by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

PREVIEW: Future Mercedes-Benz S-Class to display an outstanding tech bonanza

The S-Class is an all-time icon, bestseller and trendsetter in the automotive industry. A lot of the technology found today in almost every car was first introduced as a complete premiere on the prestigious luxury flagship from Stuttgart. The new generation, prone to arrive in late 2012, will mark another revolution for Mercedes-Benz, which is a customary event happening whenever a new S-Class is unveiled.

Always fascinating for the S-Class is the impressive technologycal package and the forthcoming model will certainly exceed all the expectations. First of all, the luxury sedan will become even more premium and move up in range. In addition, up to three new versions based on the S-Class will be released in the next two years: the usual SWB and LWB variants for the start of sales, the Pullman extended wheelbase representative model one year later, a coupe in 2013 and a soft-top cabriolet in 2014 (inspired by the Ocean Drive Concept of 2007).

The W 222 generation will sit on a newly-designed platform called Mercedes Rearwheel Architecture or MRA. All the components of the chassis are developed from zero and engineers made use, as much as possible, of light materials (e.g. aluminium) to help save important weight. The pinnacle of ride comfort will be the ultimate radar-based MAGIC RIDE CONTROL, a complex system that replaces the current Active Body Control and manages all things related to vehicle dynamics by adjusting suspension, dampers and ride height based on the road surface the car "reads" with the help of the headlight-mounted radars. Apart from the rear-driven vehicle, Mercedes-Benz will also offer the all-wheel-drive 4MATIC model for added grip and stability, that is programmed to arrive in UK showrooms in RHD configuration beginning with late 2013 or 2014.

Another innovation bound to arrive with the new S-Class is the Braking Bag, a solution that reduces the braking distance in critical circumstances, first previewed on the ESF 2009 concept car. But the most attractive novelty is set to be autonomous driving pilot, a tech gimmick able to safely drive the car without the driver's intervention. The system manages to calculate several important parameters and applies the correct functions in order to autonomously move and steer the car and thus follow a traffic queue at speeds of up to 40 km/h. To do that, the car is equipped with a complete array of surveillance cameras, radars and proximity sensors. Most likely, the upcoming S-Class will also premiere a new generation of the DISTRONIC PLUS system as well as an improved Brake Assist Plus and a Collision Warning System. The improved PRE-SAFE, the LED Intelligent Lighting System and the Night View Assist Plus will further enhance safety.

Mercedes-Benz engineers at Mettingen are now working hard on finishing a new 9-speed automatic gearbox badged 9G-TRONIC, destined to ensure highest level of efficiency in the segment. The engine lineup will comprise the basic 2.1-litre 204 hp, 4-cylinder diesel engine on the S 250 CDI; the 3.5-litre V6 with 306 hp (or more) for the S 350; a hybrid package with up to 415 hp for the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID; the 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 powerplant boasting 435 hp for the S 500 and, last, but not least, a thoroughly revised V12 for the high-end S 600, which should reach a peak output of around 550 hp. The V8-powered S 63 AMG with up to 571 hp will come packed full of cutting-edge AMG sports technology when it's launched in 2013. Appearantly, the outrageous S 65 AMG will not be discontinued for the sake of motoring passion: the V12 under the bonnet will undergo an entire treatment which targets to improve fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. However, that should not affect the overall performance of the supersports limo, as the maximum output could mount up to a staggering 630 hp.

You might also want to read:

- The telematics future of Mercedes-Benz: @yourCOMAND - Always online for more information, safety and comfort
- SPY: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W 222) hits the fast curves of the Ring
- PREVIEW: A deep look into the next generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- The future Mercedes-Benz tech stuff is all about ... magic

Illustration: Autocar

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