More than a year after we saw NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang get into the brand new Mercedes-Benz S580e plug-in hybrid, the company’s new flagship S-Class has finally made its way to our shores. It will be locally assembled, packed full of tech, and there will only be one variant available for purchase.
If you wanted a good visual representation of what an expensive car looks like, the new S-Class is definitely it. It measures 5,179mm long, 1,921mm wide and is 1,503mm tall. Yet, despite having measurements that remind me more of a bus than a car, I’m think they’ve done a great job at keeping the proportions just right.
The S580e has a really classy silhouette from afar, but have plenty of intricate details when you start looking at it up close. Powering the vehicle is a hybrid powertrain, with a 3.0l inline-6 engine and electric motor providing a combined output of over 500 bhp. This is mated to a 9G-Tronic transmission, allowing this behemoth of a car to hit 100km/h from a standstill in just 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h.
What’s perhaps more important for a car like the S-Class is how it’s like on the inside, and I gotta say, it looks stunning. I love what they’ve done with the centre console, letting the screen sort of flow into the arm rest portion in an almost organic way. It doesn’t look like someone just stuck an iPad on the dash, which is what most fully digital dashes tend to look like (cough Tesla cough).
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the digital cluster and rear screens, but I guess one out of three ain’t bad…?
Nevertheless, the tech in here is quite impressive. The main display in the middle is a large vertical OLED panel, while the digital instrument cluster is another large horizontal panel with some 3D effect. Reportedly, there are cameras on the digital cluster that tracks the position of your eyes and gives you “real three-dimensional effect” without needing any kind of special eyewear.
At the back you get two 11″ entertainment systems alongside a 7″ rear tablet and two pairs of wireless headsets for all your multimedia needs. Speaking of which, the S580e comes with Mercedes-Benz’s second generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system that apparently leverages the artificial intelligence to create a learn-capable system to make your life in the S-Class even better than ever.
There is also voice control via “Hey Mercedes”, that is also “constantly learning”. As ominous as that sounds, Mercedes-Benz says that what that means is the voice assistant will now also be able to explain vehicle functions and “answer general knowledge questions”. Though, seeing it in action in their promo video, my favourite thing about the assistant might just be the sass:
All of these new MBUX features are part of the company’s desire to make it a “third place”, or as they put it a “refuge between the home and the workplace”, and I gotta say, I may already want to be in it more than I want to be in my home right now. After all, I don’t have a big OLED touchscreen and motorised heated seats with nappa leather upholstery in my house.
Safety is also a big focus of the new S-Class. Mercedes-Benz says that the new S580e is the first car in the world to use a rear airbag in a series production passenger vehicle. The airbags are integrated into the backrests of the front seats, and will deploy in the event of a “severe front impact”.
So far, there has been no news how much the new S580e will retail for in Malaysia. But, you can register your interest at the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia website.