For automobile fanatics, driving is about extra than simply the technical specifics. Open Highway explores not simply what these vehicles do, however what they imply. Whether or not it’s an previous, new, or unique mannequin, HYPEBEAST is trying past the stats to unpack the straightforward pleasures of automotive.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was first launched in 1972, and each time a brand new iteration has been launched it has single-handedly redefined and reset the benchmark for luxurious. From the primary iteration in 1903 that set the tone for early Twentieth-century manufacturing to the primary official S-Class of ‘72, which launched never-before-seen security improvements akin to ABS, altering the sport has been on the forefront of this automobile’s intentions. Now in its seventh era, the S-Class has solidified itself as the manager automobile to beat, squaring as much as the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Audi A8, Bentley Flying Spur and the BMW 7 Sequence in a battle of expertise, consolation, sophistication and exclusivity.
In case you see an S-Class, particularly the blacked-out long-wheel-base S500 model, one query typically involves thoughts: who’s behind that? For over 50 years, vehicles akin to this have served because the chariot of diplomats, politicians, high-flying businessmen and illicit kingpins, fronted by a discreet and expressionless chauffeur. Whereas the rear seat expertise remains to be of the utmost significance, evidently Mercedes-Benz has now put simply as a lot emphasis on the motive force – not is the S-Class only a automobile to be pushed in, as the newest mannequin is filled with equal goodness up entrance.
From the second you sink into the seat – arguably the comfiest seat of any automobile ever – you’re surrounded by screens, game-changing expertise, and serenity. Little-to-no noise permeates the cabin, and even once you hearth up the straight-six engine on this S500 mannequin little or no adjustments audibly bar a welcoming chime.
In entrance of you is an augmented actuality heads-up show that tasks the equal of a 30-inch TV display on the highway, with animated arrows displaying your SatNav route, illuminated bumpers detecting vehicles, and all the required highway info akin to pace limits and how briskly you’re touring. That is complemented by the 3D-effect digital driver’s display that may be custom-made to the nth diploma, particularly displaying off its skillset when you choose the map mode or the Sports activities mode – sure, there’s a Sports activities and Sports activities+ mode in an S-Class, and we’ll get onto that later.
The 12.8-inch infotainment display is filled with OLED tech to ship one of many sharpest and brightest interactive contact programs available on the market, and after a while you’re utterly comfortable with one thing that was initially daunting. Haptic suggestions makes on-the-go changes to local weather management, therapeutic massage capabilities, sound system and driving info simpler to function, whereas the ambient lighting – which is embedded right into a 360-degree show that laps the perimeter of the inside – lights up in accordance along with your desired requests to make the consumer expertise that bit extra harmonious.
But, even after per week spent with the S-Class, we barely scratched the floor of its inside. Whereas a lot of the tech is straight away in your face, there’s quite a bit that’s hidden and doubtless solely accessible by somebody piously Gen-Z. That is no unhealthy factor after all, because it at all times saved passengers entertained. Within the rear, a deployable Android pill controls every part the motive force has use of in entrance, and in case your rear passengers are VIPs, then blinds on the rear home windows will be electronically raised from the windowsill as passengers loosen up – naturally with the therapeutic massage operate on, footrest prolonged and the seat reclined to the max – whereas they watch one thing on the pill because of in-car 4G.
Regardless of all of this luxurious and technological wizardry, the S-Class is not simply concerning the chauffeur expertise. Whereas earlier generations have been fettled by AMG, implementing V8 and V12 engines, the straight-six that’s discovered within the S500 is greater than sufficient to get a swift transfer on when the highway will get going, particularly when extra keen modes are engaged.
Vehicles like this are designed to munch motorways, obliterating the miles in true type and luxury. However what occurs once you swap to Sports activities+ mode for traits that really feel misplaced in a 5.2-meter lengthy land yacht?
Turning off the motorway and onto English nation lanes, the S500 firmed up the suspension – electronically studying dips and curves to regulate the damping – and it made the throttle response fast, versus the usual setting’s wafty method. Brake really feel was heightened, steering grew to become heavier and subsequently extra involving. Not like luxurious barges which are designed to strictly float you thru life, the S-Class’ mode selector made for a case of Jekyll and Hyde.
By all means, don’t mistake this for a efficiency automobile. What makes the S-Class particular is that this alter ego is on faucet, at your disposal to effortlessly chuck round corners and rev fairly excessive because of machine-crafted metallic shift paddles behind the steering wheel that allow you to take management. You would possibly appear to be a heavy-handed brute manhandling a automobile initially designed to be pushed in, not pushed arduous, however isn’t it about time the motive force of a mid-level S-Class bought one thing to get pleasure from too?
Switching the S500 again to its meant mode, you end up again within the epitome of perfection. Positive leather-based surrounds each inch of the cabin, a three-dimension Burmester encompass sound symphony emits music in a way solely matched by a live performance on the Royal Albert Corridor and microfiber head cushions coupled with the 10-function therapeutic massage program caress and lure you of their sumptuousness.
The brand new-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class actually is the automobile to beat. Whether or not or not it’s expertise, class, consolation, efficiency, prestigiousness, anonymity, or how arduous you’ll be able to flex your wealth, it’s the king of government success and extra for a cause – identify one other automobile you’d fairly alleviate the struggles of life in. We’ll wait.