You don’t last four and a half decades in the auto industry without getting something right. The 2018 Mercedes S Class is only the latest in a long line of “Sonderklasse” or “Special Class” cars, the German automaker’s attempt to make the very finest machine for the roads. Today, that means not only luxury but plenty of technology too.
It comes in a variety of flavors. On the one hand, there are the new V6 engines in the entry-level S Class cars, which promise V8 power but with much better fuel economy. The Mercedes-Maybach, meanwhile, keeps the storied name alive with a longer wheelbase and extra-plus rear seats.
Then there’s the S 65 AMG, a legitimate rocket-ship among the S Class line-up. Its V12 engine is matched with a fiendishly clever suspension system that uses cameras to track the road surface ahead, and pre-empt bumps. Maybe you can’t afford it today, but expect to see that – and other technology debuting on Mercedes’ flagship – trickle down to more accessible models in the years to come.