The production coupe will be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show on March 6 and go on sale in the US this fall, and its reveal marks the death knell of the CL-Class, a line that itself effectively replaced the S-Class coupe (okay, the SEC) when it debuted. At launch, the only model here will be the S550 Coupe 4MATIC with a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that will make 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque paired to a conventional seven-speed automatic transmission. Because it uses the S-Class platform, there will be a similar mile-long options list full of acronyms for the buyer to choose from. Pricing will be announced later.
Whenever it can, Mercedes likes to show off a new technical marvel on each one of its high-end models. For the S-Class Coupe, that world premiere is something called "active curve tilting function." The system works with the Active Body Control system and its pair of front-mounted cameras. When the system detects an oncoming corner up to 49 feet away, it begins leaning the car up to 2.5 degrees over like a motorcycle to reduce lateral acceleration. Mercedes has been toying with 'leaning' cars for some time now – in fact, it showed a memorable roadster concept with much the same functionality, dubbed F400 Carving, way back in 2001.
While it looks nearly identical to the concept, we think the exterior is still an absolutely beautiful combination of harmonious, gently flowing lines. At first blush, our only concern is that its downward sloping nose can make this pillarless coupe look a little like a catfish from the front three-quarters perspective, but that may just be how it appears in photos. Either way, the indulgently scaled 198-inch long coupe has a front end with standard full-LED headlights with LED running light eyebrows, and the rear is punctuated by wide fender arches that appear especially aggressive.
The interior comes almost directly from the S-Class sedan, with sporty additions like additional metal trim and optional Bengal Red leather interior. The touchpad for entering data into the infotainment system from the S65 AMG is standard, and its head-up display is optional. A standard panoramic sunroof exposes two-thirds of the interior and uses Mercedes' Magic Sky Control technology to switch from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.
Hopefully when it joins the US lineup this fall, the Coupe lives up to the achievement of the latest S-Class, which we called "the new standard bearer" last summer. Feel free to scroll down to read the nearly 3,000-word press release.
An aesthetic, exclusive high-end coupe
Stuttgart. Stylistically self-assured presence, exclusive appointments and refined sportiness – the new S-Class Coupe from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupe with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology. As a world premiere, the breathtaking two-door coupe includes a touchpad as standard and can be optionally equipped with a head-up display. Available expressive headlamps, each featuring 47 Swarovski crystals, produce a uniquely striking appearance.
"As exclusive as it gets – the ultimate in aesthetic sportiness", stresses Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The breathtaking design of the Concept S-Class Coupe marked by sporty-classic proportions and sensual purity is transferred to
the series-production S-Class Coupe virtually unaltered. The large coupe has always been the supreme pinnacle of our model range and that's why it's now called the 'S-Class' again."
"The world premiere of the active curve tilting function demonstrates the possibilities offered by Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive," notes Prof Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. "The vehicle leans into bends much like a motorcyclist, thereby reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the vehicle's occupants. On country roads in particular, this means greater driving pleasure and ride comfort for our customers." The new S-Class Coupe will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 6 – 16, 2014) with U.S. dealer deliveries scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. The two-door S550 Coupe will be available in the U.S. as a 4MATIC only with a 4.7L V8 biturbo engine. The S550 Coupe has an output of 449 hp and its torque level peaks at 516 lb-ft. The sporty driving experience is significantly enhanced by the emotional sound produced by the exhaust system.
With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The Coupe leans into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances driving enjoyment and comfort.
Like the S-Class Sedan, the new Coupe is available with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. The "Intelligent Drive" systems include, among other things the PRE-SAFE® brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive High-beam Assist and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features an additional function apart from the adaptive brake assistant, which provides collision protection from a speed of 4 mph: if there remains a danger of collision and the driver fails to respond, the system can carry out an autonomous braking maneuver at speeds of up to 65 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph.
As in the sedan, the PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system has been expanded through the inclusion of PRE-SAFE® PLUS. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the parking brake on the vehicle stationary and thus minimize the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
Numerous standard equipment features are available to make the interior of the S-Class Coupe exceptionally luxurious and comfortable. For example, the AIR-BALANCE package including the components "fragrancing" and "ionization" is available. Optional equipment includes an electric armrest heating as a component of the Warmth Comfort package.
In cooperation with high-end audio specialists Burmester, two especially high- value audio systems have been developed: the Burmester® surround sound system and the Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system.
Design: sensual purity at its most beguiling
Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These make up the guiding star, and are accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
"Our new S-Class Coupe is one of the most gorgeous coupes of all time, representing the most radical aesthetic departure from its predecessor," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Daimler AG. "The sensuous flowing silhouette in interplay with the clear progressive design language forms a perfect symbiosis and expresses our philosophy of sensual purity with pithy precision."
