New Mercedes S500 blasts German Autobahn. Like on a flying carpet. When Mercedes updated S-Class W222 in 2017, the S500 lost their V8 to a new inline-six engine with mild-hybrid technology.
W223, the next generation, follows the similar electrified trend to show that downsizing and electrification go side by side in today’s modern world, which is also an era of emissions regulations and their increasingly stringent standards.
But you need not worry, and when it comes to driving it at full throttle on the highway, the new S500 always has plenty to do.
The AutoTopNL team got hands-on a W223 and pushed it to the max on one of the German Autobahn’s unrestricted sections. Not even glancing at the badge or that chic interior, you immediately feel that this is a high-end luxury vehicle. The feel comes from the tranquillity of its interior as soon as the door is closed.
Then, there is the smooth shifting of the nine-speed automatic, while the engine’s soundtrack isn’t too bad for an “only” six-cylinder. The S500 becomes a bit noisy as the virtual needle on the digital speedometer nears 260 km / h (162 mph). But there is no doubt about S-Class as it remains one of the most relaxing modes of travelling at such a speed.
Those who need more horsepower will have to keep their patience for the AMG trims. The V12-powered S65 won’t return, because only the Maybach S-Class will continue to use the twin-turbo 6.0-litre juggernaut. We have also learnt that there will be an electrified S73e with some 800 horsepower, about 100 horsepower more than the future S63e.
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Those glossy black surfaces that are as beautiful as the interior are prone to scratches and may have problems during the ageing. There is some reflection of the central air vents towards the windshield. It could be a bit problematic for people having mild obsessive-compulsive disorders.
The S-Class W223 is an easy-to-drive vehicle. It is also the type of car everyone will wish to be driven in. One regret is that the convertible and the coupe no longer exist in the new generation, but the void left by it, will be filled by the next AMG GT coupe and the SL roadster which is designed to replace the two-door S-Class.