By on April 18, 2017

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the refreshed S-Class at the Shanghai Motor Show, and every model in the lineup receives a laundry list of upgrades for 2018.

While technological conveniences remain the S-Class’ bread and butter, Mercedes has expanded trim choices, color options, and is even offering new engine choices on several models.

The sedans receive revised front and rear bumpers that create a more cohesive appearance, falling in line with the E-Class lineup. All models have been fitted with a grille that was formerly reserved only for top trim levels, as well as fancy new LED illumination. To distinguish lower-tier models from the ultra-expensive variants, Benz outfitted the six- and eight-cylinder cars with three twin louvers as well as vertical strips with a high-gloss black finish. The AMG models will persist with telltale air inlets and splitters, while the V12 gains a woven metal covering.

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S-Class interiors will receive expanded upholstery options, a new three-point steering wheel, wireless phone charging, and an upgraded infotainment system with a larger glass display running across the center dash.

As per tradition, Mercedes has improved the safety and assistance options for the upcoming model year by enhancing Attention Assist, Pre-Safe, and Active Distronic. The new S-Class will now adjust its speed ahead of corners and accelerate automatically when cruise control is enabled. The Magic Body suspension system now includes Curve as an option for the sedans. Benz claims the system now scans the road more thoroughly than before and can adapt the suspension to changing surfaces more quickly. Meanwhile, Curve can tilt the body by 2.65 degrees to minimize the centrifugal forces perceived by passengers.

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Standard features on the 2018 S450 and S560 sedans have been updated to include MB’s Energizing Comfort system, which links climate control, the in-car fragrance system, console heating, LED backlighting (which now includes 64 colors), seat heating/cooling/massage settings, and even noise control for individual occupants. Mercedes says the feature can be customized and then designated to mood or need-based presets. Obviously, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain standard.

The new Mercedes-Benz S450 is driven by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the 2018 S560 (which replaces the S550) will receive a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 producing 463 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both engines are linked to a new nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Rear-drive is standard but 4Matic models will be just as prevalent on the road.

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AMG sedans come with the works and arrive wearing the S63 and S65 badges. Where the S63 is to be powered by a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 hitting 603 hp and 664 lb-ft, the S65 gets a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 making 621 hp and a colossal 738 pounds of torque.

Further differentiating the two powertrains are the S63’s Speedshift MCT nine-speed and AMG-rated 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system with variable torque split. The V12 comes with a AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission that dumps all of its power directly to the rear wheels.

While the the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 doesn’t doesn’t receive the V12’s Magic Body system as standard, it does get the intelligent lighting system, dynamic selection modes, launch control/race start, Airmatic sport suspension, sport seats, AMG’s burbling exhaust system, and 20-inch AMG wheels housing 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear rotors with six-piston front calipers (single in the rear). AMG also outfitted the sedans with its Track Pace app for the tiny number of people that would ever make use of such a feature.

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The S-Class trim that received the fewest number of upgrades was the wildly opulent Maybach variant. Mercedes have given it the 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 liter as a standard powertrain and made the Maybach logo slightly more conspicuous. However, with the exception of some additional chrome trim and slight changes to its front bumper, it’s the same bespoke ultra-lux accessory it has always been.

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[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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26 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Updates the S-Class With More of Everything for 2018...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Oh boy, more electronic goodies to break. I’d like to see what one is like when it’s ten years old, and is just another hooptie.

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      10 years, Wait till 5 years. It will be hooptie city. Like the deflated failed air bag system on a gussied up Taurus also known as a Lincoln Continental, wait till the auto tilt fails and it looks, like 4 fat people are sitting on the passenger side when It’s going straight down the road. Also, the second owner who tries to impress his girlfriend, “Look Honey, it practically drives itself……. CRASH!

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      You might be surprised. My ’02 S500 has >200k miles and the only broken gadget is the Parktronic, which succumbed to the mechanical damage of city parking. Everything else, including the massaging seats and the radar cruise control, is still functioning. I paid hooptie money for it a couple years back, but it’s still nice enough that I’m not jonesing for a new daily driver.

      We’ve also got two VWs in the family that have given us zero trouble, so I’ve stopped believing what I read on the Internet.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    And since I have to ask, “How much?”, I can’t afford it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Most of the people who can afford it ALWAYS ask the price. Only Hollywood celebrities, the nouveau riche, and oil sheiks don’t. One or the other of the first two “classes” are the ones who came up with that line.

