Well-heeled New Zealanders will be able to shout themselves to Swarovski crystals around Christmas … packaged with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
They are an option in the car’s intelligent LED lighting system. There are 47 crystals – 17 in the daytime running lights and 30 in the turn indicators – making up what the carmaker calls “expressive headlamps.”
Also available as a suspension option on the two-door is an active tilt function for cornering, the latest development of the S-Class sedan’s “magic body control”.
The feature reads the road ahead and tilts individual struts to brace the car against cornering forces, keeping it flatter through bends. It works between 30km/h and 180km/h.
Says Daimler AG board member Thomas Weber: “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 carmaker defines the S-Class Coupe as “aesthetic sportiness”, buzz words for a design which is almost identical to the sharply styled concept from last year’s Frankfurt motor show. Daimler AG vice-president Gordon Wagener said the production model is “one of the most gorgeous coupes of all times”.
The S Coupe is likely to land in New Zealand in November/December. It is not known what model will be available here but Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific corporate communications chief David McCarthy has confirmed that Australia will get three twin-turbo petrol variants.
They are the entry-level V8 S500 (335kW/700Nm), the V8 S63 AMG (430kW/900Nm) and the 6.0-litre V12 S65 AMG (463kW). Mercedes-Benz is the leading luxury badge across the Tasman and a fourth model, the S600, is being considered. New Zealand will get one, perhaps, two, of the above.
The S Coupe is 89mm shorter and 85mm lower than the sedan, the wheelbase is 90mm shorter, but the width remains the same. Narrower rear windows flow neatly into a set of wider rear arches and fresh LED tail-lights wrap around the boot and wings.
Details like the bolstered side skirts and mirrored silver front and rear bumper inserts help it stand out even more, and it shares the same 3D pin grille and large badge as high-spec A-Class models.
The transformation continues inside, where the S-Class Coupe gets a sportier three-spoke steering wheel. The high-quality switchgear and huge screens remain, but the newcomer gets unique touches like an exclusive set of diamond-quilted seats available in brighter colours such as Bengal Red and Porcelain White.
The S-Class Coupe also features the hi-tech ‘touchpad’ controller from the new C-Class, which lets the driver make smartphone-style gestures to control the major infotainment functions.
Other new tech that the Coupe gets over the saloon includes a head-up display, and a standard panoramic glass roof which can become opaque or transparent at the touch of a button.
The S Coupe will become the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz fleet now that the SLS supercar is going out of production.
• Back in the 1990s, the Citroen Xantia sedan used a form of ‘body control’. It was called ‘Activa’ and based around the Hydractive 2 suspension. When sensors detected the amount of roll going into corners, a hydraulic pump fed fluid to variable length links between each suspension arm and the anti-roll bars. This allowed the Activa to corner pretty much totally flat, even in hard cornering. The downside was the Activa’s ride suffered badly.