2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Latest photos and new fully-heated details

Everyone loves that new car smell, but not all new cars are created equal. Some product launches are simply more interesting, and more important, than others. As Mercedes-Benz’s flagship and a car known for being a harbinger of new tech, the S-Class is typically more equal than others.

The differences are apparent from the moment you see the 2014 S-Class. Like the smaller E-Class, it seems to have become refined and more extroverted at the same time. The previous model’s bulbous curves are gone, but the new car isn’t a throwback to the boxy W140 S-Class of the 1990s, either.

The new styling is backed by substantial improvements. Every light on the car is an LED and, thanks to an aluminum-steel hybrid chassis, the 2014 S-Class is about 300 pounds lighter than last year’s model, despite being slightly longer.

The new skin also conceals a large battery of safety tech. An updated version of Mercedes’ Pre-Safe collision avoidance system can autonomously brake the S-Class to a full stop from 50 kph (31 mph), and apply the hazard lights to warn following drivers of a possible rear-end collision.

Once applied, the S-Class can hold its brakes on, to help prevent whiplash and, somewhat creepily, use its seatbelts to pull the driver and front passenger away from the direction of impact.

Mercedes’ long-rumored seatbelt airbags also debut on the 2014 S-Class, along with a rear cushionbag for models with reclining seats.

Of course, S-Class owners will spend most of their time driving, not crashing (hopefully), and Mercedes has plenty of tech for that, too.

Up front on the dashboard are two 12.3-inch TFT displays, one directly in front of the driver (serving as a gauge cluster), the other on the center stack. Helping driver and front passenger make sense of all the infotainment possibilities contained within is a touch-sensitive telephone keypad with memory that centralizes important functions.

Mercedes’ Linguatronic voice command system returns, now with the ability to read text messages and e-mail, and the navigation system now features Google Maps.

For sound, Mercedes installed a Burmeister 3D system with the Frontbass resonator from the SL Roadster.

Some of the other features seem like they came out of a Brookstone catalog. An “Air Balance Package” spritzes fragrance into the cabin, there are massaging seats with ventilation, heated door panels and armrests are also available so you never have to touch a cold or even cool surface.

An optional First Class rear seating arrangement includes a full center console with heated and cooled cupholders.

With so many options available, it’s surprising that Mercedes chose to launch the 2014 S-Class with only one engine. Initially, it will only be available as an S550, with a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 producing 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

The engine is mated to either an eight-speed automatic transmission, and of course the S-Class is available with either rear-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive.

Despite being weighed down with so many TFT displays and perfume spritzers, the 2014 S-Class will do 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 4.8 seconds, and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 130 mph.

We listed those numbers last for a reason.

With so much gadgetry on board, it’s easy to forget that the 2014 S-Class is a car and not a mobile lounge. Previous S-Classes have introduced technologies, such as airbags and traction control, that are now industry standards. We’ll have to wait and see if Mercedes has gone too far with this one.

The 2014 S550 will arrive in U.S. dealerships in September, with other models to follow. Prices are TBA, but if you have to ask….

What do you think of Mercedes’ refitted flagship? Tell us in the comments.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!