Category: Mercedes-benz

The hypercar of all hypercars: Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-Benz AMG Project One

At one time or another, we have all fantasized about driving a Formula1 racing car on the road, I know I have. The sheer noise, brutal acceleration, and damn right craziness is something that would really drive the neighbors crazy. and set your hair on fire, in a good way.

Of Course, we know that driving a literal F1 car on the roads would be practically impossible, so let’s jump to the next best thing, the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Mercedes have been teasing us recently for what feels like an eon with very obscure images, but promised great things,  and low and behold, great things have been delivered.

The AMG Project One features a 1.6-Litre V6 enginethe difference here, though, is that this 1.6L-litre motor is derived directly from the 2015 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, plus an additional four electric motors, one situated on the turbo to eliminate lag and provide better throttle response than a naturally aspirated V8, another connected directly to the engine and two further electric motors to power the front wheels. The result? Staggering performance.  

Total power output is somewhere around the 1000 bhp mark (740 kW) with the two front motors producing 240 kW just on their own. Here is our favorite fact though, 0-200 km/h is said to be completed in just under 6 seconds, with a top speed eclipsing 350 km/h.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a new, madefromscratch, hydraulically activated 8-speed gearbox which can be operated in automatic mode, or manual via the shifter paddles. The AMG Project One does feature different driving modes which range from a full electric drive (with a range of 25 km) to highly dynamic for the most outright performance characteristics.

To make sure all of this power is put down effectively, the AMG Project One will be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, specifically designed for the Project One. The front tyres will be 285/35 ZR 19 with the rears being much larger at 335/30 ZR 20. The forged wheels these tyres will be mated with are also unique and feature carbon fibre semi-covers for increased aerodynamic efficiency and carefully placed ventilation slots for more effective cooling of the weight-optimised ceramic high-performance compound braking system.

We can see from the images that the MercedesAMG Project One is a truly stunning car. Large, wide air intakes dominate the front end and give it a very aggressive look, and as the car slopes around, many Mercedes-Benz design cues come into play with large, bold wheel arches and a streamlined appeal. The rear-end houses long, thin aggressive rear lights and is very much dominated by the rear diffuser and a central, single exhaust, just like that of a F1 car. We can’t forget that unique roof scoop either, which draws massive amounts of air into the engine and also looks pretty awesome!

The interior is very minimalistic, but also very futuristic. You will not find one component in this car that is there just for visual purposes, every part has a function. The Formula 1 like steering wheel is adjustable, as well as the pedals and the backrests so the driver can achieve their most preferred driving position. Two digital screens also feature, but apart from that, a host of carbon fibre, small storage areas and A/C controls, power windows and the Mercedes COMMAND system, there is not much else to it.

Mercedes-AMG Project One Pricing

Pricing is said to be over $2.5 Million Dollars and all of the 275 models to be made are already spoken for. You will have to take yours into AMG every 50 000 km’s for a full engine rebuild, if you plan on driving it to that extent.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C Released in South Africa

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

What does one do when they want their new car to look and feel like the powerful, top of the range model, but just can’t reach the lofty price tag? Well, Mercedes-Benz seems to have the answer, it’s called the C-Class Edition C.

Edition C is a new and unique model added to the C-Class range offering luxury trim lines and options for exterior and interior, providing more individuality and sportiness.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Exterior

The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C features the AMG sports package, including 18-Inch 5 Spoke Light Alloys and full LED Headlamps and rear tail lights. Further to this, sports suspension comes standard to emphasise the sporty drive.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Interior

The interior of Edition C has been based upon Mercedes-Benz’s luxury Avantgarde line. A trim of open-pore black ash and aluminium grace the interior, with a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel finishing things off. For added appeal, interior features such as ambient lighting are included to go along with comfort options such Active Park Control and the Electronic Mirror Package.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

The edition C is available across the whole sedan range for both petrol and diesel variants. If you are looking at purchasing a C-Class but fancy something a little different without the price tag of an AMG Variant, then the Edition C could be right up your alley!