      I worked at a luxury boutique hotel for the very rich, and was always amazed at checkout time. People for whom the substantial bill was pocket change would spend 20-30 minutes contesting every single line of the bill.

      Because of that, the assistant manager took over checkouts from the desk clerk. They needed to talk to someone “in charge”, and would browbeat the lowly clerk at the desk.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Is the S600 sticking around and is there going to be a RWD non-AMG version of the coupe?

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    As a longtime Mercedes fan: nope, do not like. Giant lower air inlets with cheesy plastic vanes do not suit the luxury-spec cars. Otherwise, a really lazy refresh: same grille shape, same headlight shape, same trunklid, etc. Also swapped out the S-exclusive two-point steering wheel with generic three-point shared across MB range.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I love that they are using 560 again.

  • avatar
    stuki

    ” Meanwhile, Curve can tilt the body by 2.65 degrees to minimize the centrifugal forces perceived by passengers.”

    I’m genuinely worried for the German auto industry once more people realize that while this kind os stuff may be amazing tech; it is, in practical terms, complete and utter nonsense. Meaning, the benefit derived from it all, is more than negated if, over even a ten year period, one single piece of it breaks down just once, such that you have to waste time telling your assistant to take it in for an unscheduled service. Not to mention, who the heck is going to read the manual for all this junk?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      1. You are totally and completely missing the point of this car.

      2. Since it already has adjustable suspension and yaw sensors it’s just a few extra lines of code to tilt the car in a corner.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Few lines of code, boat loads of testing, suspension and actuators still able to articulate properly (by S-Class standards) at the extremes of tilt, added roll risk if the tilting actuators manage to fail while limit cornering……

        This is a Benz we’re talking about here. Not a Tesla, where two lines of code probably would be all the changes required :)

        The point is, it’s pointless from a practical POV. Such that it will only allow them to charge enough to recoup the costs, for as long as people are willing to suspend disbelief, and ignore how pointless it all is.

        German automakers are painting themselves into an ever tighter corner with this stuff. As long as inflation and wealth redistribution (and the occasional growth) is minting new millionaires wanting to experience the “finer things in life”, it works well for topline sales. But it doesn’t take all that long, before jadedness with silly fripperies set in. Along with it, unwillingness to fund these kinds of flights of fancy. And then the cost structures required to enable them, becomes a liability.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Again you’re missing the point of this vehicle. It’s all about excess and showing off to the world that you made it. If you wanted simply practical reliability you’d buy an Accord. If you want cost no object engineering and sublime comfort you buy an S550.

      • 0 avatar
        Salzigtal

        And at this point it’s child’s play compared to the “plasma-cutter” hydraulics in the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_600 One of our local “Deiter”s had a 1 x 2 meter plumbing schematic on his shop wall.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    Are there other car makers than Hyundai and Mercedes who fail at integrating the driving aid sensors in the front and slap up a colored plastic plate?

  • avatar
    low_compression

    The glossy plastic square in the grille (for the self driving cruise control sensor?) is just bad. MB isn’t the only guilty one, the Genesis has it too. I’m sure their design teams are working with the engineers to come up with a more elegant solution.

    Also, that interior is A. LOT. Vents. Knobs. Switches. Screens. Speakers. Quilting. Swoopy lights.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    That’s a really generic steering wheel in there; the 2-point suited the car perfectly and MB has much better 3-point wheels in the rest of their range. Add to that the eBay headlights, and I definitely don’t aspire to owning one someday. Pre-refresh from CarMax with their warranty would be nice though.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    Is there a difference between twin turbo and bi-turbo?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Yes and no. Mercedes-Benz biturbo usually references a specific parallel twin setup where the turbochargers are the same size. While “twin turbo” encompasses this, it’s sometimes used for sequential setups where two differently sized units work in order to achieve reduced boost lag.

      So, in the instance of this article, yes. They do mean the same thing — but that isn’t always the case.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    The grille still looks dumb, only the top-of-the-mountain S-Class has no excuse for it looking dumb.

    I mean honestly, who looked at that shiny plastic monstrosity and said “That’ll do”?


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