After unveiling the 2014 S-Class sedan back in May, Mercedes decided to preview the coupe version at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . However, in a strange twist, the German company decided to only show a concept version of the new S-Class Coupe and not the production version.
After teasing it yesterday for the first time, Mercedes fully unveiled the S-Class Coupe Concept today. The production version will serve as the successor for the CL-Class , and it will target super-luxury models, models like the Bentley Continental GT .
Mercedes will build the new S-Class Coupe on a modified version of the S-Class sedan’s platform and will come with the choice of either a V-8 or V-12 engine. In concept form, the S-Class Coupe carries just a V-8 engine.
A production version will follow at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show .
Updated 09/09/2013: This review has been updated with the official specs, images and video.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes S-Class Coupe Concept.
The new S-Class Coupe features the same design language as the sedan version, but taken to a sportier level. Up front, the concept gets a three-dimensional grille with a rectangular structure and dark chrome-plated elements. The headlights feature the same eyebrow structure as the sedan version, but with a semicircular counter-swish. The headlights and taillights both feature a diamond-look design and feature full-LED technology.
The coupe and the sedan differences come into focus from the profile view. The S-Class Coupe concept gets a dome-shaped, stretched roofline and the frameless doors with a three-dimensional chrome frame surrounding the glass area.
The rear is defined by powerful and muscular lines, with lower bumper section that includes a prominent three-pointed star and a chrome trim strip.
|Wheelbase||2,945 mm (115.9 inches)|
|Length||5,050 mm (198.8 inches)|
|Width||1,958 mm (77.1 inches)|
|Height||1,409 mm (55.5 inches)|
The interior has little chance of making its way to the road-going S-Class Coupe, but as a design exercise it is pretty cool. There is a white instrument panel dominated by flowing lines and featuring a spectacular architecture. The lower part is well-sculpted, while the upper section floats sensually in front of the dashboard.
The futuristic ventilation nozzles are made from a mix of white, and brushed and polished aluminum. The center console features a touchscreen with four world clocks and the driver can select what time zone to display. The central command looks more like a shiny jewel, thanks to its high-quality "black diamond" surface.
The door panels are made from aluminum and they are designed to mimic the contour of the door-mounted control elements. Like the entire interior, the seats also feature a "flow of lines" design, with the front ones featuring a sculpted shape inspired by the fashion design.
For the interior, the company chose a combination of anthracite, white and aluminum, with the instrument panel and seats coated in supple calfskin, and the headliner from hand-woven silk.
Under the hood of the new S-Class Coupe concept, Mercedes installed the same 4.7-liter V-8 biturbo engine that delivers a total of 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque that we saw in the sedan version. We don’t expect Mercedes to tweak the V-8 for the coupe model, but we may — and we stress "may — see a V-12 version in the coupe variant.
When can I drive one?
We expect Mercedes to unveil the production version of the S-Class Coupe in 2014, and release it for sale in time for the 2015 model year.
Mercedes hopes that the production S-Class Coupe will have enough class to take on high-end luxury coupes, like the Continental GT.
The British model is powered by a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that delivers a total of 500 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and an extraordinary 487 pound-feet of torque available from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a close-ratio, eight-speed automatic transmission. This drivetrain sprints the GT V8 from 0 to 60 in under five seconds and up to a top speed of 180 mph.
Gallery Bentley Continental GT V8
We know very little about the 2015 Maserati GranTurismo, except that it will be slightly smaller than the current model and that it will likely carry a Ferrari-built V-8 engine.
The current GranTurismo uses a 4.7-liter V-8 that produces 454 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, and we don’t expect much more power from the Ferrari -built engine. What we do expect is a more refined engine that has less internal weight to allow it to rev more freely. A better-revving engine combined with the smaller body should translate to a 0-to-60 mph time of about 4.5 seconds.
Gallery Maserati GranTurismo
While we are not too sure why Mercedes decided to show an S-Class Coupe concept first, but it still make us confident that the road-going car will be a hit. The model seems to follow the steps of the new CLA-Class, which we think is one of the best Mercedes models launched in the past few years.
