Mercedes S-class facelift (2010): spy photos | CAR Magazine

Mercedes S-class facelift (2010): spy photos

Published: 29 July 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

In 2009 Mercedes will launch its revised S-class, and while the tweaks on the surface will be minor, the changes under the skin will be major. Our spy photographers have caught both the regular and AMG versions of Stuttgart’s limo testing in the USA, and the big news is that the S-class will be available as both petrol and diesel hybrids by 2010. The latter, the oil-burner, will be the first four-cylinder current-generation S-class.

Right, let’s get these minor visual changes out the way first…

All revised S-classes will get a new front grille, tapering to a point as per the facelifted E-class. But the tweaked front bumper will take inspiration from the forthcoming all-new E-class, adopting more geometric lines and abandoning today’s car’s gentle curves. At the back there are new LED rear lights and a new rear bumper.

Click ‘Next’ below to read more about the revised Mercedes S-class

And the tweaks to that gangster-spec AMG version?

The same again, with a new rear bumper that sees the quad exhausts jut out beneath the rear valance, rather than through it. There are also fewer creases on the sides of the rear bumper.

More chrome brightwork is visible around the glasshouse, while the side sills are simpler, doing away with the flowing twists on the current AMG models.  

And this hybrid malarkey?

All S-class engines should get mild tweaks, but come mid-2009 Merc will launch its S400 Hybrid. It’ll use a 275bhp petrol V6, and combined with a hybrid module, produce a total of 295bhp and 277lb ft.

With the hybrid module assisting acceleration, the S400 will reach 62mph in 7.3 seconds, then top out at a limited 155mph. With the hybrid system also allowing stop/start running in traffic, and charging the lithium-ion batteries under braking, the combined fuel consumption will be 35.8mpg and the CO2 output a mere 190g/km. That mpg figure might not be better than the current S350 (36.7mpg), but the C02 figure is (242g/km).

Click ‘Next’ below to read more about the revised Mercedes S-class

That’s not good enough for me. I want to be greener…

And so Mercedes has the answer for you, with the S300 Bluetec Hybrid. The latest-generation 2.1-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel will provide the base, and with a hybrid module the headline figures will be 221bhp and 413lb ft. That 413lb ft is more than the current S500 or S320 CDI.

But the figures you and your wallet care about are the 52.3mpg and 142g/km CO2. Pretty spectacular, considering the S300 Bluetec will still do 8.4 seconds to 62mph and 150mph flat out.

Add in the Bluetec system where the AdBlue liquid cuts NOx emissions by around 80 percent, and the S300 Hybrid looks very clean. It just needs to deliver the figures in the real world now. 

What’s next for Mercedes and the S-class?

After the S300 we’ll see an S400 Bluetec Hybrid, but that’s not until post-2010. Meantime, Mercedes is working on a more powerful hybrid module producing 60bhp, up from the current unit’s 19bhp.

What do you think of the facelifted Mercedes S-class? Are the visual tweaks too mundane for a car that will have some serious green-tech under the bonnet? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large