2015 Mercedes-Benz S Class

What's new for 2015? The Mercedes-Benz S-Class adds a plethora of variants for 2015. The V12-powered S600 and range-topping S65 AMG join the range, and the S550 Plug-In Hybrid will arrive in early 2015. Most notably, however, the former CL-Class has been renamed and rejoined its four-door sibling as the all-new S-Class coupe. Also new for 2015 is a revised COMAND electronics controller throughout the lineup, the option of a head-up display and available carbon-ceramic brakes for AMG models. The previously optional cabin air filtration and fragrance system is now standard.

For decades now, Mercedes-Benz flagship sedans and coupes have been benchmarks for the rest of the automotive industry, representing engineering excellence, opulent luxury and state-of-the-art features that often not only trickle down to cheaper Mercedes models, but to other brands as well. That certainly applies to the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a car that feels every bit as special and potentially groundbreaking as its illustrious predecessors.

After the current, all-new generation debuted last year, 2015 sees some previous family members return. The V12-powered S600 and S65 AMG models rejoin the S-Class lineup after a year off, with the former boasting a bigger and more powerful engine than the previous generation's version. Most notably, though, the S-Class coupe name makes its return after nearly two decades. Like the CL-Class it replaces, though, the new S-Class coupe provides the same opulent interior quality and driving experience as the S-Class sedan, but with sleeker, two-door styling highlighted by a lack of a central B-pillar. As a result, there's really nothing like windows-down motoring in a big Benz coupe. These new additions only bolster the S-Class' status as one of the finest cars on the road.

Exterior Highlights
Full-size sedan and coupe available in S550, S63 AMG body styles for coupe and sedan, while the sedan also is available in S600 and S550 Plug-in Hybrid body styles

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a full-size sedan and coupe available in a number of variants, which correspond to engine. Both body styles are available as an S550, S63 AMG and S65 AMG, while the sedan adds an additional S600 and S550 Plug-In Hybrid (available early 2015).

Standard equipment on the S550 models includes an adjustable air suspension, all-LED lighting (including adaptive headlights), automatic wipers (with advanced washers and heated blades), cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control (with air purification and cabin fragrance systems), 12-way power front seats (with heating and memory settings), leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, MB-Tex synthetic leather interior trim, auto-dimming mirrors, soft-close doors, a power trunk lid and a power rear sunshade. A panoramic sunroof is standard on both body styles, but the coupe's features Magic Sky Control, which applies varying degrees of tint at the push of a button.

Standard electronics features include the COMAND interface (with two 12.3-inch display screens and a touchpad/rotary knob controller), a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, voice controls, an in-car WiFi hotspot, Mercedes mbrace telematics and a 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer, two USB audio inputs, an iPod interface, HD and satellite radios, TuneIn Internet radio and 10GB of digital music storage. The sedan has 18-inch wheels. The coupe has 19-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic parallel parking system, keyless ignition and entry and upgraded leather upholstery. All are available on the sedan. The sedan's Premium 1 package adds the front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel parking system and keyless ignition and entry. It also includes a hands-free trunk opening, power rear side window shades and heated and ventilated active multicontour front seats (with additional adjustments, six massage programs and rapid-heating functionality).

The coupe's Premium 1 package adds the active multicontour front seats, a head-up display and a surround-view parking camera system.

The S63 AMG includes all of the above, but gets a different engine and transmission, 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension components, more aggressively bolstered seats and styling differences.

The following are options on the S550 and the S63 sedans. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control (with steering assistance and automated braking and accelerating) and a variety of electronic safety aids detailed in the Safety section below. The Rear Seat package adds four-zone automatic climate control, rear seatbelt airbags, upgraded headrests and power-adjustable rear seats (available separately). The Warmth & Comfort package also provides the power-adjustable rear seats, but adds heating and ventilation, front and rear heated armrests and a heated steering wheel. The Executive Rear Seat package adds "multicontour" rear seat adjustments and a passenger-side rear seat that features extra reclining and an extending footrest.

The S550 and S63 coupes also can be had with the Driver Assistance package and their own Warmth & Comfort package, which has heated rear seats and a heated wood and leather steering wheel.

Stand-alone options on the S550 and S63 sedans and coupes include a night vision system, upgraded leather upholstery, a 24-speaker Burmester 3-D surround-sound audio system and a heated steering wheel. Magic Body Control suspension, the surround-view camera and heated rear seats can be added separately to the sedan models.

All of the above options are standard on the S600 and S65 AMG. The latter also gets the S63's AMG-specific performance items.

Stand-alone options on all S-Class sedan models include a head-up display, a refrigerated rear center console, a heated windshield and a split-view front center display screen (also available on the coupe: driver and passenger can see different things). A fixed center console with heated and cooled cupholders and two airplane-style fold-out tables can be added to the Executive Rear Seat Plus package. There are also a variety of special "designo" paint, leather colors and trim types available.

Carbon-ceramic brakes can be added to the AMG models.

User-friendly COMAND infotainment system, sufficiently large trunk, optional packages include seats with 6 massage settings, pop-out tables and a fridge

The cabins of most flagship luxury cars feel like bigger, fancier versions of "lesser" models, sharing a general design aesthetic and many control components. Not so the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even within the company, there is a clear differentiation between it and other Mercedes models, indicating that this is a special car that exists above the rest. Even things like the seat control buttons are bespoke to the S-Class.

Beyond aesthetics, few cars can approach the new S-Class' comfort and infotainment features. The standard seats are lovely, but you'd be nuts not to select the Premium 1 package's multicontour seats with their additional adjustments, ventilation and six massage settings. That's right, six. One even simulates a hot stone massage by utilizing the seat's heating elements. And just in case your rear passengers are the jealous sort, the same opulent front seat features (including adjustments) are available in the sedan's enormous backseat. Plus, you can add an entertainment system, airplane-style pop-out tables and even a fridge. Those aren't available on the coupe, but even its backseat is pretty generously sized for a two-door car.

All of its many infotainment functions are controlled by the latest iteration of Mercedes' COMAND system, which remains one of the most user-friendly around (even if its immense number of functions renders it a tad overwhelming at first). Compared with the setup in other Mercedes-Benz models, the S-Class' upgraded COMAND interface features a colossal central screen, unique graphics, a new-for-2015 touchpad controller and a different physical button layout (buttons for frequently used functions are grouped around the main control knob rather than on the dash). Immediately adjacent to the infotainment screen is the instrument panel, which itself is an equally large display screen complete with simulated digital gauges. The trunk, as you might expect from a 17-foot-long sedan, is sufficiently large at 16.3 cubic feet.

Every 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes standard with traction and stability control (with crosswind mitigation), antilock brakes, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Standard electronic safety features include a rearview camera, a driver inattention warning system and a collision prevention system that will warn the driver of a potential collision and fully apply the brakes if necessary.

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