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Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has introduced the W222 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Malaysia – the new flagship arrives here 10 months after its debut in Hamburg, and the local charge is fronted by the S 400 Hybrid, which is set to go the local assembly route. Three other variants will be available to order, these being the S 500 and S 63 AMG as well as the S 400 petrol, all CBU units.

UPDATE: The S 400 L Hybrid has been launched in locally-assembled form, for RM588k. It gets full duty exemptions under the 2014 National Automotive Policy. Click here for more info.

First up, the S 400 Hybrid, which is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 CGI engine as found in the S 350 CGI, with 306 hp at 6,500 rpm and 370 Nm and 3,500 to 5,250 rpm; here, it’s paired with a 27 hp and 250 Nm electric motor integrated between the engine and the 7G-Tronic Plus gearbox. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds, a 250 km/h top speed and a combined fuel consumption of 6.3 litres per 100 km.

The S 500 wears a 4.6 litre V8 offering 455 hp at 5,250 rpm and 700 Nm at 1,800 to 3,500 rpm, and it’ll manage to get to 100 km/h from standstill in 4.8 seconds, with combined fuel consumption rated at 8.6 litres per 100 km. As for the S 63 AMG, its 5.4 litre V8 is good for 585 hp and 900 Nm, and it’ll do the century dash in 4.4 seconds.

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The international launch report has covered much of the W222 in detail, so we’ll just recap the main points and identify the salient features, as well as those for the Malaysian-spec cars.

The S-Class is available in two looks, regulation and AMG Sports Package, the latter consisting of a bodykit, 20-inch multi-spoke AMG alloys, cross-drilled brake rotors and brake calipers with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering for the exterior and corresponding AMG trim for the interior. We’ll be getting the base form look for the S 400 Hybrid, while the S 500 will come dressed in the AMG package.

The Malaysian W222 will get LED Intelligent Light System headlamps as standard (it’s actually an option, and replaces the stock LED High Performance units), and likewise, a 590-watt, 13-speaker Burmester Surround Sound audio system is fitted in place of the base 10-speaker system.

Elsewhere, you’ll find an Air Balance perfume atomisation package and Thermotronic climate control – with two additional zones to improve thermal comfort – in the kitbag, in addition to a twin-spoke multifunction steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather, DVD player and rear head restraint cushions.

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The S 400 Hybrid will be equipped with an Airmatic suspension, while the S 500 will come with Magic Body Control. The system – an option for eight-cylinder models, but ticked for the Malaysian model – adjusts the hydraulic suspension automatically in anticipation of uneven terrain.

The interior features a double screen instrumentation binnacle design, with 12.3-inch high resolution TFT screens in 8:3 aspect ratio utilised for both displays.

As for space, the W222 offers 12 mm extra headroom, 14 mm more shoulder room and 10 mm more elbow room for the front occupants, as well as additional 14 mm in rear knee room and 9 mm increased shoulder room for the rear occupants, despite the wheelbase dimensions remaining the same as the outgoing W221/V221 long wheelbase model.

A total of five different configurations for the rear seat are available for the V222 long wheelbase model, with the top of the line being an Executive seat, with a backrest angle adjustable by up to 43.5 degrees, allowing occupants in the rear to concentrate on work or relax in comfort. The rear seat configuration for Malaysia is a three-seater one.

The CKD S 400 Hybrid is going to have lots of tech bits – it will feature Driving Assistance package Plus, which the S 500 of course has. The package comprises Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian detection, Pre-Safe Plus, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist.

Also in the electronic mix are Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist and Night View Assist Plus. As for airbags, the S-Class is equipped with eight as standard – Malaysian cars feature the seatbelt bag, which is an option, as stock fitment.

A firm price tag wasn’t revealed at the launch as details are still being confirmed, but MBM says that the locally-assembled S 400 Hybrid will go for under RM900k, with a slight increase over the old CKD W221 S 350’s RM840,888 price tag, so the math isn’t too difficult.

The interesting bit is that since the car is locally assembled, it should qualify for tax exemptions under the new NAP, so there’s a potential for a lower price. Pricing for the S 500, meanwhile, starts from RM1.08 million, while that for the S 63 AMG begins from RM1.6 million.