Regardless of what Cadillac may say, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the luxury-car standard of the world.
Preferred by everyone from tyrannical dictators to tyrannical Wall Street bankers, the S-Class is the definition of a flagship luxury sedan and serves a preview for technologies that inevitably trickle down to the mainstream.
Yet it’s easy to forget that the S-Class has a sibling.
Mercedes has made a two-door S-Class on and off for years. Currently called the CL-Class, it’s always been in the shadow of its more practical brother.
The company hopes to change that with the CL’s replacement, now known simply as the S-Class Coupe. Based on the 2014 S-Class sedan, it’s set to arrive soon.
Here’s everything we know so far.
The S-Class Coupe’s primary reason for existing is to look better than its four-door sibling. While it rides on the same platform as the sedan, lopping off two doors makes the designers’ job easier.
They seem to have completely phoned in the current, conservatively-styled CL-Class, which might explain its lack of popularity. That shouldn’t be a problem for the 2015 S-Class Coupe.
That’s because the production car will be based on the striking Concept S-Class Coupe unveiled last fall at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
While some of the more fanciful details won’t make it to production, the overall shape should be a shoo-in.
It gives this admittedly large car a long and low appearance which, as any Detroit car designer from the 1960s will tell you, is a recipe for success.
An image leaked by Autofilou confirms the production car’s closeness to the concept. It’s still quite low, with a sleek roofline, and features a cleaned-up version of the concept’s front end. The creases running down the sides of the concept have also carried over to the production version.
Since the S-Class Coupe is technically part of the same model range as the sedan, it will almost certainly have the same powertrain options.
That means the “volume seller” will be the S550, with a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
Buyers will also be able to choose an S600 with a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12, good for 523 hp and 612 lb-ft.
Both engines will likely be offered with the same seven-speed automatic transmission as they are in the sedan. Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system will probably be offered on at least one model.
Then there are the obligatory AMG performance versions.
Again, assuming the S-Class Coupe follows the lead of the sedan, there will be an S63 AMG with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 producing 577 hp and 664 lb-ft, and an S65 AMG with a twin-turbocharged V12 producing 621 hp and 738 lb-ft.
The 2014 S-Class sedan was somewhat of an upheaval for Mercedes interior design, and the Concept S-Class Coupe pushed things even further.
Aside from some rather funky shapes, it featured “black diamond” trim made from a process that involves depositing precious metal on a high-sheen chrome surface at 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit.
There were also hand-sewn calfskin seats, and a hand-sen silk headliner.
Whether any of that will make it to the production car remains to be seen, but the sportier three-spoke steering wheel probably will.
Expect a pair of 12.3-inch TFT displays to serve as a gauge cluster and infotainment screen, just as they do on the S-Class sedan.
The real question is: Will the S-Class Coupe get the sedan’s perfume dispenser?
An important part of the S-Class mystique is the car’s role as a technological leader. Industry experts look to the S-Class to see what features will wind up on future cars.
Mercedes didn’t disappoint techists with the S-Class sedan, and many of its gee-whiz features will probably wind up on the coupe.
The Concept S-Class Coupe shown at Frankfurt featured Mercedes’ Magic Body Control, an adaptive suspension system that uses a camera to scan the road ahead for obstacles and adjust everything accordingly.
It seems logical that this feature would wind up on the production car.
The concept also featured MoodGrid music software, which can compile playlists from a catalog of around 18 million songs automatically. That could come in handy on a long road trip, assuming the robot knows what the humans like.
Finally, the production 2015 S-Class Coupe may also get the phalanx of safety features Mercedes introduced on the S-Class sedan.
That includes a Driver Assistance suite with Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Distronic Plus, which has limited autonomous-steering capability.
But wait, there’s more. On the S-Class sedan, Driver Assistance also includes automatic braking. The Collision Prevention Assist Plus feature can initiate braking at speeds up to 124 mph, and completely stop a car from 31 mph.
That means the 2015 S-Class Coupe should be a good-looking, luxurious cruiser that can practically drive itself.
UPDATE: We added a leaked photo that reportedly depicts the production S-Class Coupe.