Well, what do we have here? Reader Soon Aik Seng has spotted the facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class making the rounds here in Malaysia ahead of its debut soon. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) promised to bring the refreshed luxo-barge here in the middle of the year, so it’s right on the money, I suppose.

This example you see here is dressed to the nines with the AMG Line package, Multibeam LED headlights (with Ultra Range high beam) and snazzy 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. As the previous S 400 h came here pretty much fully specced up, expect the new model to come with most of the technological bells and whistles introduced on the facelift.

These include touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, front and rear wireless smartphone charging and the new Energizing comfort control system that adjusts the climate control, air fragrance and the seat heating, ventilation and massage features according to your moods and needs.

Driver assistance features have also been given an upgrade, with the Distronic adaptive cruise control now able to slow down for curves and junctions, and is operable at speeds of up to 210 km/h. There’s also Active Steering Assist with Active Lane Changing Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist, plus Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic and congestion emergency braking functions as well as Evasive Steering Assist.

As for variants, the S 400 h is no more, so the meat and potatoes of the range will instead be the new S 450. According to an MBM price list that has since been taken down from its website, the locally-assembled (CKD) model will be priced at S 450 will be priced at RM699,888 on-the-road without insurance, making it around RM100,000 more expensive than the S 400 h.

That is to be expected, as the latter comes with duty exemptions owing to it being a hybrid that accounts for the price difference, although it should be pointed out that the S 450 is also a more powerful car. That’s due to the new 3.0 litre turbocharged petrol straight-six, which comes with a 48-volt integral starter/alternator (ISG) providing a 21 hp/250 Nm electric boost when needed – effectively turning it into a mild hybrid.

Outputs are rated at 362 hp and 500 Nm of torque, all sent to the rear wheels through a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. There’s also a possibility that we’ll get the older 3.0 litre turbo V6 unit from the outgoing regular S 400 first, with the same outputs as above, minus the 48-volt ISG motor. We’ll know for sure when the time comes.

The discontinuation of the S 400 h, meanwhile, leaves the door open for the introduction of the S 560 e plug-in hybrid that will likely continue to receive tax breaks. That one gets a 3.0 litre turbo petrol V6 making 362 hp and 500 Nm, paired to 121 hp/440 Nm electric motor and a 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery to provide a combined fuel consumption figure of 2.1 litres per 100 km and a 50 km all-electric range.

GALLERY: W222 Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift