Sonderklasse II: The Followup
The cat's out of the bag, but is there good news?
Here it is in all its glory: the new Mercedes Benz W223 Sonderklasse. As predicted by many, and hinted by the leaked photos, it features a CLS-esque rear-end and a more rounded off cleaned up front end dominated by a very aptly sized grille, one which gives the new S an impressive road presence like its predecessors(without being overly large and disproportionate).
But, of course, the main concern with consumers and reviewers about the car has never been the exterior. Sure, the CLS-inspired rear and rounded front may turn some away, but for the most part, Mercedes have never been the ones to utterly ruin an exterior(unlike another German company)on their newer cars. The main concern people have with the new S-Class is with the interior and its seeming emphasis on tech.
In fact, yours truly has done a short(definitely convoluted)article regarding the W222 replacement when it was just renders and a few leaked photos, and like many, I too had concerns that Mercedes were straying too far from what its customers wanted. So, has Mercedes totally cocked it up? Or have the leaks deceived us?
If we recall back to the leaked photos, we will have seen an interior featuring two screens, a barren dashboard, and a funky looking steering wheel. Well, that much hasn't changed. Mercedes have, indeed, gone for a more minimalistic approach to the new S-Class' interior. Gone are beautifully sculpted round vents, nicely carved wood trim, and analog clock made by IWC Schaffhausen. And in their place sits a pair of screens, some squarish vents, and a baren dashboard that can either be trimmed in piano black, ye oldie choices of wood, or carbon fiber.
In all honesty, with everything fired up, it certainly doesn't look half bad. Yeah, one would probably opt for a nicer looking gauge display setting, but overall, the minimalistic dash, coupled with the massive Tesla-esque screen and mood lightning, serves to give occupants a very spaceship-like experience.
However, don't think Mercedes has forgotten what it means to build a luxury car benchmark.
In addition to all this funky new tech(and MBUX), the occupants are still cocooned in a cabin lined with fine leather, trimmed in the finest materials from the land, and furnished with mechanical hinges that clack satisfyingly into place. If one spends extra, they'd also get a Burmester Speaker featuring tweeds that whir open whenever they fire up the car.
If one still isn't convinced by the interior of the new S-Class at a glance, they need only to look at the rear-passenger cabin to realize that no, Mercedes have not forgotten how to build a luxury limo benchmark. Much like the W222, rear-passengers in this new S-Class are enveloped in fine leather and exquisite wood, and also provided with airplane-style screens mounted to the back of the front seats, the two screens capable of being controlled either via touchscreen or via the integrated touchscreen placed neatly on the arm-rest, the touchscreen replacing the quirky and awkward remote of the W222.
Unlike the W222, however, rear-passengers in the new S-Class also get a digital climate control, meaning in essence this car has at least a 3-zone climate control: two up front and at least one in the back. Finally, no more squabbling over whether the air conditioning is too hot or too cold!
So then, let's sum up both articles. Have Mercedes utterly shagged the S-Class replacement? Or have our initial fears been unwarranted? Well, if you're not a fan of technology, then perhaps yes, the new S-Class has been shagged. But then again, if you're not a fan of technology, you'd probably not buy any modern car, let alone modern luxury limousines, in the first place!
Subjectively, I, personally, am still a massive fan of the W222 in all its regal glory.
However, objectively speaking, Mercedes has done a great job balancing luxury and technology with their new W223 S-Class, despite what the leaked photos would have you believe. Yes, they have gone for a more minimalistic interior and put a greater emphasis on tech, but overall, the essence of an S-Class interior still remains. You still get your nice wood trim and plush leather, only now it's complimented by a suite of new technology and banks upon banks of mood-lightning to calm your nerves after a long day.
And need we talk more about the ever gorgeous exterior styling?