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Striking, isn’t it? Stealing the show from the Mercedes stand at IAA Frankfurt is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Concept, which is described as a concrete vision of the next model generation of the brand’s flagship car. The next S-Class Coupe will be called exactly that, replacing the old CL name that has been in use over three generations.

“The new S-Class Saloon was received enthusiastically in the market and perfectly lives up to its role as a representative of the power of innovation of Mercedes-Benz. On the S-Class Coupé as the traditional top of our product range the designers take advantage of their additional freedom and thus create an automotive masterpiece,” said Dr Joachim Schmidt, member of the board at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Sensual clarity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers. Their aim was to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that stage high tech while exuding emotional appeal. Core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism have to shine through, and we think they do.

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Within the typical rear-wheel drive coupe proportions, you’ll find design highlights such as the Mercedes signature dropping line, a long bonnet with distinctive lines and powerdomes, a dome roofline and high beltline, accentuated wheel arches housing 21-inch items and a diamond radiator grille, which we first saw in the A-Class.

Like the outgoing CL, the S-Class Coupe doesn’t have B-pillars, although the rear end breaks tradition by having the license plate in the bumper. A three-pointed star takes centrestage.

At 5,050 mm long and 1,958 mm wide, the S-Class Coupe is slightly shorter (-15 mm) but wider (+86 mm) than the C216 CL. The wheelbase length of 2,945 mm is 90 mm shorter than that of the standard wheelbase W222 S-Class sedan, but this is still a very large car.

The S-Class Coupe Concept is powered by a biturbo V8 making 455 hp and 700 Nm. This is of course the S 500‘s engine, but it doesn’t really matter, since the concept car is meant to preview the design.

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Tech-wise, the concept is equipped with “Intelligent Drive,” which uses two camera eyes for a three-dimensional view of the area up to about 50 metres in front of the vehicle, detecting the position and movement of objects. This data is combined with those from the radar and ultrasound sensors to feed driver assistance systems.

The suspension makes use of the new stereo camera as well. Like the new S-Class, the coupe can detect surface undulations in advance with Road Surface Scan, helping Magic Body Control adjust the suspension in advance to suit the situation. Using the camera images and vehicle status info, the control unit continuously calculates the best control strategy to cope with uneven stretches such as long undulations.

Even as we admire the Frankfurt showstar, Mercedes is actively testing the production S-Class Coupe. From what we’ve seen so far in spy videos and spyshots, this concept is yet another that doesn’t take its concept name very seriously – for instance, the interior you see here is largely similar to that on the production test mule, minus a few flashy showcar details. Quite the finished item.