Mercedes Benz C-Class Edition C Pricing in South Africa

C 180 Edition C R614 600

C 200 Edition C R639 900

C 250 Edition C R667 000

C 300 Edition C R 707 200

C 220 d Edition C R667 100

C 250 d Edition C R696 300

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

The mac daddy of the large, luxury sedan segment has always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with its pioneering ways and exceptional comfort. Seatbelt pretensioners, airbags, ABS, EBD, voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, night vision cameras etc, were all seen on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class before almost any other vehicle and so it came as no surprise to us, then, when the current W222 generation S-Class blew its competition out of the water with innovations such as Active Body Control, which scans the undulations of the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly, a 50% aluminium construction and seatbelt airbags for the rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

As with any vehicle, however, there is always room for improvement and as the world advances, so does vehicle technology. While changes to the W222 generations S-Class might not seem too drastic, there are certainly enough changes for us to stand up and take notice, so here are a few of the highlights!

An all-new engine range
Consisting of six and eight-cylinder motors, the new engines have been developed to allow for electrification of the powertrain. Six-cylinder diesel and petrol motors benefit from an in-line arrangement, much like you’ll find in a BMW, with impressive outputs across the board. The S450 produces 270 kW/500 N.m from electrified and turbocharged straight six petrol motor and the S400d will have an impressive 250 kW/700 N.m from its straight-six diesel motor – the most powerful diesel car motor in Mercedes-Benz’s history. The S560 has outputs of 345 kW/700 N.m from its all-new BiTurbo V8 petrol motor, and also makes use of cylinder deactivation to reduce consumption and emissions. A plug-in hybrid with a range of 50 km is on the cards, along with technology which we first saw from Audi in the form of a 48 volt electrical system.

Autonomous Driving
Somewhat of a buzz-word at the moment, autonomous driving is the bowl of pudding that every brand would like a spoonful of. Some are doing it better than others, but we can all rest assured that Mercedes-Benz are undoubtedly one of the brands, along with Volvo, who are at the forefront of this. Top-of-the-range S-Classes will benefit from ‘Intelligent Drive’ which works hand-in-hand with Distronic and Steering Assist to provide further assistance to the driver in maintaining a safe following distance and remaining within their lane. The system also adjusts vehicle speed ahead of intersections, traffic circles and bends.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Multibeam LED
An update of Mercedes-Benz’s already brilliant adaptive headlight system, this allows for over 1 Lux of light to be transmitted over the road when conditions permit, providing a clear line of sight in low-light conditions for up to 650 metres. Surface Scan also works in conjunction with headlights, recognising road bumps and curve inclination.

Energizing Comfort Control
Perhaps a gimmick, this allows for the smell, climate control, seat massage and ambient lighting functions to be adjusted to suit your mood. I’d be intrigued to find out what angry smells like but alas, it isn’t one of the modes offered…

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Three torches of light
In top-spec models, in conjunction with the Multibeam LED headlight system, three torches of light make up an interesting design element within the headlight cluster. These are what we usually refer to as Daytime Running Lights or “DRL’s”.

Amongst all of these features, one can also expect visual changes such as enhanced bumpers and headlight clusters, a new steering wheel, different trim, wheel and paint options and different pricing. The updated S-Class goes on sale in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Mercedes-Benz debuts their double-cab X-Class bakkie

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Mercedes-Benz X-Class released

After much anticipation, the cover has finally dropped off the Mercedes Benz X-Class double-cab bakkie. The focus of the X–Class is heavily on the combination of luxury and utility, all in a leisure focused package. The global launch held over the past two days revealed styling that was more conservative to that of the rather handsome concept model and covered the crucial details regarding the bakkie. The X-Class shares its base with the Nissan Navara – the underpinnings are the same and feature a car-like multi-link coil suspension setup, which proves for an improvement in ride quality over the traditional rear leaf spring setups found in the rest of the segment.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will feature a high level of customization to create a level of individuality, suited to the needs of its owners.  Three trim variants will be offered, the top spec Power Line, the Progressive line and the Pure line, which offers a greater focus on specific elements such as utility or luxury, and thus are more catered to the uses of the individual consumers.

Powertrain

The X220d will be the entry level model, powered by a turbo diesel 2.3-litre engine that delivers 120 kW and 403 N.m, driving the rear wheels only. The X250d and X250d  4Matic both share a 140 kW/ 450 N.m bi-turbo version on the same 2.3-litre engine, driving either the rear wheels or all four. Later, a turbo diesel V6 will join the line up as the X350d 4Matic, the top spec model offering a healthy 190 kW and 550 N.m driving all four wheels exclusively. The transmission choices will be either a 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speed automatic.  A choice between one of five driving modes via a Dynamic Select toggle allows for Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Off-road configurations to be selected.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Interior

The level of equipment will be comprehensive with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class being a dubbed “the Mercedes amongst pickups”, the cabin is well appointed and includes an integrated command Online multimedia infotainment system, with voice control, smartphone based internet access and Satellite navigation. The lesser Audio 20 USB and CD systems are also available. The infotainment units are controlled by the same floating display found in the passenger cars.  Live traffic updates are communicated through the integrated SIM card and the Mercedes Me Portal account. The seats can be optioned with leather, electronic control and heating and offer ISOFIX attachments in the rear.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Safety

The list of safety equipment is equally impressive as the X-Class offers 7 airbags, Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and Tyre pressure monitoring systems. The use of high strength steels also ensures the strong passenger cell and deformable front and rear sub structure are able to help reduce the effects of forces on passengers during accidents.

