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Facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-class goes live before Shanghai premiere


After numerous spy shots, teaser images and even leaking online minus any camouflage last month, Mercedes-Benz has now officially revealed the refreshed S-class range ahead of the Shanghai Motor Show.

Confirmed for release in Europe from July, the revised S-class, as portrayed by the leaked image and silhouette teaser last week, gains a revised exterior consisting of a new front bumper and wider air intakes, redesigned high-gloss black grille on six and eight cylinder models and chrome finished frame on V12 and long wheelbase versions, Multi-beam LED headlamps, seven alloy wheel designs with sizes ranging from 17 to 20-inches, redesigned model specific rear bumper, integrated exhaust and crystal-look LED tail lamps. Maybach models also gain a bespoke logotype between the louvers and grille.

The high performance AMG-63 and AMG-65 models meanwhile makes use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium, with AMG's four mode (Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual) Dynamic Select system standard on both, and the 65 further benefitting from a curve tilting function as part of the Magic Body Control system, AMG tuned suspension, a Race mode and high performance brakes.

Claimed to set new standards in terms of comfort and safety tech, updates to the interior are made up of a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster with three background display options; Classic, Sport and Progressive, wireless smartphone charging and an updated 1520-watt 3D Burmeister surround sound system.

In addition to a 64 colour ambient lighting palette and standard keyless entry, the S-class also comes fitted with a an industry first Energising Comfort Feature that links the various controls and functions together to enable a specific wellness setup tailored to the driver's mood. Six programmes are offered; Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and Training and run for around ten minutes with suitable music playing in the background.

As well as new concierge service, full autonomous driving in the S-class has taken a major step forward with features now including Distronic Active Proximity Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Steer Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and Remote Parking Assist.

Up front, the S-class will initially be available with a choice of three petrol engines and two diesel engines, with the latter being the first of the revived straight-six family.

On the petrol side, the "base" S560 4Matic comes powered by a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 developing 345 kW and 700 Nm of torque. Replacing the outgoing S500, the 560 incorporates cylinder deactivation technology under minimal load to achieve a claimed fuel consumption figure of 9.3 L/100 km.

Moving one up, the AMG-S63 shares the same engine but with power upped to 450 kW and torque to 900 Nm. Like the 560, the 63 drops the previous seven-speed MCT gearbox for Benz's new nine-speed unit, and can reach 100 km/h from zero in 3.5 seconds before topping out at 250 km/h.

Unfortunately though, only left-hand drive (LHD) markets will receive the S63 with its new performance optimised 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system as standard, while right-hand drive examples will be rear-wheel drive only.

Completing the petrol range, the flagship AMG-S65 again sports a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12, making 463 kW and 1 000 Nm of torque. Like the 63, only LHD countries will be privy to the 4Matic+. As mentioned, the new straight-six range of diesel engine both displace 3.0-litres with the S350d 4Matic producing 210 kW and 600 Nm of torque, and the S400d 4Matic 250 kW and 700 Nm.

Expected to debut at a later stage, the new range of straight-six petrol engine mills will also spawn a mild-hybrid model complete with a 48-volt Integrated Starter Alternator, and a full-on plug-in hybrid with a claimed all-electric range of 50 km.

Final engine spec and indeed pricing will be revealed closer to the S-class's official market launch.

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