The exterior: flowing profile of perfect proportions
The flowing profile of the S-Class Coupe embodies sensual purity in a modern way and is emphasized by the hallmark Mercedes dropping line. The long hood with pronounced lines and powerdomes, the low greenhouse with high beltline, the accentuated wheel arches as well as the large wheels (18- to 20-inch) and the broad visual effect created by the rear reinforce the S-Class Coupe's aspirations as a masterpiece of automotive refinement. With a wheelbase of 116 inches, the Coupe is 198 inches long, with a width of 75 inches and a height of 56 inches.
Its convex and concave modeled surfaces lend the S-Class Coupe a sensuous character. The sculpted appearance lends it classic elegance that forms a perfect symbiosis with the modern-progressive design idiom.
The view from the side is marked by the dropping line in keeping with the emotional character of the vehicle. It underscores the brand-typical proportions like a signature. The lines are deliberately reduced to the basics. This creates a sensual, timeless purity.
The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the S-Class Coupe a superior, self-confident front: in the center of the vehicle front end is the further-evolved three-dimensional diamond radiator grille, whose structure is defined by rectangular, chrome-plated elements. It incorporates the central Mercedes three-pointed star and one louvre.
The full-LED headlamps with their iconic eyebrows as daytime running lamps lend it an extremely self-assured and distinctive gaze. On the S-Class Coupe the eyebrows have been further refined with a semi-circular counter-curve. In combination with the standard LED Intelligent Light System, the Edition 1 S550 special edition vehicle will also feature unique headlamps with no less than 47 Swarovski crystals. 17 angular crystals form the flare-shaped daytime running lamps, with 30 round-shaped crystals making up the turn indicator lamps.
The side profile is defined by the dome-shaped stretched roof line and the frameless doors. An elegant 3D continuous chrome frame surrounds the glass areas that are uninterrupted by B-pillars. This underscores the Mercedes- typical coupe look.
A muscle above the rear axle extending from the side wall generates a sense of lightness and dynamic spirit even at a standstill. The positively arched surfaces and lines of the side walls flow into the rear end with a dramatic tapered effect.
The rear end with its surfaces, broad shoulders and distinctive character lines rounds off the emotive overall appearance. Moving the license plate mounting to the lower part of the rear bumper is a particularly striking modification. It allows the trunk lid to be made especially sleek in this area. The three-pointed star is, so to say, free-standing and can thus be made more prominent for greater effect. In addition it pivots outwards in order to locate the rearview camera and the surround view camera in an elegantly functional manner.
The arrangement of the LEDs in two horizontal rows in the two-piece tail lamps reveals cutting-edge technology and underscores the sporty character of the vehicle rear, careful attention to detail and the car's premium value. Form and function fuse into a perfect unity. Part of the light functions is located in the wings, the other in the trunk lid. This characteristic arrangement makes the vehicle highly recognizable by night, too.
The two-part rear bumper underscores the sportiness indicated by the front design. The diffusor, painted in high-sheen black, meets in equal measure the requirements made by aerodynamics and by design. Below it there is, as in the front bumper, a horizontal wing in silver look. Integrated in the diffusor are the premium-quality tailpipes.
The S-Class Coupe features a standard panorama roof extending over two- thirds of the entire vehicle roof; with a surface area of around 1.32 m2, it appears almost 150 percent larger than on the predecessor model. MAGIC SKY CONTROL makes it possible to switch the transparency of the roof at the push of a button, from light to dark. When light, the roof is almost completely transparent and allows an open-air experience, even in the coldest weather. When dark, light transmission i.e. the proportion of outside light that is allowed through into the interior, is reduced to less than 1% and thus effectively diminishes heating up of the vehicle. In addition, it is possible to shade the interior completely by means of a roller blind.
The interior: modern luxury as avant-garde design
The interior design of the new S-Class Coupe is an expression of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom – sensual purity. An enthralling combination of sculptural sensuous volume elements and components, and the clear geometry of its basic architecture create an avant-garde design idiom. A high class appeal, quality workmanship and exceptional touch and feel are a treat for the passengers' senses, so that the car's interior represents the highest level of "modern luxury".
The S-Class Coupe's dashboard fascinates with its spectacular architecture, giving rise to a vehicle of unique character in the upper coupe segment. The dashboard is divided into a very clear top-layer section with an expansive "wrap-around" effect extending to the doors, and an extremely low, sculptural "floating" lower section. This striking architecture was made possible by repositioning the airbag to a completely new low location. This concept enables the large, two-part wide-screen format TFT display to be placed in a prominent "hovering" position in front of this trim surface. In addition, it is stylishly highlighted with an ambience lighting corona. Under the display, the sporty elevated center console extends to the vehicle rear. All lids and armrests are lavishly covered in leather.
