Mercedes-Benz’s genre-defining S-Class is getting a mid-cycle facelift and here’s our first look at an undisguised example caught a couple weeks ahead of a rumored double world premiere in April during the New York and Shanghai Auto Shows. Theses images, which come courtesy of Saudishift, give us an unhindered view of the subtly redesigned 2018 S-Class sedan’s front and rear ends, plus the updated interior. Beginning with the outside, the main changes for the 2018 model are the redesigned bumpers, the rear with new exhaust finishers and trims, some minor adjustments to the tail light schemes, and revamped ‘Multibeam’ headlamps with three-layered LED strips. The latter will allow drivers to permanently use high beams without dazzling other motorists.
On the inside, the refined S-Class sedan gets the same three-spoke steering wheel as the Coupe instead of the current car’s two-spoke design. It also appears that the extended digital instrument and infotainment panel has slightly grown in size as Mercedes removed the frame separating the two displays, while it seems that some minor changes were made to the lower center console as well. We’ve also heard that Benz will add gesture controls for the infotainment system along with a tweaked touchpad.
In one of the pictures we see the ‘S560’ moniker, with the (numerical) designation last used in the iconic S-Class W126 from the end of the 1970s to the early 1990s. As reported by the Saudi website, it will replace the S550 featuring Mercedes’ latest 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, that’s not only more powerful than the current 449hp 4.7-liter bi-turbo V8 at 476hp, but also 12 percent more fuel efficient.
The updated S-Class will get Mercedes’ new M 256 straight-six gasoline engine with an electric compressor and Integrated Starter-Alternator that promises to offer V8 performance with six-cylinder fuel efficiency.
Last, but certainly not least, the 2018 S-Class will introduce an array of new driver assistance systems with advanced autonomous capabilities, thanks to new software and hardware. These will range from completely autonomously parking the S-Class to offering autonomous steering on the highway for brief periods.
Sales of the revamped S-Class will begin worldwide in the third quarter of the year, with the more luxurious Maybach, along with the Coupe and Convertible versions to follow with a similar raft of upgrades. (Source - Carscoops John Halas)