Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has launched its flagship S-Class limousine in plug-in hybrid form. Like its predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz S 580 e is also locally assembled as part of the brand’s commitment to supporting the local industry.
Besides contributing to the sustainability of the local economy, the new S-Class also does so with the environment. In the car is now over 98 kg worth of components made from resource-conserving materials. The number of components containing recyclates is now 120, more than twice the amount than in the preceding model. Another 40 kg or so are made from renewable raw materials.
The process of environmentally compatible development with specific targets is firmly embedded in the overall development process, starting from the conceptual phase. For example, the floor coverings use a synthetic thread called ECONYL®, made with materials that would have been meant for the landfills, such as old fishing nets, waste fabric and carpets. The recycling process used to produce this thread saves CO2 in comparison to using new raw materials. This also enables Mercedes-Benz to keep materials in circulation, reusing them again and again.
This electrified limousine is powered by a 3.0L inline-6 engine paired with an electric motor and a 9G-Tronic transmission that can propel the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, despite its 2,400 kg kerb weight. The engine’s output is rated at 367 hp (270 kW) and 500 Nm @ 1,600 – 4,500 rpm, while the gearbox-mounted motor puts out 110 kW and 440 Nm. Electric power is supplied by a large 28 kWh battery that can give the S 580 e an electric driving range of 100 km.
Featured in the new S-Class is the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) with machine learning. This 2nd generation learn-capable system provides more intelligent and intuitive comfort and safety features in up to 5 large OLED displays. Like your phone, the system now features a fingerprint scanner just below the central display to unlock access.
Also available is the MBUX Augmented Reality Navigation which connects the virtual world with the real world. The technology incorporates graphical navigation instructions and traffic information into live images to ensure drivers will reach safely and stress-free. Further, the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant will constantly learn as you use the car’s features and the Mercedes me app. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the “Hey Mercedes” keyword, such as taking a telephone call. “Hey Mercedes” now also explains vehicle functions and answers general knowledge questions. In the S-Class, the voice assistant can also be controlled from the rear.
Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, the MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions. As well as enhancing operating convenience, MBUX Interior Assist improves safety. For example, it will notify the driver if the camera has detected a child seat on the front passenger seat, but seat belt is not fastened.
Needless to say, the interior of the S-Class is a plush and comfortable place to be. The seats literally invite the occupants to relax. The flowing, three-dimensional layer design theme of the nappa leather upholstery gives an impression of lightness and tranquility.
Even for the front seats there are multiple motors to adjust for comfortable seating, while also serving as a safety apparatus. One new feature is the heat-able additional cushion for the head restraint, which is available for the 2 electrically adjustable rear seats. The adjustment range and angle of the front passenger seat in the chauffeur configuration, and the reclining seat behind it have been improved as well.
The lounge-like cabin pairs digital and analogue luxury. Contrasting the 5 screens is the Anthracite open-pore poplar wood trim. New design elements include the flat, 4-square centre vents with horizontal nacelles. While 2 slim, vertical side vents on each side round off the ends of the dashboard. The systematic reduction in the number of controls also underscores the minimalist approach of the interior.
Meanwhile, the driver display and media display offer a comprehensive aesthetic experience. The screens offer individualisation with a choice of 4 display themes i.e. Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, and Classic, as well as and 3 modes i.e. Navigation, Assistance, and Service. Further, a class-leading Burmester® 3D surround sound system can be optimised for the front and rear seats to intensify the aural experience.
The MBUX also provides the S 580 e with an improved driving experience. When imminent danger is detected, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. The operating principle of the systems is made visible by a new display concept in the driver display. Thanks to improved environmental sensors, the parking systems also give the driver better support when maneuvering at low speeds.
The built-in PRE-SAFE® system is able to prepare the occupants for a side-on collision and reduce the risk of injury, by pushing the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone towards the inside. The impulse is created by the movement of the seat side bolsters in the front backrests. Beneath the upholstery there is a balloon which is activated pyrotechnically, similar to an airbag.
In the event of an imminent side collision being detected, a gas generator fills the balloon in an extremely short time. This causes the seat’s side bolster to be drawn inwards and transfer the momentum on the occupants towards the middle of the vehicle. A greater distance is therefore created on the side between the driver or front passenger and the door or trim parts. At the same time the impulse moderately accelerates the occupants forward. This acts to reduce the difference in speed between the impacting object and the occupant.
The PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side works in conjunction with the other restraint systems such as the seat belts. This also applies to the side impact airbags and window airbags which are deployed in accidents of greater severity.
The new S-Class also features the world’s first rear airbags, which are integrated into the backrest of the front seats, and deploy in a severe front impact. They deploy gently and protect strapped-in outer rear seat passengers against contact with the front seats. The loads on the head and neck can thus be reduced significantly.
For passive safety, the new hybrid body shell has an aluminum content over 50% and meets a high level of crash safety with its rigid body shell also ensuring better handling, and noise and vibration suppression, while also lowering weight.
“The S-Class is the world’s best-selling luxury limousine and we are also pleased that the new S 580 e will be a locally-assembled variant as its predecessor. This is a testament of our commitment to reinforce our local commitment to expand our local foothold in the country. The vehicle underpins our claim to produce the best automobile in the world. This is where covetable luxury meets the greatest possible safety and highest level of comfort,” said Michael Jopp, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
The new S-Class is also one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world. Even when the frontal area of the car has increased to 2.5 square metres, the drag coefficient (Cd) has reduced to 0.22. Moreover, the S-Class has also achieved further improvements in aeroacoustics. The high rigidity of the body shell provides the basis for outstanding noise and vibration comfort, and this is enhanced with fine-tuning. For example, the apertures for the cable grommets in the firewall have double seals. The firewall insulation has also been extended into the sides of the A-pillars and the floor area to further refine whatever engine sound that seeps into the cabin. Acoustic foam is also applied for the first time in a Mercedes-Benz.
The S-Class is designed as a classical saloon with perfect proportions, featuring a short front overhang, a long wheelbase and a balanced rear overhang. Character lines have been minimised while the wide track and flush-mounted wheels with modern designs give it a muscular look. The headlamps come with 3 powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro mirrors. The light beam has over 2.6 million pixels that provide very precise illumination, especially on Highbeam Assist.
Deliveries of the first cars will be made as early as mid-January 2022 and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will reveal the retail price once it has gotten confirmation of it. But it is safe to say that it will be higher than the outgoing model’s.