The use of the finest materials, surfaces, color combinations and seam designs contributes towards achieving a truly exclusive car interior. Air vents, switches, belt extender rosette and trim elements are in electroplated "Silver Shadow". This gives the trim elements a particularly high value appeal and enhances the three-dimensional effect of their surfaces.
In front of the armrest the standard touchpad can be found, with its black high- sheen surface and chrome-look surround. As on a smartphone, the touchpad allows all the head-unit functions to be operated using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any of the head unit's languages. Diverse controls, e.g. for the multi-media system, are arrayed as keys in a semicircle in front of the central control element.
Both the front and the rear seats have a pronounced sporty character, the two rear seats are designed as individual seats. The Exclusive upholsteries optionally includes seats in Exclusive nappa designo leather with a striking diamond backstitching pattern on backrests and seating surfaces. The front- seat seatbelts are integrated in the rear side panelling without interrupting the waistline with windows open; seatbelt extenders make them easily accessible for the seat occupants.
There is a fluid transition between the doors and the rear side panelling, emphasizing the vehicle's well-being quality. Here too, surfaces and controls are masterfully executed in top-quality materials; the configuration with the standard Burmester® surround sound system and the optional Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a special highlight in form and function.
New interior colors such as Bengal red, saddle brown and porcelain allow individualization of the interior. The standard ambient lighting with several lighting moods provides the corresponding wellness character. The customer can choose from seven lighting moods.
Less distraction: head-up display
The optional head-up display brings important information directly into the driver's field of vision, presenting it on the windscreen to ensure less distraction from the traffic situation. The system informs about vehicle speed, navigation instructions and driving assistance system messages.
The technical basis for this system is a specular optics system and a full-color display module with a resolution of 480 x 240 pixels, operating with high-power LEDs. They project the virtual image, which measures around 8 x 3 inches, into the driver's field of vision where it appears to float around two meters away above the hood. The resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree of viewing angle ensures a needle-sharp image. A special light sensor located near the top edge of the roof automatically adjusts the brightness of the head-up display to the exterior lighting conditions.
Lower transversal forces: active curve tilting function
With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The curve tilting function makes the Coupe lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher speeds, but to produce a more pleasant motoring experience.
With Active Body Control the suspension struts are equipped with hydraulic cylinders (so-called plungers), in order to adjust the force in each strut individually. Depending on the curve driven, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut. This allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to 49 feet ahead, and an additional transversal acceleration sensor. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch; it is active in the speed range from 19 to 112 mph.
Emotive-sporty sound: exhaust system with flaps
The emotive sound of the exhaust system makes a decisive contribution to the sporty driving experience. The deeper sound components ensure a fuller, sportier sound. In the transversally positioned rear silencer of the twin-pipe exhaust system there are two flaps that can be opened and closed pneumatically depending on the engine speed.
When the flaps are open the exhaust gases are conducted through the rear silencer along a different path so that the vehicle sound becomes more powerful. The switching point of the flaps depends upon the drive program selected – in the S program the flaps open earlier than in the E program. As soon as the S-Class Coupe engine starts, the power of its sound can be heard.
A long tradition: large coupes from Mercedes-Benz
The history of the large post-war Mercedes coupes dates back to the year 1952, when Mercedes-Benz launched the legendary 300 S Coupe - a "car for the world's elite" as the automotive press of the time judged. It was followed in 1956 by the 220 S Coupe of model series W 180, which created a sensation
in particular due to its self-supporting pontoon body. From 1961 to 1971 the long-drawn out elegant Coupe of model series W111/W112 enthralled no less than 29,918 highly discerning customers, who were able to choose between the Type 220 SEb Coupe six-cylinder models and the Type 280 SE 3.5 Coupe eight-cylinder models.
The SEC coupes of model series C 126, which remained in the program of the Stuttgart-based automotive brand for ten years and of which over 74,000 were sold, were based on the S-Class of 1981. In 1992 the successor model (model series C 140) was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, also featuring for the first time as a S600 Coupe with a 389 hp twelve-cylinder engine. It was to be the car in which the Electronic Stability Program ESP® had its world premiere in 1995. Later on this coupe was renamed "CL-Class". Another forefather of the new S-Class Coupe celebrated its world première under this name in March 1999. With pioneering innovations such as active ABC suspension (Active Body Control) and bi-xenon headlamps this two-door car set new standards.
Supreme exclusivity and sophisticated design combined with trend-setting state-of-the-art technology were combined in the last CL-Class (2006). This luxury coupe opened up a new dimension of vehicle safety with the introduction of the PRE-SAFE® brake. Beyond this, Mercedes innovations
such as the Intelligent Light System with five light functions and PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant safety were also part of the vehicle's standard equipment.
The new S-Class Coupe and its innovations seamlessly continue the tradition of large coupes into the future and will launch in the U.S. this fall with the S550 4MATIC.