4×4 Toys

The higher spec 4Matic models come standard with a selectable or permanent Four-wheel drive system, offering low range and optional diff-lock on the rear axle. DSR or Downhill speed regulation is also standard on the 4Matic models. A 28.8-degree approach and 23.8-degree departure angles help to provide for sufficient clearance when off the beaten track with a ground clearance of 202 mm at the front and 221 mm with the optional raised suspension.

The X-Class hits European markets in November of 2017, with us South Africans and our ‘mates’ the Aussies only getting the X-Class in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pricing

South African pricing is still unknown at this point, but as an indication the European prices starts 37,294 Euros, which for the sake of context is less than the 40 995 Euros needed for a base VW Amarok with a V6, let’s hope the South African pricing is just as competitive.

 

A Light show to say hello? : Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe launched

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe has recently been launched and aside from looking a bit like a Renault Laguna Coupe from the rear, it promises to be quite the vehicle. Big news is that it “Welcomes you” and “says goodbye” by using both the headlights and taillights to perform a bit of a show. You can see that here.

Based on the tech-laden Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the Coupe promises to be just as advanced and connected, all while offering a slightly sportier and dynamic drive.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Merged under a single lens, the two optional 12.3-inch displays give a widescreen effect and relay all relevant information to the driver, including infotainment and the instrument-cluster within the driver’s field of vision. Should this option not be selected, a more conventional system of dials and an infotainment screen is fitted. Along with the air-conditioning vents, reminiscent of turbines, the interior also features an advanced ambient lighting system with 64 available colours, and of course the highest quality materials. Strangely, the designers have opted to carry over the awkward, miniature C-pillar as seen on the previous generation E-Class Coupe, an interesting design cue…

The engine lineup consists of two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motors (135 kW/300 N.m and 180 kW/370 N.m) a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 (245 kW/480 N.m) and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor (143 kW/ 400 N.m) with model designations being E200, E300, E400 and E220d respectively.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The standard suspension system is 15mm lower than that of the E-Class Coupe which translate to a more dynamic drive. Alternatively, both Dynamic Select and Air Body Control multi chamber suspension systems are optionally available. Both Avantgarde and AMG Line trims can be had with the E-Class coupe, each offering something different to the discerning Mercedes-Benz customer.

As with all tech-laden cars these days, you can integrate your smartphone into the infotainment system, as well as let the car park itself and also drive itself (sort of) with Mercedes-Benz’s semi-autonomous driving system or Drive Pilot, which is able to follow another vehicle up to 210 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe pricing in South Africa

The E-Class Coupe is on sale in South Africa, all models coming standard with a 6 year/100 000km maintenance plan. Pricing is as follows:

E200 – R754 500

E220d – R806 500

E300 – R842 500

E400 – R1 021 500

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Released in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S

About a year after the release of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German automaker has brought the fire back into the range through the introduction of the big power, big engine performance variants of the new model – The Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S models.

Mercedes-AMG E43

Taking the position as the entry level performance E-Class is the E43, with headline figures of 295 kW delivered at 6100 rpm and peak torque at 520 N.m, heralded from just 2000 rpm through to 5000 rpm. All this power is produced from the 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 we first saw in the C43 AMG.

Mercedes-AMG E43

In line with the new AMG mantra of rear bias AMG 4Matic, the drive is to all four wheels and will provide for a 31:69 split of power. The new attitude towards drivetrain dynamics is good for a 4.6-second 0-100 sprint and the obligatory 250km/h German car speed limiter. Drive will be through a new 9-speed G-Tronic Automatic gearbox.

