The new S-Class Coupé: An aesthetic, exclusive high-end coupé
Stylistically self-assured presence, exclusive appointments and refined sportiness – the new S-Class Coupé from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupé with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology. As a world première, the breathtaking two-door coupé can be optionally equipped with the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system with curve tilting function. Additional technical highlights are the head-up display and the touch pad feature. Optionally available expressive headlamps, each featuring 47 Swarovski crystals, produce a uniquely striking appearance.
“As exclusive as it gets – the ultimate in aesthetic sportiness”, stresses Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. “The breathtaking design of the Concept S-Class Coupé marked by sporty-classic proportions and sensual purity is transferred to the series-production S‑Class Coupé virtually unaltered. The large coupé has always been the supreme pinnacle of our model range and that’s why it’s now called the “S‑Class” again.”
“The world premiere of the active curve tilting function demonstrates the possibilities offered by Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive,” notes Prof Dr Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Corporate Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “The vehicle leans into bends much like a motorcyclist, thereby reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the vehicle’s occupants. On country roads in particular, this means greater driving pleasure and ride comfort for our customers.” The new S-Class Coupé will have its world première at the Geneva International Motor Show (6 – 16 March 2014); distribution to dealerships is scheduled for the second half of 2014. The two-door car is available with a 4663 cc V8 biturbo engine. The S 500 Coupé has a nominal output of 335 kW (455 hp), its torque level peaks at 700 Nm. The sporty motoring experience is significantly enhanced by the emotional sound produced by the exhaust system.
MAGIC BODY CONTROL, the first “suspension with eyes”, had its world première in the S-Class. With the curve tilting function the Coupé introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The Coupé leans into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort.
Like the S-Class Saloon, the new Coupé is available with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. The “Intelligent Drive” systems include, among other things the PRE-SAFE® brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steer Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, BAS PLUS with junction assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive High-beam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features an additional function apart from the adaptive brake assistant, which provides collision protection from a speed of 7 km/h: if there remains a danger of collision and the driver fails to respond, the system can carry out an autonomous braking manoeuvre at speeds of up to 105 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 50 km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 40 km/h.
As in the saloon, the PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system has been expanded through the inclusion of PRE-SAFE® PLUS. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision and warn following traffic by flashing the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the parking brake on the vehicle stationary and thus minimise the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
Numerous optional equipment features are available to make the interior of the S-Class Coupé exceptionally luxurious and comfortable. For example, the AIR‑BALANCE package including the components “fragrancing” and “ionisation” is available, as is the electric armrest heating as a component of the Warmth Comfort package. If the vehicle is equipped with the optional Seat Comfort package, the front seats feature the ENERGIZING massage function based on the hot-stone principle.
In cooperation with high-end audio specialists Burmester, two especially high-value audio systems have been developed: the Burmester® surround sound system and the Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system.
Design: sensual purity at its most beguiling
Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These make up the guiding star, and are accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
“Our new S-Class Coupé is one of the most gorgeous coupés of all times, representing the most radical aesthetic departure from its predecessor,” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Daimler AG. “The sensuous flowing silhouette in interplay with the clear progressive design language forms a perfect symbiosis and expresses our philosophy of sensual purity with pithy precision.”
The exterior: flowing profile of perfect proportions
The flowing profile of the S-Class Coupé embodies sensual purity in a modern way. It is characterised by typical rear-wheel-drive proportions, emphasised by the hallmark Mercedes dropping line. The long bonnet with pronounced lines and powerdomes, the low greenhouse with high beltline, the accentuated wheel arches as well as the large wheels (18- to 20-inch) and the broad visual effect created by the rear reinforce the S-Class Coupé’s aspirations as a masterpiece of automotive refinement. With a wheelbase of 2945 mm, the Coupé is 5027 mm long, with a width of 1899 mm and a height of 1411 mm.
Its convex and concave modelled surfaces lend the S-Class Coupé a sensuous character. The sculpted appearance lends it classic elegance that forms a perfect symbiosis with the modern-progressive design idiom.
The view from the side is marked by the dropping line in keeping with the emotional character of the vehicle. It underscores the brand-typical proportions like a signature. The lines are deliberately reduced to the basics. This creates a sensual, timeless purity.
The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the S-Class Coupé a superior, self-confident front: in the centre of the vehicle front end is the further-evolved three-dimensional diamond radiator grille, whose structure is defined by rectangular, chrome-plated elements. It incorporates the central Mercedes three-pointed star and one louvre.
