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Mercedes-Benz updates S-class Coupe and Cabriolet for 2018

Jordan Katsianis
4 Sep 2017

Will Mercedes-Benz’ flagship luxury Coupe be able to compete against the all-new Bentley Continental GT?

Mercedes-Benz has revealed facelifted versions of its imperious S-class Coupe and Cabriolet. Available in the UK with V8 and V12 power-plants, the new four-seater coupe and cabriolet will go on sale at the beginning of next year with prices starting at over £100,000. 

Most of the changes revolve around mechanical and technological updates, with both S 560 and hot-rod AMG S 63 variants benefitting from new V8 engines while all models receive tech upgrades for the infotainment and autonomous driving systems.

> Click here for more on the new Bentley Continental GT

Starting with those new V8s, the S 560 will be the entry-level model (if you can call it entry-level) in the UK, with Mercedes-Benz not offering the V6-powered S 450 sold in other markets. The S 560 makes use of Mercedes-Benz’ new 4-litre bi-turbo V8 which produces 462bhp and 516lb ft of torque. Designed more for effortless waft-ability than outright performance, the new V8 utilises a variety of fuel saving measures such as cylinder deactivation and offers improved internal pumping losses. The S 560 Coupe is available in both rear- and all-wheel drive, although the Cabriolet does without the all-wheel drive option.

The more powerful Mercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic+ uses the same 603bhp AMG-built 4-litre V8 engine as the E 63 S and S 63 saloons, sharing the same 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system to try and contain the furious 664lb ft of torque. Thanks to this new drivetrain, the new S 63 will crack 62mph in a scarcely-believable 3.5 seconds.

A flagship S 65 is still available, now with 621bhp and 738lb ft, but as these outputs only offer slight improvements over its smaller-engined S 63 sibling, you would really have to want those extra four cylinders and a V12 badge to justify its hefty price jump. Only offered as a rear-wheel drive model, the S 65 is also actually slower to 62mph than the S 63 with a time of 4.1 seconds.

> Click here for our review of the lastest Mercedes S-class saloon

Both the S-class Coupe and Cabriolet are not just about outright performance though, preferring to concentrate on a combination of effortless GT cruising ability and state of the art technology. The new S-class Coupe and Cabriolet feature the same upgraded infotainment system as in the saloon, sharing new 12.3-inch dual displays contained in a single glass housing. The steering wheel has also been changed over to the same one as in the saloon, incorporating touch sensitive controls for the vast infotainment and driver information screens.

As for exterior changes, Mercedes-Benz has subtly massaged the previous car’s stately design, adding more aggressive bumpers and all-new OLED taillights. Much like the units on the BMW M4 GTS and Audi TT RS, Mercedes-Benz incorporate 66 individual OLED panels that light up with different intensities depending on the application.

S 63 and S 65 models incorporate the Panamerica grille used on other AMG models and engine-specific details on the lower bumper. Cabriolet models all feature the same design updates as the Coupe too.

> Click here for our review of the new Porsche Panamera

The S-class Coupe and Cabriolet could well be the most complete GTs on the market, incorporating Mercedes-Benz’ full arsenal of technological prowess with massive performance from its impressive new drivetrains. The issue could lay in the S-class’ inability to compete with all-new rivals like the upcoming Bentley Continental GT in terms of sheer desirability. Outright capability may be of the upmost importance when it comes to a luxury saloon, but remove a couple of doors and suddenly the ability to transcend real GT opulence in the same way a Bentley can becomes something that even Mercedes-Benz might struggle to pull off.

To be revealed at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, the new S-class Coupe and Cabriolet will have a big job to upstage the brutish Brit at its own game.

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