As we drove the new Mercedes-Benz S 560 out of the multi-storey garage in Dubai Media City, we were stunned at the smoothness of the drive. We can even dare to say that it mimicked Rolls-Royce’s signature “magic carpet ride”.
The two sit in different categories, with Rolls-Royce on a playing field of its own, but year after year, Mercedes has managed to upgrade what used to be slightly heavy steering. In an ever-aggressive luxury car market, it needs to move fast to keep up with just-as-good competitors. With the new S Class, it more than succeeds.
The vehicle is one of the most comfortable luxury sedans in the market, as it makes the driving experience as effortless and as relaxed as possible.
One way it does so is through its curve-tilting function, where the vehicle leans into bends in a similar way to motorcyclists, adjusting the driver inside by up to 2.65 degrees at turns, and thereby reducing forced movement. Yes, the S class spoils its driver.
But passengers are just as pampered, with bespoke musical themes and massage functions available for all thanks to the improved energising comfort control system.
Design is also key to the S class’s overall feel. While it is the Italians who are known for their elegant elements, the Germans cannot be underestimated. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in the open-pore wood and leather-trimmed doors and classic yet modern dashboard.
More impressively, we had a choice of six programmes that focus on muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance, each with a duration of 10 minutes and across multiple platforms including lighting, massage and music. We could also choose from over 60 shades of LED light to set in four zones across the S 560. Mercedes claims the light reflects positive effects on users’ well-being, surrounding them with a relaxing ambiance. We chose Dawn Blue, and noticed that it does indeed have a soothing effect.
On the steering wheel, touch controls responded similarly to the swiping motions on a smartphone, reminding us that while we are in control of the Mercedes, we can also relax and let it do some of the work for us. We were able to access the entire infotainment system without having to take our hands off the wheel.
Under the hood, the Mercedes-Benz S 560 does not disappoint. The luxury car, for which the official partner in the UAE is family-owned Gargash Enterprises, features a new V8 engine that boasts 469bhp and 700Nm. But it remains economical, consuming about 10 percent less fuel than its predecessor. That is remarkable, even for an A-lister like Mercedes.
Then again, the motor house is continuously moving with the times, particularly when it comes to its Intelligent Drive. Its autonomous driving and driver assistance systems have been noticeably improved.
Its Pre-Safe Sound option triggers a warning signal ahead of any crashes expected to produce a loud noise, in order to protect the eardrum from high audio pressures. We feel sheltered in the S class, more so when we find out the stereo camera now scan roads in dusk and at speeds of up to 180kph.
The model’s exterior is just as notable, boasting elegant crystal-look tail lamps, a sharp new radiator grille and multibeam LED headlights that produce the maximum light intensity permitted by the law.
This makes the Mercedes-Benz S 560 a worthy contender in the ever competitive luxury car market. Indeed, the graceful motorcar will remain a modern classic in the ever-changing world of sedans.
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