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The latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a flagship sedan showing off an excellent level of opulence, comfort, power and driving capability.
In the US, Mercedes-Benz has released the S550 Sedan and the S550 Coupe. This latest model is the S550 Hybrid, which not only offers a gasoline-electric drive system, but also the option to plug it in.
Mercedes-Benz reaffirms its marque of luxury with the current S-Class, but adds many high-tech elements to keep the model up-to-date.
The S550 Hybrid uses a turbocharged 3-liter V-6 combined with an 85-kilowatt electric motor, the power mixing through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
LED headlights reduce power draw, cast bright illumination and will likely last for the life of the car.
An array of sensors in the S-Class allow adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, stepping stones to a truly autonomous car.
Although it's not billed as a long-wheelbase vehicle, Mercedes-Benz only sells the longer versions of its S-Class sedans in the US. Short wheelbase versions are available in other markets.
A corner braking system lightly applies the brakes on an inside wheel in a turn, helping the car rotate.
The S550 Hybrid's air suspension can be set to Comfort or Sport, and provides an excellent ride.
With its hybrid drive system, the S550 Hybrid can achieve average fuel economy in the high 20s.
This J1772 electric vehicle charging port lets owners add electricity from the grid, improving the car's overall fuel economy.
One drawback of the S550 Hybrid is a loss of trunk space.
The multicontour seats actively adjust their bolsters when cornering, and include a massage function.
The rear seats offer power adjustment and a huge amount of legroom.
Mercedes-Benz smartly places its seat controls on the door, making them easy to access.
Two big LCD displays occupy the dashboard, one for the instrument cluster and one for infotainment.
The instrument cluster display can show a variety of information, such as route guidance.
A head-up display shows vehicle speed and route guidance.
The rearview camera shows excellent definition along with trajectory lines.
The infotainment interface mixes a touchpad with a jog-dial, making for slightly confusing duplicate controls.
A menu bar across the top shows major vehicle functions, while a menu bar across the bottom gives individual function controls.
The navigation system uses nicely detailed maps.
A swipe at the touchpad brings up this limited audio controller widget over the navigation system.
The music library can be controlled using the jog dial or gestures on the touchpad.
The audio play screen shows cover art, when available. A Cover Flow-type interface also lets you choose audio by album cover.
The S550 Hybrid includes satellite and HD Radio.
The Burmester audio system creates excellent sound reproduction.
Mercedes-Benz includes a number of onboard third-party apps.
Yelp is very conveniently integrated, showing business ratings and linking to navigation.
The S550 Hybrid includes an online search tool for charging stations.
This display shows the power flow from engine and battery, along with remaining battery charge.