‘The essence of the S-Class exists across the entire Mercedes range’

Steve Fowler thinks the importance of the S-Class’ image is key to the success of other Mercedes models

When Mercedes launches a new S-Class, the whole car world stops to watch. As the wraps were removed from the sleek new seventh-generation model, it won’t only have been enthusiasts, owners and dealers tuning in; other car makers will have been sitting there with their pens poised to take in the very latest technologies that Mercedes’ famous flagship has to offer.

It has always been that way; the S-Class has, for generations, featured technology that has rolled down into other Mercedes models, and then into rivals’ cars. Technology such as anti-lock brakes; the S-Class was the first model from a major manufacturer to feature this crucial safety feature that’s now on every new car.  Airbags, seat-belt pretensioners and ESP were other important safety innovations on the S-Class.

It also introduced the world to autonomous driving features with adaptive cruise control (or Distronic in Mercedes-speak). And now this latest model will bring us Level 3 autonomous tech, with the car taking control on motorways and in traffic jams, allowing you to divert your attention elsewhere.

That, along with augmented reality tech in the head-up display to offer navigation prompts, will undoubtedly roll down into other Mercs. The essence of the S-Class exists across the entire Mercedes range, and never has that been more crucial. The tech and interior ambience also helped nudge the latest A-Class ahead of the new Audi A3.

All is not completely rosy in the world of Mercedes right now, though. If the S-Class is everything Mercedes knows about technology in one car, let’s hope it’s not everything it knows about design, because it’s no beauty. 

And while everyone knows what Mercedes stands for, what about its EQ, AMG and Maybach brands? We hear confusion is rife, not only with customers, but also for some inside Merc, who don’t get it either. There’s work to be done.

Recommended

'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'
Opinion

'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'

BMW needs to regain its identity and should look to MINI for inspiration, says Steve Fowler
28 Oct 2020
'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'
Opinion

'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'

Mike Rutherford thinks the new Pop-Up Motor Show can be the perfect way to serve the demands of Britain's car users
11 Oct 2020
'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020