The full-LED headlamps with their iconic eyebrows as daytime running lamps lend it an extremely self-assured and distinctive gaze. On the S-Class Coupé the eyebrows have been further refined with a semi-circular counter-curve. In combination with the standard LED Intelligent Light System, unique headlamps with no less than 47 Swarovski crystals are available. 17 angular crystals form the flare-shaped daytime running lamps, with 30 round-shaped crystals making up the turn indicator lamps.
The side profile is defined by the dome-shaped stretched roof line and the frameless doors. An elegant 3D continuous chrome frame surrounds the glass areas that are uninterrupted by B-pillars. This underscores the Mercedes-typical coupé look.
A muscle above the rear axle extending from the side wall generates a sense of lightness and dynamic spirit even at a standstill. The positively arched surfaces and lines of the side walls flow into the rear end with a dramatic tapered effect.
The rear end with its surfaces, broad shoulders and distinctive character lines rounds off the emotive overall appearance. Moving the license plate mounting to the lower part of the rear bumper is a particularly striking modification. It allows the boot lid to be made especially sleek in this area. The three-pointed star is, so to say, free-standing and can thus be made more prominent for greater effect. In addition it pivots outwards in order to locate the reversing camera and the optional 360° camera in an elegantly functional manner.
The arrangement of the LEDs in two horizontal rows in the two-piece tail lamps reveals cutting-edge technology and underscores the sporty character of the vehicle rear, careful attention to detail and the car’s premium value. Form and function fuse into a perfect unity. Part of the light functions is located in the wings, the other in the boot lid. This characteristic arrangement makes the vehicle highly recognisable by night, too.
The two-part rear bumper underscores the sportiness indicated by the front design. The diffusor, painted in high-sheen black, meets in equal measure the requirements made by aerodynamics and by design. Below it there is, as in the front bumper, a horizontal wing in silver look. Integrated in the diffusor are the premium-quality tailpipes.
The S-Class Coupé features a panoramic roof extending over two-thirds of the entire vehicle roof; with a surface area of around 1.32 m2, it appears almost 150 percent larger than on the predecessor model. MAGIC SKY CONTROL makes it possible to switch the transparency of the roof at the push of a button, from light to dark. When light, the roof is almost completely transparent and allows an open-air experience, even in the coldest weather. When dark, light transmission i.e. the proportion of outside light that is allowed through into the interior, is reduced to less than 1% and thus effectively diminishes heating up of the vehicle. In addition, it is possible to shade the interior completely by means of a roller blind.
The interior: modern luxury as avant-garde design
The interior design of the new S-Class Coupé is an expression of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom – sensual purity. An enthralling combination of sculptural sensuous volume elements and components, and the clear geometry of its basic architecture create an avant-garde design idiom. A high class appeal, quality workmanship and exceptional touch and feel are a treat for the passengers’ senses, so that the car’s interior represents the highest level of “modern luxury”.
The S-Class Coupé’s dashboard fascinates with its spectacular architecture, giving rise to a vehicle of unique character in the upper coupé segment. The dashboard is divided into a very clear top-layer section with an expansive “wrap-around” effect extending to the doors, and an extremely low, sculptural “floating” lower section. This striking architecture was made possible by repositioning the airbag to a completely new low location. This concept enables the large, two-part wide-screen format TFT display to be placed in a prominent “hovering” position in front of this trim surface. In addition, it is stylishly highlighted with an ambience lighting corona. Under the display, the sporty elevated centre console extends to the vehicle rear. All lids and armrests are lavishly covered in leather.
The new “Super Sport” steering wheel impresses with its powerful, galvanised spokes which create maximum depth for the steering wheel, as if they flowed out from the steering column.
The use of the finest materials, surfaces, colour combinations and seam designs contributes towards achieving a truly exclusive car interior. Air vents, switches, belt extender rosette and trim elements are in electroplated “Silver Shadow”. This gives the trim elements a particularly high value appeal and enhances the three-dimensional effect of their surfaces.
In front of the armrest the touchpad (optional) can be found, with its black high-sheen surface and chrome-look surround. As on a smartphone, the touchpad allows all the head-unit functions to be operated using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting – in any of the head unit’s languages. Diverse controls, e.g. for the multi-media system, are arrayed as keys in a semicircle in front of the central control element.