The preeminent act being the E63S AMG model and dubbed ‘The most powerful E-Class ever’, it delivers a colossal 450 kW between 5750-6500 rpm from a twinturbo 4.0 Litre V8 and 850 N.m of torque, from 2500-4500 rpm. The employment of the 4Matic system aids in the 3.4 second 0-100 km/h scurry, smashing the likes of the RS6 Avant and F10 M5 for a best in class time. Top speed is again pegged at 250km/h with the option of a higher 300 km/h limit with the AMG Driver’s package. A beefier 9-speed MCT dual-clutch box helps to translate all the power into movement, along with rather evocative noises.

Both models employ the Sporty Air Body control in the pursuit of agility and neutrality in the twisties. This system works in tandem with the Adaptive Dampening systems that allow for the selection of three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, as a means of adaptation the vehicle to the conditions and requirements of the driver.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Based on the E-Class, the list of technical wizardry tricks and electronics is long and vast. Features such as Connected Me and Remote online are available, which allow for phone integration through an app that allows vehicle data to be viewed remotely along with a Vehicle Tracking and a Parked Vehicle Locator system with remote unlock and locking.

With the E63S taking the fight directly to the new M5, much debate and kafuffle will surround these rivals, all while still offering a milder option for the less brave, or endowed given the almost R2 million rand price.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC: R1 165 800

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+: R1 868 400

All vehicles come with a 6-year/100 00km PremiumDrive maintenance plan. Visit Mercedes-Benz for more details.

 

 

Khanye Ngwenya

Junior Writer

Mercedes-Benz GLA powders its nose.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift South Africa

South African Car News: Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift

The GLA has been a love/hate car since its launch in 2013. Some didn’t know how to place it, is it an SUV? Or simply a larger A Class? Mercedes can confirm that it is indeed a compact SUV, positioning itself in a competitive market since sedans are “so yesterday”. So what are the notable changes in the new GLA?

Of course exterior changes have been made. However subtle they are, the new look makes the car have a more aggressive presence. Lighting systems have a come a long way and the new GLA is an example of that. There is a choice of what Mercedes calls LED High Performance head lamps. This lighting system replaces the Bi-Xenon headlamps and is meant to replicate daylight in terms of temperature, helping the driver alleviate stress on the eyes at night. The rear taillights are also brightness adjustable, brighter in the day, dimmer at night and dimmest at standstill so as to not fry the eyes of other drivers.

Other technology included in the new GLA is a 360 degree camera and an 8 inch infotainment system. Chrome accents have been added to certain interior items, making things look bolder for those who have a hawk eye. Three lines are available, Style, Urban and AMG. Different packages can also be chosen in the car, making your GLA unique.

Under the bonnet there is the choice two petrol engines, the 200 and 250 4MATIC. As well as two diesels, the 220 d and the 220 d 4MATIC.This obviously excludes the range topping Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC. This variant now features the upgraded 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which produces 280kW/ 475Nm. Adding to the power-plant are options which make the GLA 45 more sporty. For instance, the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package comes with a host of features to aid performance and grip. A locking front diff,  AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension and a RACE program ensure that the driver remains thrilled and confident behind the wheel. Aiding convenience, all GLA models can be fitted with a HANDS FREE ACCESS  system. This system gives you keyless access into the car, making it better for those days when you’re hands are full. For the longer drives, a standard feature called Active Brake Assist is equipped. If you’re tired and don’t notice that you’re about to rear end someone, the car will use sensors to do it for you. This of course comes in very handy to avoid accidents and black eyes.

Overall the updated GLA looks good. It was the one of the older cars in the stable, so a facelift is welcome. As previously mentioned this segment continues to boom, so consumers now have another toy to play with. Pricing for the car is as follows:

GLA 200                                                   R485 400

GLA 250 4MATIC                                  R654 700

GLA 200 d                                                R513 000

GLA 220 d 4MATIC                              R592 500

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC    R856 700

 

 

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The Future Of Mercedes-Benz Design: A-Class Sedan Concept

South African Car News: A-Class Sedan concept

The A-Class Sedan Concept was shown off at the latest Automotive show in Shanghai recently. It gives us an insight into the future design language of Mercedes-Benz.

Straight off the bat, the A Class Concept looks very much like a smooth and streamlined CLA. It’s not that much different in terms of size either, at 4750mm long 1870 wide and 1462mm high, this concept A-Class is a little shorter than the current CLA but also wider and taller.

Mercedes Chief Design Offer, Gordan Wagener says that “ The time for creases is over” which means we can expect all Mercedes-Benz vehicles to follow a very similar design theme. The compact vehicle segment for Mercedes is proving to be a vital part of their business having sold over 2 Million compact cars since 2012.

