Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe actively banks on corners

Mercedes-Benz follows up its excellent 2014 S-Class sedan with a new coupe version, employing not only an extraordinarily beautiful design but getting new ride technology as well.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe
A two-door version of the Mercedes-Benz S-class will be on display at the 2014 Geneva auto show. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz pushed the four-door coupe idea with its CLS-Class in 2004, but this year the company will introduce a true two-door coupe version of its S-Class flagship sedan. From early photos released by Mercedes-Benz, this new S-Class Coupe pulls out all the stop for gorgeous styling, and throws in some new cornering tech as well.

The 2015 S-Class Coupe is based on the Concept S-class Coupe that Mercedes-Benz showed off last year at the Geneva auto show. The new production model will be on display at this year's Geneva show in March.

Rather than the imposing form of the S-Class sedan, the coupe model borrows from other areas of Mercedes-Benz's styling toolbox. The pin-cushion grille is also seen on the new CLA250, while the single louver gets broader usage in Mercedes-Benz coupe and convertible models. The rear fenders blend liquidly into the body of the car.

As with the S-Class sedan, LEDs make up all the lighting, even in the headlamps. But Mercedes-Benz takes things into the luxury stratosphere by offering a special edition, called the Edition 1 S550, with 47 Swarovski crystals making up the turn indicators and daytime running lights in each headlight casing.

While that might sound like a recipe for a very expensive fender-bender, the S-class coupe also gets Mercedes-Benz's excellent Distronic Plus feature. This radar-based system enables adaptive cruise control and includes a collision prevention system, which automatically hits the brakes. It can prevent a collision at speeds of 25 mph or below, and help mitigate crashes at higher speeds.

As another tech highlight, Mercedes-Benz introduces a new ride system, which it calls Active Curve Tilting. This system uses a camera and lateral accelerometer to analyze curves, causing the suspension to push up the side of the car on the outside of the turn. Mercedes-Benz describes the car as leaning into turns, similar to a motorcycle rider.

However, Mercedes-Benz notes that this system isn't intended to make the car handle better in the turns, but to provide more comfort for the passengers. The tilting of the car will help keep a passenger's mass pressed into the center of their seats as lateral forces build. This mechanism should prove more comfortable than active seat bolsters.

The version coming to the US this fall will be the S550 4Matic Coupe, meaning it will have all-wheel drive and a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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