2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in silver - front three-quarter view

There are superlatives and acronyms, there is hyperbole, there are neologisms like “navitainment,” there is the longest press release we’ve ever seen – it includes a glossary – and there is the quest to build “the best automobile in the world.” What else could it be but the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

With the Asian market and its chauffeured drivers in mind, the long-wheelbase S-Class is the focus this time. It has the same length and wheelbase as the outgoing model, it’s 0.7 inches higher and about an inch wider, but made of aluminum throughout so weight gain is negligible (Mercedes-Benz hasn’t released a US-spec weight yet). In front is a larger radiator grille and a facial treatment that, from quite a few angles, makes it look like a slightly larger E-Class to our eyes. Behind that are the design themes we’ve seen unleashed on other Mercedes such as its “Dropping Line” along the side and the sloping rear end. The coefficient of drag is just 0.24 – that’s only 0.02 more than the comparatively tiny CLA.

Let’s run down some of the noteworthy standard and optional items on the V222 (the long-wheelbase version of the W222, which is the only one we’ll get):

  • The cabin gets two 12.3-inch TFT screens for the instrument cluster and the navitainment, a touch-sensitive telephone keypad, rear climate control with two more zones, access to infotainment media from any seat in the car – rear seat passengers can even see the Google Maps display to make sure the driver is going the right way
  • Roughly 300 LEDs in the cabin offer seven hues, five dimming levels and four dimming zones will be standard and the LED brake lights dim at night or while waiting at lights so as to be kinder on the eyes of drivers behind
  • Five different options in rear seating, the uppermost of which offers a backrest that reclines nearly 45 degrees, does so independently of the bolster, and has calf support and a heel rest. Get the First Class Rear package and avail yourself of a console that allows control of the center console from the rear, and thermally-controlled cupholders
  • Magic Body Control that uses stereo cameras to scan the road surface and adjust the suspension in advance of road imperfections
  • Massaging seats based on the “hot stone principle” for front and rear using 14 cushions in the backrest and six massage programs
  • An Air Balance Package that ionizes and filters the air and emits five choices in fragrance
  • Grouped under “Intelligent Drive,” the next generation of features like Active Parking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Night View Assist Plus, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, Brake Assist Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian recognition
  • A Warmth and Comfort package with heated steering wheel and armrests, seats with active ventilation, and power heated rear seats with memory

The new S-Class will launch with two models in the US, the S550 in September and the S550 4Matic following in November, which will probably joined by the inevitable S63 AMG 4Matic. Next year will welcome more powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid. As noted in the brochure that recently leaked online, the twin-turbo V8 in the S550 goes up to 4.7 liters in capacity from 4.6 and gets 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. And of course, there’s the promise of an eventual high-zoot Pullman model to supplant Daimler’s now-dead Maybach range, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

There’s so much more, but we’ll leave it at that for now – there’s plenty of reading in the release below to keep you occupied while we go visit the car and return with a report on the live European reveal.

Related Gallery2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

By Jonathon Ramsey