The story of the new Mercedes-Benz S-class is slowly becoming more apparent: the S arrives in 2013 and will be joined by around half a dozen spin-offs, as Daimler seeks to replace the unsuccessful Maybach limo range.
CAR's new spy photos capture the W222, the 2013 S-class which arrives first. It will also be sold as a long wheelbase model, codenamed V222 and also arriving in 2013.
Mercedes' new 2013 S-class: what's under the disguise
The new S-class is the first Mercedes model that displays - under the black camouflage of this prototype spied in Europe - five different trademark styling cues all of which will reappear on future Mercs:
• The dropping line structures the car below the belt line
• The diving line defines the side view including the roof
• The balancing line starts just above the sill from where it counters the dropping line in a mild upswing which expires before its hits the rear wheel opening
• The top line replaces the controversial 'pontoon' line - commencing ahead of the C-post and tapering out at the trailing edge of the rear side panel
• The shoulder line determines the relation between body, greenhouse and roof
Merc's new headlamp design on the S-class
Another important new design element to be found, in different shapes and applications, on all upcoming Benzes is the so-called torch headlamp making its debut on the 2013 Merc S-class. There are actually two LED torches burning side by side: the outer one acts as a day-running light, the inner one as indicator.
Like a torch, both light bands rise from the bottom of the headlamp cluster before they curl round the top end of the bi-xenon lens and peter out towards the edge of the bonnet. On prestige cars like the S-class, the torches are quite formal and upright. On sporty models, they rise in a swoosh and exit as an almost horizontal flame.
The foglamp and cornering spot are integrated in the multi-focal main light assembly so that it is above all the torch that does, together with the grille, define the car's front end.
What else do we know about the new Merc S-class?
It'll be the usual techfest. In much the same way that Land Rover launches a new Range Rover once a decade to set the technological tone for the next, so the S-class will incorporate everything Daimler knows about making luxury cars.
Tech highlights include a trio of magical touches: so-called Magic Light Control (dynamic LED lighting), Magic Sky Control (variable-tint glass moonroof) and Magic Body Control (camera-based pe-sense damping).
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