Merc S Class a digital delight
Stately, oozing with finesse and gadgets, this is the car of the rich and famous, kitted with best in technology
It was called the Ponton, a bulky mover, like in the gangster movies featuring the notorious big mobster Al Capone, who did time in the infamous Alcatraz in San Francisco, from which one has a prison view from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
That was in 1954. Two years before the new model, Buddy Holly rocked the charts with the That’ll Be The Day (That I Die). He perished in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 – 59 years ago.
Alive, the world cried about the replacement of the Ponton. It was ugly and christened the Fintail. Al Capone would not have been caught in this ugly duckling.
I wonder what he was driving when he went out in a blaze of gory during a killing spree in the US, the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
In the modern era, it took the blade runner Oscar Pistorius to remind us that there is no love lost on Valentine’s Day. May Reeva Steenkamp rest in peace while Pistorius continues fighting behind bars. The flacid Fintail gave way in 1965 to the S badge.
Simply dead! It was meant to tell the world that it was a high-performance sedan. Sanity prevailed in 1972 when the Mercedes Benz S-Class chose rebirth in the era of Elvis Presley’s decline and the rise of David Bowie. My late parent’s old poster books featured the likes of Holly and Presley.
They never liked Bowie. The Mercedes Benz S-Class is a youthful 46.
But its humble beginnings served to whet the global appetite for a badge that has evolved into a gem. Since its inglorious dastardly creations of the ’50s and ’60s, the Mercedes Benz S-Class has botoxed into a stunner.
Then too it had the best technology available. You wonder what the fuss was about. Now, you only marvel in awe.
The car was formerly known as the Sonderklasse which translates into “special class” in German. Despite visiting Munich, Frankfurt and Leipzig once when BMW entertained alternative voices at its South African corporate garage in Midrand, I never learnt the language.
Blame it on the beer at the Munich Festival and their fabulous former radioman and journalist, the savvy Benedict Maaga, who was a delightful host.
That’s when BMW communicators did their job. In the spirit of Valentine’s, let sleeping Beemers remain in their voiceless pit.
This is about class, the stunning Mercedes Benz S-Class, something the Beemer would never match.
Stately, oozing with finesse, and gadgets, this is the car of the rich and famous. Bollywood stars, heads of states, business figures, they clamour to be first in the latest model.
This includes actor Hrithik Roshan, flamboyant Force India Formula One team boss Vijay Mallya, now in a spot of bother with the law over financial crimes, and the former president of India Pranab Mukherjee apparently drove in a Mercedes Benz S600.
Unlike our beautiful land where we vow to pick up the economy, this politician merely picked up the same wheels of his predecessor. Alas, nobility is not endemic to the world.
Since 1972, the Mercedes Benz S-Class has evolved into the world’s top selling sedan. Six models have come in the past 46 years – if you count the three before they hit gold with the name.
Does the Mercedes Benz S-Class have nine lives? The latest version is a digital delight kitted with the best in technology available.
More powerful and gorgeous than in its history. But it is only for those with deep pockets.
The S 350d L starts at R1.6m, the S 400 d L is close to R1,7m , the S 450 L and S 560 L both for a few rand over R2m and the S 600 L, is a cool R2.6m.
From an ugly duckling into a swan princess, this Mercedes Benz S-Class is a Valentine to drool over. No PR required but at least Mercedes’s extremely helpful and impressively proactive new broom Nicolette Fortuin does not drive journalists around the Benz. She courteously lets the fabulous Mercedes Benz S-Class do her bidding.