The Imperial 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Innovation Beyond Comprehension

Experienced By Kimatni D. Rawlins

Please prepare for an immersive automotive experience beyond comprehension as Mercedes-Benz has reinvigorated its mothership S-Class with superior capabilities and luxuriant satisfaction. The opulent touring sedan triggers the senses and redefines innovation from driver assistance systems and performance behaviors to ultimate protection and advanced interaction. In addition, the German automaker is shaping the next generation of mobility with vehicular developments focusing on sensual execution, such as 4D Sound and fluid handling capabilities from rear-axle steering.

While many automobile manufacturers concentrate on the ever-hot SUV market, this iconic German brand has retooled and reset the luxury sedan market with its all-new S-Class. So instead of abandoning sedans, Mercedes-Benz has made each of its offerings class leaders in terms of luxury, technology, safety, and build quality. From the A, C, and E-Class sedans to the new S-Class and Maybach S-Class, M-B is all-in on this market segment, correctly understanding that not every consumer wants or needs a sport-ute. However, S-Class competitors such as the Audi A7, Genesis G90, Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series, Volvo S90, and Maserati Quattroporte will have to go back to the drawing board because this 2022 M-B flagship is running laps around all of them.

Here is an overview of what to expect from the new S-Class:

  • New-generation MBUX infotainment and navigation system with voice control including natural language understanding and keyword activation (“Hey Mercedes”). It also features MBUX augmented video for navigation.
  • 3” Digital Instrument Cluster and 12.8” OLED touchscreen center display that houses audio, vehicle, comfort (lighting and massaging seats), and navigation settings.
  • Fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication of the driver to activate a profile.
  • New-generation multifunction steering wheel with capacitive touch, scrolling control buttons, and fancy paddle shifters. My test vehicle featured the Nappa leather wheel.
  • All-new Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound System with up to 1,750 watts, 30 speakers, and two resonators in each seat to create an entirely new soundstage experience for all passengers.
  • A new lineup of turbocharged engines with EQ Boost and 48-volt technology.
  • An all-new rear-axle steering system that allows the full-sized executive sedan to be as maneuverable as a compact car by reducing the turning radius by up to 7 feet; available in two variants up to 4.5 degrees or up to 10 degrees.
  • Climate-controlled seats with six radial fans for enhanced seat-cooling capabilities.

 

Representing M-B’s most forward-thinking vehicle next to the EQS, the 2022 S-Class is built at Factory 56 in Germany, where energy savings of 25% are achieved. The S-Class utilizes digitization to respond empathetically to the needs and wishes of its driver and passengers. Crafted from a scientifically beautiful interior, it presents an incredible and holistic experience. A few things to point out are the ten unique massage choices, ionization, finger recognition to restore custom settings, 18-motors in the adjustable seats, voice assistance to the front and rear seats with MBUX, swipeable content for the front screen and rear passenger screens, and an augmented reality Head-up Display. Safety includes digital lights for evening driving, rear passenger airbags deployed from the front seat, and the lifting of the S-Class when it senses a side-impact crash to reduce injury.

Exterior

S-Class styling is handsomely evolutionary. The new model features a short front overhang, a longer wheelbase, and a proportionally balanced rear overhang. Along the sides, seamless and ambient light-decorated door handles extend when the key fob is sensed, and you approach the vehicle. Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tires were wrapped around the upgraded 21″ AMG multi-spoke rims to flow with the AMG Sport Body Styling of my Emerald Green S580 4MATIC.

Interior 

Intending to make the S-Class the most elite luxury sedan in the world, it’s no surprise that inside the model, no matter if you are a driver or passenger, is a prominent place to be. The list of standard and available interior luxury and convenience accouterments is long and impressive. For example, while waiting two hours for my daughter to return from the movies, the S-Class felt like Ritz-Carlton guest room quarters as I laid back in comfort while receiving a sports massage from the bolstered powered seat. In addition, ambient lighting, illuminated door sill panels, soft close doors, a split panorama sunroof, a 3D Instrument Cluster, Air Balance Cabin Fragrance System, Slate High-Glass Poplar wood trim, and power window shades created the ultimate touring experience.

Powertrain and Driving Experience

Two powertrains are available on the new S500, including a 3.0-liter inline V6 turbo engine with EQ Boost and an electric auxiliary compressor that outputs 429-horsepower and 384 pound-foot of torque. The EQ Boost mild hybrid system adds up to 21-horsepower and up to 184 pound-foot of torque. My S580 was enhanced by a 4.0-liter Biturbo V8 with EQ Boost. Output is 496-horsepower and 516 pound-foot of torque. Paired with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission, EQ Boost adds up to 20-horsepower and 184 pound-foot of torque. 4MATIC all-wheel drive is standard on both models. The S-Class sails like yachts on open waters and blows by traffic with the wrath of speed boats when power is called upon. 

Cost: Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC = $111,100 / S580 4MATIC Sedan = $117,700. The destination charge is $1,050. My loaner totaled $125,890 with its optional equipment and value-added packages. Expect up to 21 city mpg and 30 highway mpg depending on vehicle trim.

Safety: Mercedes-Benz products are built with consumer and pedestrian safety in mind. The 2022 S-Class continues the high standards with a long list of standard and optional safety features such as Surround View System, Active Brake Assist, Active Parking Assist, Advanced Air Bag Protection System, Electronic Stability Control, Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, and much more. Moreover, the optional rear-axle steering gives the S-Class the maneuverability of a compact car in the city. The instrument cluster features 3D navigation with augmented reality and more than 50 electronic components in the S-Class can be updated with new software over-the-air (OTA) updates. This technology saves time as the customer no longer needs to visit a dealership for these updates.

But remember that you have to pay to play, as the 2022 S Class will be cost-prohibitive for many. Also, this is a very complex vehicle and maintenance is high for S-Class models. Historically, the resale value for German luxury sedans is lower than its Japanese counterparts. Other than that, prepare for greatness when you take to the wheel of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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