‘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

'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
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV
News

How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV

Electric car maker reveals whole-life CO2 emissions of the Polestar 2 are better than a petrol XC40 - but EV is only 14% cleaner with global energy mi…
17 Sep 2020
New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review
Rolls-Royce Ghost

New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review

The all-new luxury Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon brings new levels of refinement
18 Sep 2020