Motoring

First Look: Seventh Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class hits Australia

When it comes to the top of the tree in the Automotive space, it’s hard to go past what Mercedes-Benz packs into their large S-Class. Today, the company announced the seventh generation S-Class availability and pricing for Australia.

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Starting at $240,700 this one is for the executive, the “I’m doing very well” and for the rest of us to admire as it rolls by on the freeway, or when we’re stopped at the lights next to it.

I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class yesterday, and I can tell you it was love at first sight. The swooping lines that give a perception that the car sits so low to the ground, moreso than it does, and the sleek edge details are just glorious.

Inside, this is not Business Class, its First Class. The detail in the stitching, the intricate lighting effects not just in one place but all though the cabin.

All of which you’d expect from a top of the line Mercedes.

Let’s look at what stands out about the new S-Class.

A huge OLED screen is the centrepiece which to be honest is a huge leap forward from the side by side infotainment screen on a large number of Mercedes sitting up high alongside the digital dashboard.

The MBUX system is second-generation, and there’s “interior assist” which quite frankly will blow your mind. This is how Mercedes describe it:

“Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, the S-Class 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. For example, if the driver looks over his/her shoulder towards the rear window, Interior Assist automatically opens the sunblind. If the driver is looking for something on the front passenger seat in the dark, it automatically switches the light on. Natural hand movements are also recognised, allowing the driver or passengers to open the sliding sunroof with a gesture. Cameras and face recognition are also used for a range of assistance and comfort functions including the new biometric authentication, drowsiness detection by ATTENTION ASSIST, and settings for the exterior mirrors”

Personally, my mind is blown by the Augmented Reality Navigation in the Head-Up display.

We saw this in it’s first iteration built into the centre screen navigation – arrows helping you navigate appearing as if in the real world.

On the new 2021 S-Class this Augmented Reality navigation is embedded into the large head-up display for the driver.

Next level navigation using Augmented Reality.

From a Safety perspective there’s some impressive new features.

Using all the sensors under the sun, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will detect when a side impact threatens by raising the entire car by 8cm. And it all happens within a few tenths of a second.

Saftey takes priority in the back seat too, where a world first frontal airbag is available to be deployed for the rear seat occupants.

These airbags deploy from within the front seats, out to protect the rear occupants in the same way the traditional airbags in the front dashboard and steering wheel do for the front row passenger and the driver.

All this is just the start. Within time there will be a PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid) model available, as well as Drive Pilot which brings serious levels of autonomy to the S-Class on the German Autobarns – We’ll have to await some regulatory approvals for that here.

Oh, and if you’re thinking such a large car will be tough to manoeuvre – think again. Rear axle steering means this thing turns like a small city car.

Having sat in this stunner, and driven it at very low speed into and around a warehouse (just for TV), it’s quiet, its luxurious, and I can’t wait to take one out on the open road.

First Look: Seventh Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class hits Australia
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