Shanghai 2017: Mercedes-Benz S-Class W222 Facelift Debuts With New Engines

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Shanghai 2017: Mercedes-Benz S-Class W222 Facelift Debuts With New Engines

With BMW having launched an all-new 7 Series last year and Audi set to renew its A8 flagship for a new model generation, Mercedes-Benz battens its hatches and rolls out a new facelift of its hugely successful W222 S-Class flagship at the ongoing Shanghai Motor Show.

Set to enter European markets in July, the new S-Class receives extensive updates as Mercedes-Benz attempts to ensure that its class-leading flagship continues to stay ahead of its aggressively-chasing rivals. To date, Mercedes has sold 300,000 units of the W222 since its global launch in 2013 – a significant number in its market segment.

On top of significant enhancements of its autonomous driving packages, the S-Class also serves as the platform for Mercedes-Benz to usher in a whole new family of engines that includes, for the first time nearly two decades from the brand, inline-6 engines.

For starters, a 2.9-litre inline-6 diesel is available in two states of tune – 286hp/600Nm powering the S350d and 340hp/700Nm powering the S400d. Built on an aluminium block but running on steel pistons, the engine incorporates two-stage turbocharging and variable valve-lift control.

A petrol-powered 3.0-litre inline-6, codenamed M256, is slated for later introduction. Outputs have yet to be disclosed, although Mercedes has confirmed that two states of tune will be offered. An electric supercharger ensures lag-free boosting, whilst an Integrated Starter Alternator helps recoup energy and deliver sporadic boosts of energy in similar vein to a mild hybrid setup. Its water pump and air-con compressor are electrically-powered too, eliminating the need for belts, but necessitating the use of a 48V electrical architecture.

A new plug-in hybrid variant will also be introduced, promising 50km of all-electric driving range thanks to a significantly increased battery capacity of 13.3 kWh.

Higher up the range comes the Mercedes-AMG-developed 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 in two configurations. A ‘detuned’ variant, codenamed M176, goes into the S560 producing 469hp and 700Nm. At the other end of the scale, the same engine is pushed all the way to 612hp/900Nm – eclipsing even the AMG GT’s outputs – to power the AMG S63 variant.

Both V8 engines have cylinder deactivation capability to effectively reduce overall fuel consumption. At low loads, the engine effectively operates as a four-cylinder.

You wouldn’t believe it, but there actually is still a variant of the S-Class with port fuel injection, namely the 6.0-litre V12 AMG S65 producing 630hp and 1,000Nm to tear the rear wheels through Merc’s previous-generation but proven 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission.

Interestingly, aside from the S65, all other variants of the S-Class revealed at Shanghai are all-wheel driven, from the S350d right up to the AMG S63. The S63’s 4Matic+ system is an AMG-enhanced setup with fully-variable torque split. Right-hand drive markets, however, will eventually receive the S63 exclusively in RWD configuration.

All functions of the S-Class’ autonomous driving assistance systems receive significantly improved calibration. The Distronic active cruise control system now blends in with the vehicle’s in-board satellite data to further refine the smoothness of its speed adjustment. Active steer assist, lane change assist, and autonomous emergency braking have all been tweaked for even smoother operation.



Kon

Kon

Prefering his cars to come with four disc brakes, independent rear suspension, and manual transmission, Kon prioritizes mechanical sophistication over outward appeal. Admires cars built to exceed the sum of their parts and appreciates vehicles engineered with integrity.


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