version of the optional Magic Body Control suspension system - which tilts the body by up to 2.65 degrees to keep the S-Class flat through corners – with the revised stereo camera setup now able to work at speeds of up to 180km/h.
Meanwhile, the cabriolet gets Airmatic semi-active air suspension as standard, with "infinitely variable" damping control.
There's also revised engines for 2018, along with new model designations.
Kicking off the range is the S450 (coupe only), which features a 270kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbo V6. A new gliding function and the addition of the nine-speed automatic transmission have allowed claimed fuel consumption to drop to 8.9L/100km combined. Despite this, the base coupe can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz says the gliding function decouples the engine from the transmission when the driving conditions and battery charge allow, meaning the V6 runs at idle so the S-Class can coast freely and reduce fuel use. The S450 is also equipped with a petrol particulate filter.
The other new powerplant lives under the bonnet of the S560 Coupe and Cabriolet, which replaces the outgoing S500, and is the base variant in the convertible range.
Like the limousine, the S560 features a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 shared with various models in the Mercedes-AMG portfolio, developing 345kW and 700Nmin this application.
Both hard- and soft-top versions are capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, while a new cylinder deactivation system can shut off four cylinders to reduce fuel consumption.
Mercedes-Benz claims 8.0L/100km for the rear-wheel drive coupe, and 8.7L/100km for the all-wheel drive 4Matic coupe and rear-wheel-drive-only convertible.
Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65
In addition to the updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet ranges, the Mercedes-AMG versions have also undergone updates in line with the limousine line-up.
Both models are distinguishable from their Benz-branded counterparts thanks to their new 'Panamericana' front grille that is being introduced across the AMG range, along with a revised front bumper with a 'jet wing'-inspired design. Less obvious updates have been applied to the side skirts and rear diffuser.
Changes to the interior echo that of the core range, including the new steering wheel and updated 12.3-inch displays.
Headlining the AMG updates, however, is the S63's heart transplant. The V8 AMG S-Class now gets the company's new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, pumping out a healthy 450kW of power and 900Nm of torque.
For left-hand drive markets, the S63 gets the company's 4Matic+ performance all-wheel drive system, allowing the big coupe and convertible to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds - which seems crazy for a vehicle weighing just over two tonnes. Shifting gears is the company's new nine-speed multi-clutch transmission, while fuel use is rated at 9.3L/100km.
The 4Matic+ system is fully-variable, allowing torque to be split actively between the front and rear axles, including the option of fully-rear-wheel drive. Right-hand drive markets, however, are left with rear-wheel drive only - though Mercedes-AMG is yet to confirm official performance figures.
Meanwhile, the S65 soldiers on with its tried-and-tested 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12, which develops 463kW of power and 1000Nm of torque. Drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The V12 AMG S-Class can spring from 0-100km/h in a respectable 4.1 seconds regardless of its roof type, while fuel consumption is rated at 11.9L/100km combined.
Mercedes-Benz's local arm has confirmed with CarAdvice that the updated S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet range will arrive Down Under in April of next year.
Stay tuned for further details in the lead up to the revised line-up's Australian launch in the coming months.
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