Personally, I think the front end of the vehicle looks great. Its striking, streamlined and aggressive. The rear on the other hand is definitely much smoother but it’s still very “CLA”. I would expect a little more imagination for a concept vehicle. Overall, the proportions of the A-Class Concept look much better and I’m sure an AMG version of this would be very mighty and an absolute stunner on the road.

We would love to hear your thoughts, head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think. 

 

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Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Driven Review

We Drive The Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe in South Africa

If Thor had a car, it would be the Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Nothing more, nothing less. You could imagine him driving to his local Starbucks in Asgard, indulging in his “delicious cuppa” smashing it on the floor, bellowing for another and climbing into his C63 S for his daily rounds. This would be before he activates the exhaust flaps from the console, and uses lighting to propel himself to our “green” planet.

That just gives you a taste of the C63 S’ personality. Its loud, it’s in your face, it wants to eat all the children in your neighborhood and I just love it, to a point… From a pure presence perspective, you’ll struggle to find anything this side of R2 million and if you are a hooligan like me, it’s the perfect vehicle for scaring little dogs and their people in Parkhurst or at your local farmer’s market.

 

What you get in this beast of a car is 4.0 liter bi-turbo V8 with those lovely turbos nestled within the V. This is called a “hot V”. From this configuration, this compact engine churns out 375 monstrous kilowatts with a healthy thud of 650 N.m. This is because we had the S version on test, you know, for the people who find the “normal” C 63 lacking in poke with its miserly 350 kW and 600 N.m. Here though, is where it gets tricky.

I have never spent time with a vehicle that constantly has an ESP light flashing at you. It becomes such a normal fixture within the cabin that when you don’t see it flicking, you think there is something wrong. That orange light right in the middle of the well lit display is accompanied by the fuel reserve light that also likes to make a guest appearance more often than appreciated. The massive torque being sent to the 285 section nineteen-inch wheels at the rear all but struggle to the point where you decide to engage Sport Handling mode which allows for a little bit of slip from the rear axle, but not enough to make you change your underwear. Speaking about underwear…

When the C63 S arrived at our offices, it coincided with the test of the year, being the Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan, the BMW M3 Competition Pack M-DCT and the new kid on the block, the Alfa-Romeo Giulia QV and as tempting as it would be to reveal those test results, those will be kept for another article and feature. What surprised me was the nature of the C63 S. As much as it’s a fully accomplished sports coupe, it felt nervous at the limit and when you sat back and thought about it, the biggest downfall of the C 63S is its weight.

 

The vehicle is just not as nimble as its competitors through the twisties, a fact that reared its head while attacking a couple of S-bends. The vehicle then decided to fight back with what can plainly be described as the most violent tank slapper I have ever experienced. This came about when we found that even though the ESP can be ‘deactivated’, there comes a point where the control module feels like the angle that you have decided to adopt is too lary and therefore gives the inside wheel the slightest of grabs, mid-power slide! Then weight transfer happens and boom, the fight of your life happens with that steering wheel, right foot and sphincter actuating in sync. I know we are nitpicking here, but this is just in comparison with its competitors and something to note granted that this is the cream of the C-Class crop.

Other than that, the C63 S, with deep pockets, is a lovely beast to live with. It’s thirsty, very thirsty, despite Merc’s claim of it being the most fuel-efficient high-performance eight-cylinder motor but it has all the modern conveniences that you would expect from a vehicle of this calibre, and in my opinion, it looks the best in its class, along with that addictive noise. I’m glad the ladies and gents from Affalterbach decided to employ Thor to come up with the noise from those exhausts. It was a very expensive week but man, what a week! The C63 S will be sorely missed.

 

Semi-Autonomous Driving Features in the New Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Semi-autonomous Driving In The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Autonomous driving is a technology which is rapidly growing in the automotive industry. On the road today, we have semi-autonomous driving vehicles which are able to accelerate, brake and steer, for short periods of time, without any human input. One doesn’t even need to turn to the upper echelon of motoring to find this sort of technology as vehicles such as the Volvo S90 and BMW 5 Series are able to tootle along all by themselves.

Even Though fully autonomous driving is still a way off for mainstream car makers, more and more vehicle manufacturers are spending increasing amounts of money and time developing technologies this field, making their cars more intelligent and less dependent on the driver. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always stood at the forefront of automotive technological advancements, so the updated S-Class promises to be a bit of a spaceship, due in South Africa later this year.

