Driven Is SClass best car on earth? IOL Motoring | IOL co za

4 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

Driven: Is S-Class best car on

By: Denis Droppa in Toronto,

Is a completely autonomous car possible? One you can simply set your destination in the and then sit back and read newspaper while the car drives you

Just about, and it’s about getting regulatory for such cars in a world still understandably nervous drivers who pay no attention to the road it could cynically be argued this is often already the

In the meantime, the new-generation Mercedes-Benz is as close as a production car has come to full autopilot, the stuff of fiction dreams. It’s to brake, accelerate, steer, a safe following distance, and even avoid collisions all the help of the driver, as part of Drive (see below).

with rear seatbelts have built-in airbags, is also the world’s first car to do completely with light and all the exterior and interior lighting is by


But the most advanced Mercedes to date is than a head-spinning array of that would get even Trek’s Mr Spock excited.

Benz’s flagship sedan has been about uber refinement and safety, and these are at the core of a conveyance that the boldly proclaims to be the best car in the

Is it? Quite possibly, even if it quite match the exotic of a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley. By any objective the new S-Class is difficult to fault.

It along in regal silence, a soothingly plush ride, and its occupants with oodles of in seats that give

What’s more unexpected is the way it Although it’s a little than its predecessor the new S-Class smaller both in design and feel. It’s lost any nature, and feels more and agile than such a big car has any to.

Despite the car’s size there’s no additional weight to increased use of aluminium in the body. An 50 percent torsional rigidity, with air suspension, gives the big car road manners which appeal to any racy chauffeur.


As before, suspension with adaptive provides a magic-carpet ride but a new feature (available on the V8 models) Magic Body Control the road ahead for bumps and the suspension accordingly.

It’s the first suspension with and what I had suspected to be a gimmick me greatly when I drove the at its international launch in Toronto.

The remarkably effective at ironing out humps and you can see it in operation here .

new limo is launched in short- and versions, in a choice of diesel, or hybrid powerplants.

All are rear-wheel with 7G-Tronic Plus transmission, and all have 250km/h top capability.

The entry version is the Bluetec, powered by a 3-litre V6 with 190kW and 620Nm on and claiming a 6.8 second 0-100km/h along with a fuel-sipping of 5.9 litres per 100km.

Next up is the hybrid, combining a 20kW/250Nm motor with a 3.5-litre V6 wielding 225kW and 370Nm. The and consumption figures are both as 6.8.

The current flagship, until the S63 AMG is at September’s Frankfurt Motor is the S500. Its twin-turbo 4.7-litre V8 delivers a muscular 335kW and good enough to propel it to in a claimed 4.8 seconds.


Inside the S-Class, the sumptuous blends high-tech with Gone are analogue clocks; in place is a pair of large TFT one with digital approximations of and rev counter; and the other a multimedia

Opulent finishes combine leather with chrome and to create the appropriate cabin

At 5 116mm in length the short S-Class has no shortage of interior but for the chauffeur-driven contingent the long adds an extra 13cm nose to tail.

This enough room in the back for two seats that allow you to put feet up and tilt the backrest up to degrees. The front and rear are ventilated and offer a choice of six programmes, two of them with a warming function, and you can optionally heated armrests.

The local of the S-Class will take at the Johannesburg International Motor in September, and standard and long-wheelbase will be offered in the following with prices to be announced to the time:


BlueTec diesel swb (3-litre V6)

Hybrid swb (3.5 V6)

S400 lwb (3.5 V6)

S500 swb (4.7 V8)

lwb (4.7 V8)

S63 AMG swb (international launch in


Intelligent Drive is the umbrella for a suite of high-tech safety offered by Mercedes-Benz in the new S-Class. cameras and sensors that a 360 degree view around the it’s able to prevent as well as make life for the driver.

Adaptive Highbeam Plus

This enables the beams to stay on permanently blinding other traffic.

sensors detect oncoming or vehicles in front, the light “bends” around them to dazzling their drivers

View Assist Plus

“sees” further in the dark the human eye is able to by means of an camera that beams the on to an instrument panel display.

It alerts drivers to pedestrians and in the dark, and if there’s a person on the of the road in the so-called warning he/she is flashed at several by a spotlight in the car’s front

The system’s clever enough to humans from animals, and flash at animals as their would be too unpredictable.

Distronic with Steering Assist and Pilot

It automatically keeps a following distance and also the electric steering to keep the in its lane. In congested traffic the follows the vehicle in front if there aren’t any road

This is as close as any car gets to full autopilot, although as a precaution the driver must both hands on the steering If not, the system gives and visible warnings before the StopGo Pilot.

Active Keeping Assist

Wander a lane without using the and the car warns you by means of a steering vibration, and then applies the on one side to steer the car back its lane.

BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic

This helps prevent and side-traffic collisions. Sensors the road ahead and to the side, and if a moment is detected the driver’s visual and audible prompts to emergency braking. The car adjusts the pressure up to full emergency if necessary.

Pre-Safe Brake Pedestrian Detection

It detects or slow-moving vehicles in front and pedestrians, warning the driver audible and visible prompts and applying the brakes if necessary.

Parking Assist

It steers and the car automatically into parallel and parking spaces. All the driver has to do is press the accelerator or release the

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