Tech injection to carry two-door S-Class into 2018
What happens when you take the most luxurious, technologically advanced car in the Mercedes lineup and switch focus to the driver instead of the rear passengers? You get the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Like the sedan, the Coupe and Cabriolet have been treated to a mid-life refresh with more technology, sharper looks and even better engines ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Although it isn't a brand-new model, there's still plenty to talk about in the new S-Classes. On the outside, there are new OLED brake lights capable of funky animations and a range of brightness levels based on the conditions. The technology debuted in the BMW M4 GTS, and has subsequently appeared on the Audi A8. Expect to see it appear in more cars soon, because the technology opens the door for new and interesting design elements not possible with conventional lighting technologies.
Beside the OLED brake lights, the exterior tweaks are minimal. There are two new wheel designs for AMG Line cars, both of which can be finished in titanium-grey or glossy black. The basic coupe and cabriolet shapes were already handsome, so sticking to the formula isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The biggest changes have been rung in behind the wheel. The new steering wheel is outfitted with the touchpad tech that debuted in the E-Class, and the dual-display widescreen dashboard setup for infotainment and driver information has been given a resolution boost. Cruise control is now managed through steering wheel buttons instead of a column stalk, and voice control can now be used to manage the air conditioning, seat massagers, interior lighting and head-up display.
The updated semi-autonomous driver assistance tech from the S-Class sedan has made the jump to the Coupe and Cabriolet, which means the car will steer itself at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph) on the autobahn, and automatically slows for junctions, toll booths and, if there is a destination in the nav, the correct freeway exit. It also lifts off the throttle to save fuel on long downhill stretches, and adapts to changing speed limits without being prompted by the driver.
Having debuted in the S-Class Coupe in 2014, the Magic Body Control suspension system – which actively helps the car lean into corners for a smoother ride – has been updated with a better stereo camera, and now works up to 180 km/h (112 mph). The system is optional on the Coupe, and doesn't feature on the Cabriolet.
There are plenty of choices when it comes time to select an engine, provided you're not looking for a fuel-sipping four-cylinder. The Coupe is available with a 270-kW (367-hp) V6 in base S450 4MATIC trim, while the Cabrio range starts with the 345-kW (469-hp) S560 V8. Those who need more can also have their two-door S-Class in S63 and S65 AMG trim. The S63 makes 450 kW (612 hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque from its four-liter V8, while the range-topping S65 has a 463-kW (630-hp) V12 under its shapely hood.
Pricing for the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet hasn't been announced. The car will be on show in Frankfurt next week, where New Atlas will be on the ground covering all the action.
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Unless Tesla builds a convertible on the Model S chassis... :)