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The exterior is refreshed but familiar while the interior gets a complete overhaul
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is arguably the pinnacle of the luxury saloon. If I had to close your eyes and put my own money on a comfortable, no nonsense car, it’d be the S-Class. The current-gen car has received a fair few facelifts along the line but it will be getting a full update for the next model year, and it is quite a change. Good or bad? You decide.
On the outside, the W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sports a more imposing grille at the front, flanked by slimmer headlights that are likely to be all-LED units. The splattering of chrome around the grille and across the lower end of the front bumper lend a subtle but premium touch. At the rear are Mercedes E-Class like taillamps that taper sharply toward the centre of the boot and are united by a chrome strip. It also appears to have fake exhaust tips, sigh.
However, while the outside could almost pass off as a facelift, the inside is where things get interesting. We at evo India love the S-Class’ cabin and this new car shares almost nothing with the outgoing one, except for the fact that there are still four air conditioning vents on the dashboard. The interior is very obviously inspired by the Vision EQS concept that was shown last year, including the twin-AC vents at either end of the dashboard and the large (almost square-ish) screen that raises up from the centre console. This is a big departure from the twin floating screen setup that have been a regular feature across Mercedes-Benz cars. While you may or may not like this new layout, I do. It's futuristic and oozes luxury. The steering wheel gets the same split-spokes as the new E-Class which looks very cool indeed. Notice something missing? Physical controls. Yes there are a few, like on the steering and a slim row beneath the infotainment screen but the physical air conditioning controls have certainly been omitted, a move I’m not fully in agreement with. This particular car has a rear seat entertainment package which includes two screens for the rear passengers. There is also a screen for the rear air conditioning as well as one on the rear armrest, the latter is presumably to control functions like seat massage, air conditioning and ambient lighting, among other functions.
The new S-Class seems to be very close to its official release and will certainly make it a tough space for cars like the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8. The new design language on the inside is a big departure from other Mercs from before, it will be interesting to see how it trickles down to the more affordable models.