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2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift includes new engines

Flagship saloon receives mandatory mid-life design tweaks and new inline-six and eight-cylinder engines.

This isn’t all-new, right?

No it isn’t. The Mercedes-Benz S-class you see here in official pictures is a mid-life refresh of the current generation that’s currently making its debut at the Shanghai motor show.

Stuttgart’s flagship saloon gets a more prominent face thanks to more accentuated air vents in the bumper. The interior has also been updated with new materials and sportier-looking steering wheel for AMG-trimmed models.

I bet there’s more driver-assist tech in it…

That’s right mate. Mercedes-Benz usually showcases its latest technologies in the S-class before letting them filter down into other models.

And while the S-class can already do many things in a semi-autonomous manners, it has raised the bar of its so-called Distronic Active Proximity Control and Active Steering Assist systems.

Apart from being able to automatically accelerate and brake within speed limits, the S-class can also self-steer for half-a-minute. These features are probably the most advanced driver-assist technologies available so far in a production-ready vehicle.

I see. Does it usher that much-anticipated inline-six engine?

Yes it does. After using V6 engines for many years, Mercedes-Benz has returned with a straight-six petrol and diesel engines. These 3.0-litre motors are said to be developments of the existing 2.0-litre four-pot motors and are hooked up to 48V electrical motor and compressor systems and lithium-ion batteries to help enhance performance, as well as reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

There are two outputs for the diesel head including 286hp for the S350d and 340hp for S400d. The petrol version gets plug-in ability to allow for 50km of pure electric driving. This particular model is called S560e and replaces the S500e, which had 3.0-litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid.

On the high performance front, the 455hp 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 seen in the S500 has been superseded by a smaller 468hp 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, now called S560.

The Thai focus should be on the S560e, then?

As the Thai government is now trying to lure carmakers in bringing EV technology to Thailand, Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) will continue to focus purely on plug-in hybrid for the revised S-class when sales start toward the end of this year.

As reported earlier, this particular hybrid drivetrain will also appear in a performance-oriented version of the E-class Coupe. The rumoured Mercedes-AMG E50 is said to develop over 400hp when petrol power is combined with electricity.

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