Mercedes-Benz S-class

The best car in the world gets an up­grade

Auto Today - - Dashboard - PIC­TURES Nis­hant Jhamb

The Mercedes S-class has been at the top of the heap when it comes to lux­ury pro­duc­tion cars but that has not pre­vented the com­pany from giv­ing it a mid-life face-lift four years af­ter it was first launched in In­dia back in 2014. That of course was a huge leap for­ward for the model glob­ally as it be­came the first car in the world to fea­ture only LEDs both inside and out­side, had an im­pres­sive ar­ray of driver and safety as­sis­tance sys­tems, was more fo­cussed on com­fort and lux­ury than ever be­fore and in­cluded the magic body con­trol sus­pen­sion be­sides for the first time fea­tur­ing many au­ton­o­mous driv­ing fea­tures. How­ever, in In­dia most of these fea­tures that re­lied on radar sys­tems were de­ac­ti­vated due to the re­stric­tion of radar fre­quen­cies and we could not ex­pe­ri­ence the full range of pos­si­bil­i­ties of the S-class.

All that has now changed with radar sys­tems be­ing ac­tive on the car but that is not all that has changed. While the V8 en­gine has moved up in terms of power and des­ig­na­tion to 560 in­stead of the 500 glob­ally, Mercedes In­dia has de­cided to launch the re­fur­bished S-class in In­dia with only 6-cylin­der en­gines, a V6 petrol and as a Mercedes first, an in­line six diesel. While the petrol is des­ig­nated 450, a step down from the 500, the diesel re­tains its 350 badg­ing.

The 2,996cc petrol is a twin turbo unit and

apart from the high 367bhp that it achieves at 5,500rpm and de­liv­ers up to 6,100rpm, thanks to twin tur­bocharg­ing, it pro­duces is peak 500Nm torque from 1,600rpm all the way up to 4,000rpm. To drive, the petrol en­gine is great for In­dian roads. With max torque com­ing in at so low in the rev range, it makes quick get­aways in stop and go traf­fic con­di­tions. No won­der it gets up to 100kmph in just over five sec­onds. We es­pe­cially loved driv­ing the car in the city and but it was good out of it as not only is the en­gine smooth but it gets up the rev range pretty quickly as well.

The 350 diesel on the other hand is the first in­line six from Mercedes that we have seen and is also the most pow­er­ful diesel en­gine put into pro­duc­tion by the Ger­man car maker. The 2,925cc en­gine pro­duces max power of 286bhp and peak torque of 600Nm that again is gen­er­ated from a low 1,200rpm. The best part of this diesel en­gine seems to be its NVH as there is no way that the oc­cu­pants in the car can feel the car. Be­sides it is com­fort­able to drive in the city as well though quick get­aways are not as smooth in the city. But it does be­come the only diesel en­gine in the coun­try to com­ply with Bharat Stage VI norms on Bharat Stage V fuel. This has been achieved with the ad­di­tion of Ad-blue as well as a par­tic­u­late fil­ter. The Mercedes en­gi­neers say that the Ad-blue comes with its own 25-litre tank and will need to be topped up once an­nu­ally when the car goes for its an­nual ser­vice.

The other big change is in the steer­ing wheel which is all-new and now with touch but­ton con­trols that are eas­ier to use and look good. Even with the ad­di­tional cruise con­trol switches on it,

over­all the switchgear and the sys­tems are eas­ier to use than be­fore.

The cabin con­tin­ues to be class lead­ing with the ot­toman seat still one of the main draws as with the touch of a but­ton the front pas­sen­ger seat can be folded over for­ward and de­ploy a foot rest while the rear left seat goes into a com­fort­able re­clin­ing po­si­tion with a calf rest also com­ing up to sup­port the legs.

The as­sis­tance sys­tems will take some get­ting used to as the car re­sponds fre­quently to things that are not even threats on In­dian roads. The au­ton­o­mous driv­ing sys­tems while work­ing well in Europe still need to get up on speed on de­vel­op­ing mar­ket road sce­nar­ios. So while emer­gency brak­ing can be a nui­sance, it can def­i­nitely save lives if the car was in a sit­u­a­tion where a col­li­sion is im­mi­nent. Cross traf­fic alert and pre-safe sys­tems (spe­cially if there is a col­li­sion from the rear) are wel­come fea­tures.

THE AS­SIS­TANCE SYS­TEMS WILL TAKE SOME GET­TING USED TO

The cabin con­tin­ues to be mega lux­u­ri­ous. The steer­ing wheel is all-new and now comes with touch but­ton

con­trols that are eas­ier to use and look good as well

1. The scrib­ble pad is user-friendly. 2. Pas­sen­gers at the back get their own set of con­trols for the air­con. 3. The rear arm rest comes with cup hold­ers. 4. The petrol en­gine of­fers am­ple torque at low revs al­low­ing quick get­aways

Yo­gen­dra Pratap Edi­tor yo­gen­dra.pratap@in­to­day.com @Yo­genPratap

The diesel en­gine fea­tures an in­line six con­fig­u­ra­tion. It is also the most pow­er­ful diesel en­gine put into pro­duc­tion by the Ger­man brand

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