What did Mercedes-Benz get up to at the Frankfurt Motor Show?[Not a valid template]
The big reveal from Mercedes-Benz at the Frankfurt Motor Show was the new Concept S-Class Coupe, a very good hint at what at what a two-door Merc flagship could look like. It’s a four-seater big coupe with as much luxury and technology thrown in as you’d expect from a car with the S-Class name. Sat on big 21-inch rims, with a big rear and bulging wheel arches, it whispers its power and performance rather than screams it. For a car more than 5 metres long, it looks tight and capable.
The interior of the concept is largely white, which looks cool but would presumably be an absolute nightmare to keep clean in the real world. Concept cars, eh? The rest of the inside is all high-tech and clever, with aluminium panels, mathematically-designed progressive perforation in the loudspeakers and front seats apparent inspired by haute-couture tailoring. Riiight.
More importantly, the Concept S-Class Coupe boasts a 4.7-litre V8 biturbo under the bonnet with 558bhp, which isn’t too shabby at all. Will Mercedes build it? We reckon so, and we think it’ll go down a storm, especially in the Middle East.
The other crowd-puller at the gargantuan Mercedes stand was the new S500 Intelligent Drive research vehicle – an S-Class that can drive itself. The can has already driven 100 kilometres across Germany, following the same Mannheim to Pforzheim route that Bertha Benz made 125 years ago – the first long-distance journey in an automobile. It was a bit more tricky this time around, what with heavy traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and traffic lights, but so clever is the S500 Intelligent Drive that it negotiated these obstacles all on its own. it will have fully autonomous cars on the road before 2020. Exciting stuff.
Continuing the S-Class theme, the new Mercedes S63 AMG also had its first blink into the sunshine. We’ll be driving it very soon, so stay tuned for a full road test. In the meantime, we can tell you that it takes the tech-crammed S-Class saloon, and dumps in a 577bhp, 5.5-litre biturbo V8 from those wacky boys at AMG. It’s 100kg lighter than the previous S63, and for the first time will be available with all-wheel drive as well as rear-wheel drive.
A plug-in hybrid version of the S500 was also revealed, which can travel up to 30 kilometres on electric power alone. Combustion thrust is provided by a 3-litre turbo V6 with 328bhp.
Lastly, there was the new GLA-Class compact crossover SUV, which takes the Merc SUV line up to five-strong. Merc describes it as “the trekking shoes in the Mercedes line-up”. Due for release next year, it’s available with either a 154bhp 1.6-litre engine or a 2-litre affair with 208bhp, and there’ll be diesel options for the relevant markets.