Mercedes-Benz claim that the updated S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems which have been available to date, but whether this means all systems currently on the market, such as Volvo’s Pilot Assist or just Mercedes-Benz’s systems remains a mystery. Anyway, let’s take a look at the details of Mercedes Semi-Autonomous driving systems. 

 

Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC

This system uses the route ahead to increase or decrease speed. For example, if the vehicle detects a bend, junction, roundabout or toll both in its path, it will slow the vehicle down accordingly.

The S-Class will also use information from the driver’s navigation input. If the route informs the driver to leave a highway and the car is in the slow lane, the vehicle will automatically reduce speed for the off-ramp. This also applies to junctions.

Semi-autonomous driving

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Lane Change Assist

Hitting the Indicator stalk when driving at speeds between 80 – 180 km/h actives this system. The vehicle’s sensors use the next 10 seconds to check all the vehicle safety zones and whether or not the relevant lane is clear. It also monitors the speed of other vehicles to see that all is ok, and if so, the S-Class will change lanes.

Semi-autonomous driving

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Speed Limit Assist

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class will pick up on road signs and temporary speed limit signs such as one would find when approaching road works. It also knows recorded limits from the navigation system.

Following vehicles in a tailback

This feature is perfect for the road users in Johannesburg. The new S-Class is able to stop and then restart and follow vehicles in traffic if the stops are shorter than 30 seconds. No more on and off the brake and accelerator in stop/start traffic, then!

Active Emergency Stop Assist

One to put your mind at ease if you are an easy sleeper! If the S-Class detects no response from the driver while using Active Steering Assist, the vehicle prompts the driver to take action. If no action is taken ( because you are dreaming peacefully or in a medical emergency) the vehicle will then slowly bring itself to a stop in its current lane. Once stopped, the parking brake is engaged, Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call System is activated and the doors are unlocked.

Active Brake Assist & Evasive Steering Assist

This features aids the driver in avoiding collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. It first starts with warning the driver if there is adequate distance to do so. If not, the vehicle will apply the brakes.

Further to this, Evasive Steering Assist will support the driver and apply extra steering torque when taking evasive action because a pedestrian is in the vehicle danger zone. The vehicle will then stabilize itself after the maneuver has taken place.

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Keep Lane Assist

Between speeds of 60 and 200 km/h, the S-Class will warn the driver via vibrations if the vehicle drifts out of its lane and can apply vehicle brakes on one side to bring the driver back into its lane. If this happens on a road with broken white lines, the vehicle will only take action if there is a chance of collision with another vehicle (for all you lazy non indicator types).

Active Blind Spot Assist

A system found on many new vehicles today and similar to that above – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will apply brakes on one side of the vehicle to avoid an impending side collision.

Traffic Sign Assist

This system, which works along with Active Speed Limit Assist using image recognition and information from the road map in the navigation system, displays road signs on the instrument cluster.

It will bring up any overtaking restrictions for the route, such as zebra crossings, and will provide a warning if pedestrians are found in said crossing. “No entry” signs are also recognized and the vehicle will prompt you to check your direction of travel.

Semi-autonomous driving

Car-to-X Communication

This is basically talking cars! A technology first seen in the form of Volvo’s Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, if a vehicle ahead has detected a hazardous condition, this information is then relayed back to other vehicles to provide an early warning. A voice warning may also be given to the driver depending on the situation.

Developers are currently trying to get this system in use with as many vehicle manufacturers as possible, thus creating a very effective system. A car plus kit will also be available for drivers whose vehicles do not support Car-to-X so they can also benefit from this system.

Active Parking Assist

Cars that park themselves are no longer a big surprise, and this system is very similar to others. The S-Class can also apply braking automatically when parking if it has noticed a hazard or possible collision.

Remote Parking Assist

A system we first witnessed on the new BMW 5 Series, the S-Class can now be parked into spaces or even driven out of spaces when the driver is outside the vehicle. The BMW 5 Series uses the vehicle key for this, whereas the Mercedes system will be controlled using an app on a smartphone.

The major benefit of this is being able to park the vehicle in tight spaces without having the issue of the driver trying to exit the vehicle afterwards. This system also works well if the driver has been parked in. The system will allow manoeuvrability of the vehicle by up to 15 metres and will also avoid obstacles, for those who were never good at R/C cars as a child or adult.
So there you have it, another step in the right direction for autonomous driving for Mercedes-Benz. No news yet on whether these features will be standard or optional extras, but if you can afford an S-Class, chances are it won’t matter much either way.