The high-end luxury car segment got its point of reference pushed several notches higher with the launch of Mercedes flagship 2014 S-Class. The new car is a step-up in almost all systems compared to the outgoing version, given utmost challenge for the suppliers in rising to the expectation of the OEM. Priced at more than Rs 1.5 crore the S 500 edition is sure to give its cousins from Munich and Ingostat a few sleepless nights. S-class competes with Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series. The company has only launched the S500 version. It will be followed up by S350CDI later in the year. While the S500 is imported as a CBU at present, it is expected to be assembled at Mercedes Pune plant from April onwards.

The launch of S-Class was one of the most keenly watched auto sector event of 2014. The car’s popularity can be assessed from the fact that all 125 units which have been allotted for India were sold 16 days before the launch itself, despite its crore-plus price tag.

Eberhard Kern, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “the launch of the S-Class commences our ‘Year of Excellence’ in the Indian market and perfectly lives up to its role as a representative of the power of innovation and exclusivity of Mercedes Benz. The new S-Class brings together luxury, design and technology that meet the highest standards of perfection, surpassing expectations for a vehicle of this class.

The sixth-generation S-Class, codenamed W222, is powered by a 4.6-litre bi-turbo petrol V8 engine, which puts out 460bhp and 700nm of torque. It is mated to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox and can reach a top speed of 250kmph with 100kmph mark crossed in 5.7seconds.

Mercedes has met the high expectations by arming the car with many firsts in the automotive industry. This is the first time not even a single conventional bulb used in the car. Everything, right from the headlamp, interior lighting to taillights, use LEDs. There are nearly 500 adorning the car. The backseats have in-built hot stone massage function, again a automotive first.

The list of exclusive touches in the interiors also includes seven colour ambient lighting with a choice of five dimming options, two highresolution TFT screens, a high-quality Burmester music system with 24 speakers and nine tweeters and a 360-degree surround view camera along with night view assist.

The new S-Class is also looking to fill the void that was created by the discontinuation of its Daimlers uber luxury brand Maybach, as the features and interiors are comparable. ACI

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