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2014 Mercedes S-Class is a self-driving luxury beast

Things had gone a bit quiet since pictures of the 2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class were snapped back in March – until now. We’ve just been given official word on the specs of the luxury cruiser, and we’re happy to say it packs an equipment list longer than Lisa Riley’s shopping receipt.

Most of the headline gadgets go a long way to help ensure the new S-Class virtually drives itself. Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot lets the car lock onto the vehicle in front, accelerating, braking, steering and generally following traffic with bugger-all input from the driver.

Its Active Lane Keeping assist feature is pretty trick too, as it works even if the lane markings are broken lines. It’ll detect when the adjacent lane is occupied, even by oncoming traffic, thus keeping you safe if you happen to drift off momentarily. If you do fall asleep while pedestrians or crossing traffic gets in your way, the new S-Class will apply the anchors automatically.

Want night vision? No problem. The new S-Class comes with Night View Assist Plus, which uses a thermal imaging unit to detect pedestrians and whatnot. Not that you’ll need it — the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus lets you keep the headlights set to full-beam without blinding other road users.

The Mercedes S-Class also does its bit to combat driver fatigue, which is just as well seeing as 3.4 million people admitted to falling asleep at the wheel last year. Attention Assist will notify the driver of their current state of tiredness and how long it’s been since they last took a break. It can even offer instructions to get you to a nearby service station so you can get some shuteye.

Other safety features include Pre-Safe Plus, a system that alerts you if you’re about to get rear ended. In this situation, the S-Class will activate the rear hazard lights as a warning to other drivers. Should you be hit, brakes are applied to reduce the chance of a second accident and seatbelts tighten to keep you in place.

Did we mention the suspension adjusts depending on the road ahead if you choose the optional Magic Body Control feature? Yeah, that too.

Compared with the outgoing model, the new S-Class is bigger in every dimension, giving passengers more interior space to enjoy the twin 12.3-inch widescreen displays, 10-speaker sound system and new, optional executive seats that can recline by as much as 43.5-degrees. Throw in an active perfuming system to keep the cabin fresh and you have a recipe for absolute luxury.

Four engines have been promised, but not all will arrive when orders open at the end of June, 2013. Performance fans need look no further than the 449bhp, 4.7-litre V8 twin-turbo S 500, which does 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds.

The more frugal motorist has the option of a 3.0-litre V6 diesel 350 BlueTec, capable of 51mpg and 146g/km of CO2 emissions. There are two hybrid versions, too. The S 300 BlueTec Hybrid takes consumption to 64.2mph and CO2 down to 115g/km, while the slightly more powerful 306bhp S400 hybrid manages 44.8mpg and 147g/km of CO2.

UK prices have not been confirmed but a five per cent increase on the current S-Class pricing is expected, so the S 350 BlueTec should set you back somewhere in the region of £65,000. Delivers will start to arrive in September.

2013 Mercedes S-Class pictures


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