Hot on the tail of the new F01 is an updated S-Class, it’s still the W221 but with a mid-life facelift that adds a few aesthetic changes including a more prominent grille up front, a revised bumper, the LED daytime driving lights that we also saw on the new E-Class, LED tail lights at the rear, and an integrated exhaust.
With the facelift also comes the new S 400 HYBRID, which unlike the hybrid-diesel version shown in 2007, is powered by a petrol engine, the 3.5 litre V6 to be exact from the S 350. The 279hp generated by the V6 is complemented by a 20 horsepower electric motor that has 160Nm of torque, integrated with the 7G-Tronic transmission.
The motor acts as a dynamo during braking to recover kinetic energy, recharging the lithium ion batteries with them. The result is an economical 7.9 litres per 100km of combined consumption, impressive for such a large car. I wonder if Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will introduce this here. Companies might just go for it as a company car in their efforts to look green, perhaps as part of their social responsibility programs, plus there is that tax-free period for hybrids. In Germany, the S 400 is less than 10,000 Euros more expensive than the S 350.
Something new is a feature called Active Body Control which is a crosswind stabilisation feature. This is standard on the S 600. The S-Class is expected to run cross-state journeys sometimes, since the bosses here may have to visit branches in other states once in a while. During highway journeys you do get hit by crosswinds which can upset the car’s balance, thus Active Body Control tries to make up for it.
It senses crosswinds via the yaw rate and acceleration sensors that are part of the ESP program, and this data is used to vary the spring load to compensate the effects of crosswinds.
Look after the jump for a full hi-res gallery detailing the changes in the design of the S-Class. It should be quite easy to spot.
[zenphotopress number=99 album=241]