By Theodore Opara
Selecting the luxury car of the year for 2013 was not a very difficult task for the Nigerian auto journalists. The S-Class simply stood out and when it was announced at the Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, the audience applauded the decision of the judges. No one faulted the judgement. And the S-class took the crown.
From the onset, the S-Class has carved a niche for itself as the preferred luxury car model in Nigeria, a position it has maintained for decades.
As a pacesetter in the luxury car segment, the Mercedes Benz S-Class has even broadened the gap with it new innovative models – the new S-500 plug-in Hybrid, the S-500 Intelligent Drive and the S63 AMG,which it unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany late last year.
Though nothing is impossible in today’s automobile world, Mercedes Benz with its S-Class has been breaking new barriers. How on earth would you believe that an S-Class could cover 100 kilometes with just three litres of fuel? This has become possible with the new S500 plug-in Hybrid.
The S-Class as a three litre per 100 kilometres car sound like a dream. The third Hybrid sets new benchmarks with regard to efficiency as well as drive-system and climate comfort. With 69g C02 per kilometre (3 litre/100km) the S-Class sets new benchmark for luxury saloon that just a few years ago was thought impossible. The 80-kw electric drive with externally rechargeable battery make emission-free driving for about 30 kilometres possible. It combined with the new 3.0 litre V6 turbo charged engine.
With the new S-Class, Mercedes Benz expands the hybrids line-up in this model series to three models: the S400 Hybrid, S300 Blue Tec Hybrid and S500 plug-in Hybrid.
According to Prof. (Dr) Thomas Weber, responsible for the Daimler Board of management for Group Research and Head of Mercedes Benz cars product Engineering “with the S-500 plug-in Hybrid Mercedes Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix.”
“In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-litre car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort.”
Also, when it sent its S-500 Intelligent Drive research vehicle along an historic route in August 2013, Mercedes Benz became the first motor manufacturer to demonstrate the feasibility of autonomous driving on both inter-urban and urban routes.
The route in question, covering about 100 kilometres or so from Mannheim to Pforzheim (Germany), retraced that taken by motoring pioneer Bertha – Benz exactly 125 years ago when she boldly set off on the very first long distance drive. In the heavy traffic of the 21st century, the self-driving S-Class had to deal with number of complex situations – traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams.
According to Mercedes Benz the trailblazing success was not achieved using extremely expensive special technology but with the aid of near- production – standard technology, very similar to that already found in the new E and S-Class. The project thus marks a milestone along the way that leads from the self-propelled (automobile) to self-driving (autonomous) vehicle.
Another Benchmarks is the new Mercedes Benz S63 AMG.
The new Mercedes Benz S63 AMG also raised driving performance in the luxury segment. Mercedes Benz unleashed the new S63 AMG, the most powerful high performance saloon in the luxury segment sets new standards in terms of driving dynamics, lightweight construction and efficiency.
The AMG 5.5 V8 biturbo engine – the most powerful member of the BlueDirect engine family with an output of 430kw (585hp) and torque of 900Nm delivers effortlessly superior performance. Thanks to systematic lightweight construction based on the AMG lightweight performance philosophy, the S63 AMG is up to 100 kilometres lighter than its predecessor.
A combination of an efficient drive system and reduced weight result in an NEDC combination fuel consumption of 10.1 to 10.3 litre per 100 kilometres. The new S63 AMG is also available with performance-oriented AMG all-wheel drive system 4 Matic as an option for the first time. This not only enhance traction – the S63 AMG represents a new dimension in driving dynamics in its segment. The design, equipment and appointments of the S63 meet the highest standards in term of high-class appeal, quality and perfection.