STUFF / MOTORING
By Ossie Mustafa
There are many high-end executive vehicles in the car world: BMW, Jaguar and even Volkswagen, to name just a few, have been selling hi-tech super luxury automobiles for years. But for all their hard work they have not been able to topple the car manufacturer who continually manages to keep ahead of the pack: Mercedes Benz is the manufacturer and the S-Class is the car ahead of the rest.
Since the beginning of time, Mercedes Benz has always been a by-word for luxury saloon cars, a car maker who until recently only had big cars. You kind of had to be of a certain age and of a certain status to drive one. These days they can sell you a decent hatch-back or two-door coupé and even an F1 car with the famous three pointed star stuck to the front. However, their best-known car has got to be the S-Class.
The latest incarnation has already been crowned the Best Luxury Car of 2014 by What Car? Magazine, but this is not just because it has the softest seats: look a little closer and you can see there is more to this car. In fact, among my friends we have a saying: “If you want to see what kind of tech you will be enjoying in your family run-around in ten years time, look at an S-Class today”. That’s because every new gadget Mercedes has hiding in the lab is fitted to their flagship model.
The most recent is a nice new V12 Bi-turbo engine with a larger 6.0 litre capacity, which can shift the long wheel-base monster from 0-60 in a mere 4.9 seconds, making the new S600 AMG the most powerful S-Class, as well as the most costly they have to offer. The S600 also has some cool tech inside the cabin, as well as under the hood: toys like a new touchpad allowing all the functions of the head unit to be controlled by fingertip gesture, just like a smartphone. You can also ask for a very advanced windscreen head-up display, which provides information on speed, speed limits and navigation instructions, to name just a few.
You would think that all this advancement spelled bad news for the environment but you would be wrong, as the new V12 is in fact 21% better for the polar bears than its predecessor where carbon emissions are concerned.
Overall the S600 seems to be continuing the good work that S-Classes of old did, but the cost of this latest car is far from the price tags of the early days. They have yet to release the cost, but you can be sure it will be north of £100,000. I doubt it will stop Mercedes selling shed loads of them.