Both the front and the rear seats have a pronounced sporty character, the two rear seats are designed as individual seats. The Exclusive package optionally includes seats in Exclusive nappa designo leather with a striking diamond backstitching pattern on backrests and seating surfaces. The front-seat seatbelts are integrated in the rear side panelling without interrupting the waistline with windows open; seatbelt extenders make them easily accessible for the seat occupants.
There is a fluid transition between the doors and the rear side panelling, emphasising the vehicle’s well-being quality. Here too, surfaces and controls are masterfully executed in top-quality materials; the configuration with the Burmester® surround sound system and Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a special highlight in form and function.
New interior colours such as Bengal red, saddle brown and porcelain allow individualisation of the interior. The standard ambience lighting with several lighting moods provides the corresponding wellness character. The customer can choose from seven lighting moods.
Less distraction: head-up display
The optional head-up display brings important information directly into the driver’s field of vision, presenting it on the windscreen to ensure less distraction from the traffic situation. The system informs about vehicle speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and driving assistance system messages.
The technical basis for this system is a specular optics system and a full-colour display module with a resolution of 480 x 240 pixels, operating with high-power LEDs. They project the virtual image, which measures around 21 x 7 centimetres, into the driver’s field of vision where it appears to float around two metres away above the bonnet. The resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree of viewing angle ensures a needle-sharp image. A special light sensor located near the top edge of the roof automatically adjusts the brightness of the head-up display to the exterior lighting conditions.
Lower transversal forces: active curve tilting function
MAGIC BODY CONTROL, the first “suspension with eyes”, had its world première in the S-Class. With the curve tilting function the Coupé introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The curve tilting function makes the Coupé lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher speeds, but to produce a more pleasant motoring experience.
The MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system, optionally available for the S 500 Coupé includes, apart from the Active Body Control (ABC) and ROAD SURFACE SCAN functions, the new curve tilting function. With Active Body Control the suspension struts are equipped with hydraulic cylinders (so‑called plungers), in order to adjust the force in each strut individually. Depending on the curve driven, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut. This allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to 15 metres ahead, and an additional transversal acceleration sensor. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch; it is active in the speed range from 30 to 180 km/h.
Emotive-sporty sound: exhaust system with flaps
The emotive sound of the exhaust system makes a decisive contribution to the sporty driving experience. The deeper sound components ensure a fuller, sportier sound. In the transversally positioned rear silencer of the twin-pipe exhaust system there are two flaps that can be opened and closed pneumatically depending on the engine speed.
When the flaps are open the exhaust gases are conducted through the rear silencer along a different path so that the vehicle sound becomes more powerful. The switching point of the flaps depends upon the drive programme selected – in the S programme the flaps open earlier than in the E programme. As soon as the S-Class Coupé engine starts, the power of its sound can be heard.
A long tradition: large coupés from Mercedes-Benz
The history of the large post-war Mercedes coupés dates back to the year 1952, when Mercedes-Benz launched the legendary 300 S Coupé – a “car for the world’s elite” as the automotive press of the time judged. It was followed in 1956 by the 220 S Coupé of model series W 180, which created a sensation in particular due to its self-supporting pontoon body. From 1961 to 1971 the long-drawn out elegant Coupé of model series W111/W112 enthralled no less than 29,918 highly discerning customers, who were able to choose between the Type 220 SEb Coupé six-cylinder models and the Type 280 SE 3.5 Coupé eight-cylinder models.
The SEC coupés of model series C 216, which remained in the programme of the Stuttgart-based automotive brand for ten years and of which over 74,000 were sold, were based on the S-Class of 1981. In 1992 the successor model (model series C 140) was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, also featuring for the first time as a S 600 Coupé with a 290 kW (394 hp) twelve-cylinder engine. It was to be the car in which the Electronic Stability Program ESP® had its world première in 1995. Later on this coupé was renamed “CL-Class”. Another forefather of the new S-Class Coupé celebrated its world première under this name in March 1999. With pioneering innovations such as active ABC suspension (Active Body Control) and bi-xenon headlamps this two-door car set new standards. Supreme exclusivity and sophisticated design combined with trend-setting state-of-the-art technology were combined in the last CL-Class (2006). This luxury coupé opened up a new dimension of vehicle safety with the introduction of the PRE-SAFE® brakes. Beyond this, Mercedes innovations such as the Intelligent Light System with five light functions and PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant safety were also part of the vehicle’s standard equipment.
The new S-Class Coupé and its innovations seamlessly continue the tradition of large coupés into the future.