UPDATE: Full live gallery from the launch added.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia unveiled the S-Class with updated BlueDirect engines this morning. This engine refresh exercise involves the S350L and the S500L, which will now get BlueEfficiency tags on their names. The “entry level” Mercedes-Benz S300L soldiers on with the old 231 hp 3.0-litre V6 lump.

The updated models are based on the facelifted W221 that was launched in Malaysia last April. The main component of BlueDirect engines are the BlueDirect combustion chamber, direct injection, improved fuel pump, lightweight camshaft plus double chain drive, electronic controlled thermostat, modified camshaft adjuster and exhaust gas turbocharger on selected engines. The result is higher power and torque with lower consumption and emissions.

The S350L BlueEfficiency gets a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 M276 engine that puts out 306 hp and 370 Nm of torque. That’s a useful 12.5% and 5.7% more than the previous 272 hp/350 Nm unit. Max torque is also available from a broader range, from 3,500 to 5,250 rpm.

And the best part is the improved fuel consumption – 7.6L per 100 km, or a massive 24% better than the M272’s 10L per 100 km. CO2 emissions is down by 23.5%, so it’s a gain on all fronts. Performance wise, this variant does 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and top speed is capped at 250 km/h.

It”s pretty much the same story for the S500L BlueEfficiency. Under that long hood lies a new biturbo V8 engine that’s smaller in capacity (4,663 cc vs 5,461 cc) but bigger in performance.

With 435 hp and 700 Nm of twist available from 1,800 to 3,500 rpm, this is a very rapid limo that does the century sprint in five seconds flat. This is a 2.1 tonne hulk of a machine, mind you. The old V8 made 388 hp and 530 Nm, by the way. Fuel consumption is 9.3L per 100 km, 16% better than before.

It’s an S-Class, so you’ll find a long, long list of tech and equipment, even if some owners never get to use half of them. The highlighted ones are Adaptive Highbeam Assist (auto dip high beam when oncoming car is detected), Night View Assist Plus (infrared camera with pedestrian detection), Attention Assist (detects drowsiness), long and medium range radars used for Brake Assist Plus and Distronic Plus and Blind Spot Assist.

Inside, there’s Splitview tech for the COMAND control and display system. Basically, this allows the driver to see navigation and the front passenger a DVD movie via the same central screen, for instance.

The rear seat entertainment package adds on two 8-inch displays at the back of the front seat headrests, two wireless headphones and a separate DVD player with connections. Other new features are an SD card slot and USB/Bluetooth interface. The “Music Register” is a 7.2 GB moving jukebox.

Audio wise, the S350L gets a Harman Kardon surround sound system with “Logic 7″, but the S500L offers the ultimate experience with a 15-speaker, 1200 watt Bang & Olufsen Beosound AMG system. It’s very obvious too – look out for the “hour glass” showpieces at the A and B pillars and the B&O panel behind the rear headrests.

Another S500L exclusive is the AMG Sports Package, which all big bad bosses will love. It includes 20-inch twin five-spoke AMG alloys (S350L wears 19-inch multi spokes), AMG bodystyling package, larger front brake discs, brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs and AMG floor velour mats.

Locally assembled in Pekan, Pahang, the S350L BlueEfficiency is priced at RM840,888 while the S500L BlueEfficiency will cost you RM1,056,888.

The increase is reasonable (RM5k for the S350L and RM57k for the S500L) considering the improved engines and added equipment. Potential Sonderklasse buyers aren’t the most price sensitive folks around either, so it should matter little. The entry point of S-Class ownership is RM659,888 for the S300L.

A gallery of live snaps from this morning’s launch is after the jump.

[zenphotopress number=999 album=2350]