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2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class revealed, debuts new inline six

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been shown before its Auto Shanghai debut, with new technology, styling tweaks and the first inline-six for Mercedes-Benz since the beginning of last decade.

Introduced for the first time, a new 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline six produces 210kW/600Nm in the case of the S 350 d, while a tuned version develops 250kW/700Nm for the S 400 d. Even with all-wheel drive, these models offer a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.5L/100km and 5.5L/100km, respectively.

Also debuting in the new S-Class is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo non-AMG V8 that belts out 345kW and 700Nm, in the form of the S 560. It offers an average consumption of 8.5L/100km. A step above into the S 63 AMG sees these outputs rise to 450kW and 900Nm, with an average consumption of 8.9L/100km. The all-wheel drive S 63 AMG covers 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds. At the top of the range is the S 65, featuring a 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 producing 463kW and 1000Nm, offering a 0-100km/h sprint of 4.3 seconds with rear-wheel drive only.

Along with these variants, a plug-in hybrid is planned, offering a 50km electric-only range, while the new ‘M256’ inline six turbo is also promised. Outputs haven’t been mentioned, but Mercedes has previously confirmed the M256 develops 300kW and 500Nm.

In other areas, the car’s autonomous software now allows driverless control of steering and accelerator/braking for sweeping bends and intersections. The driving modes ( Sport, Sport + or Comfort) will determine how enthusiastically it approaches these. Other revisions include autonomous lane change that now only requires a tap of the indicator stalk instead of three seconds.

Styling is revised with new headlamps at the front and a new steering wheel inside. The new ‘Energising Comfort’ system can control ambient lighting, music, climate control and seat functions to suit the driver’s preferences, while 10-minute programs include Freshness, Warmth and Training.

The new S-Class should land in Australia by the end of this year. Specific models and finer details for the local market are yet to be confirmed.

Mitchell is a contributing journalist and features writer at PerformanceDrive. He has been a passionate petrol-head from a very young age. He is excited by the future of the industry, and considers himself as a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the technical aspects of cars. He is also fascinated by new cars that are popping up in developing markets.

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