2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Apr 19, 2017
  • Minor exterior design and interior detailing changes
  • New engines for all but the AMG S65 model
  • New Energizing Comfort “wellness” technology
  • Next-generation digital instrumentation and infotainment systems
  • Improved driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems


2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class front quarter left photo


Several upgrades are made to the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the automaker’s flagship sedan. Engine changes result in new S450 and S560 naming conventions, and both the ultra-luxury Mercedes-Maybach and high-performance Mercedes-AMG variants return for 2018.

Exterior Features

Mercedes gives the S-Class a subtle visual freshening for 2018. All versions have an LED Intelligent Light System, and Ultra Wide Beam high-beam headlights are a new option for 2018. Additionally, new front and rear bumper designs debut, along with new LED taillights and two new 20-in. wheel designs.

The S450 and S560 models have a new grille design, while the Mercedes-Maybach S560 receives extensive chrome trim and Maybach logos between the grille louvers.

AMG models also see styling updates, including a “jet wing” front bumper design and a 3-dimensional front splitter. The S65 is set apart with exclusive 20-in. forged aluminum wheels with ceramic mirror polishing.

Interior Features

Two new natural grain ash wood trims are available for 2018, as well as revised cabin materials and colors. New interior environments include Silk Beige/Deep Sea Blue, Magma Gray/Espresso Brown, and Mahogany/Silk Beige.


Optional Features

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Sedan interior photo AMG models have a new 3-spoke performance steering wheel with paddle shifters and perforated leather where the driver grips the wheel. As an option, the wheel can be wrapped in premium leather with simulated suede.For 2018, S-Class buyers can opt for an Energizing Comfort system that links various interior features together to allow owners to enjoy a specific “wellness” setup. Owners choose from Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, and Comfort programs. Additionally, there are three Training selections for muscle relaxation, muscle activation, and balance.

Each program runs for 10 minutes, optimizing the climate control, ambient lighting, fragrance, heating/ventilation, and massage systems to the specific selection. The stereo even plays appropriate music for each program.

Under the Hood

A new family of engines debuts in the 2018 Mercedes S-Class, and the available Active Body Control suspension gains improved Road Surface Scan technology as well as a curve-tilt function designed to lessen the centrifugal force felt by occupants as the car rounds corners.

In the S450 and S450 4Matic, a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine makes 362 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The S560 and Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic get a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 463 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque.

Mercedes claims the S560’s power plant is one of the most fuel-efficient V-8 engines ever built and says it improves fuel economy by 10% over the engine it replaces, thanks in part to cylinder-deactivation technology.

The Mercedes-AMG S63 receives a hand-built, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 603 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. It also includes cylinder-deactivation technology and sees a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. Performance, however, does not suffer. Acceleration to 60 mph requires just 3.4 seconds, according to Mercedes.


2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Sedan engine photo The new engine is bolted to a new AMG-Speedshift 9-speed transmission, which powers all four wheels through a new fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. When placed in Sport or Sport+ driving mode, a new Race Start function ensures maximum acceleration. Additionally, the AMG S63 is equipped with a performance exhaust system that emits different sound depending on the selected driving mode, speed-sensitive steering, and a sport suspension based on the company’s Airmatic technology.

The Mercedes-AMG S65 continues with a twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter V-12 engine good for 621 horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque. It powers the rear wheels through a 7-speed transmission, and this AMG-tuned version of the S-Class is actually slower than the S63, requiring 4.2 seconds to get to 60 mph. Otherwise, the S65 is outfitted similarly to the S63, except that its AMG Sport Suspension is based on Magic Body Control with its new curve-tilting function and adjustable ride height.


With the 2018 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz takes another step toward our autonomous future.

Updated camera and radar systems provide a better view of surrounding traffic, and the Intelligent Drive suite of systems now makes use of map and navigation data to take a more active role in assisting the driver with driving.

For 2018, updates include enhanced versions of Active Distance Assist adaptive cruise control and Active Steering Assist, as well as improved Active Lane Change Assist and expanded Active Emergency Stop Assist capabilities. They are part of the optional Driver Assistance package.

Thanks to new instrumentation, Mercedes also makes it easier for the driver to identify which systems are active and what they might be responding to at any given time.


Dual, next-generation, 12.3-in. instrumentation and infotainment displays debut in the 2018 S-Class, and they are contained beneath a single bonded glass panel.

Drivers can choose Classic, Sport, and Progressive display styles, and touch-control buttons on the steering wheel allow fingertip operation of the systems in similar fashion to a smartphone. Additional improvements include new infotainment technology with Near Field Communication capabilities, new mBrace Concierge services, Qi wireless smartphone charging, and additional speakers for the optional Burmeister High-End 3D Surround Sound system.


2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan console controls photo In AMG models the Sport instrumentation theme is unique, and the AMG menu is expanded with new displays and functions. The AMG S63 model is also offered with a Track Pace App to record driving data. Mercedes says: “drivers are able to analyze their driving style with precision and can use the insights gained to improve their lap times.”

Who takes their S63 to weekend track day events?

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