- High-tech interior
- Looks quite cool
- Color combination
- Just one engine option
- Just a concept
Traditionally the top of the Mercedes-Benz product range is occupied by the grand coupé. With the Concept S-Class Coupé the company will provide a concrete vision of the next model generation at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt: with its gorgeous appearance and self-assured style it embodies the design philosophy of sensual clarity. In the interior with its spectacular architecture and truly exclusive appointments the four-seater defines the state of the art of modern luxury.
"The new S-Class Saloon was received enthusiastically in the market and perfectly lives up to its role as a representative of the power of innovation of Mercedes-Benz", says Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales & Marketing. "On the S-Class Coupé as the traditional top of our product range the designers take advantage of their additional freedom and thus create an automotive masterpiece".
Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design at Daimler AG, adds: "The Concept S‑Class Coupé combines tradition and emotion, and is a symbol for the embodiment of our design style of sensual clarity. The perfected design with self-assured style and the highly exclusive appointments make the coupé a true design icon and an expression of modern luxury“.
Design: sensual clarity at its most beguiling
Sensual clarity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that stage high tech while exuding emotional appeal. The sensual clarity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These are the guiding star, and are accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focusses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
"Design needs the sublime! Because design is the best brand ambassador. At the centre of our work is sensual clarity as an expression of modern luxury, because this is precisely what gets to the heart of our brand philosophy – the bipolarity of intelligence and emotion", says Wagener.
The exterior: flowing profile of perfect proportions
The flowing profile of the Concept S-Class Coupé embodies sensual clarity in a modern way. It is characterised by typical rear-wheel drive proportions, which are emphasised by the Mercedes-typical signature, the dropping line. The long bonnet with distinctive lines and powerdomes, the cowering greenhouse with high beltline, the accentuated wheel arches as well as the 21-inch wheels (tyres at front 265/35 R 21, at rear 295/35 R 21) and the visually broad rear substantiate the claim of the Concept S-Class Coupé as a masterpiece of automotive refinement. With a wheelbase of 2945 mm the coupé measures 5050 mm in length, 1958 mm in width and 1409 mm in height.
Positively arched surfaces give the Concept S-Class Coupé a sensual character. The sculpted appearance lends it classic elegance that forms a perfect symbiosis with the modern-progressive design idiom.
The view from the side is marked by the dropping line in keeping with the emotional character of the vehicle. It underscores the brand-typical proportions like a signature. The lines are deliberately reduced to the basics. This creates a timeless clarity.
The creative interaction of various design elements lend the Concept S-Class Coupé a superior and self-assured front: at the centre of the vehicle front is the three-dimensional and further evolved diamond radiator grille, whose structure is defined in this case by rectangular, dark chrome-plated elements. It bears the central Mercedes star and one blade.
The full-LED headlamps with their iconic eyebrows as daytime driving lamps lend it an extremely self-assured and distinctive gaze. On the Concept S-Class Coupé the eyebrows have been further advanced with a semicircular counter-swish. The diamond-look of the headlamps and the tail lamps underline the luxurious appointments of the show car.
The side profile is defined by the dome-shaped stretched roof line and the frameless doors. An elegant, three-dimensional chrome frame surrounds the glass areas that are uninterrupted by B-pillars. This underscores the Mercedes-typical coupé look. In designing the pillared exterior mirrors the designers took opportunity of the liberties offered by a concept car and made them especially slim, giving them an elegant appearance.
A muscle above the rear axle protruding from the side wall generates a sense of lightness and dynamic spirit even at a standstill. The positively arched surfaces and lines of the side walls flow into the rear end with a dramatic tapered effect.
The rear end with its surfaces, broad shoulders and distinctive character lines rounds out the emotional overall appearance. Moving the license plate to the lower bumper section allows positioning the three-pointed star more prominently on the smooth boot lid. This is complemented by a chrome trim strip modelled with love of detail. It runs horizontally across the boot lid and continues past the tail lamps, creating visual width. The arrangement of the LEDs in two horizontal rows within the two-piece tail lamp represents high tech and at the same time is reminiscent of the relief-type design on earlier models.
The interior: dynamic flow of lines
Sculpted elegance and simplicity also characterises the interior. The white instrument panel exudes sensual clarity. Its curved shape is reminiscent of a whale fluke just before it re-enters the water. Like the entire interior it is dominated by flowing lines: the upper and lower wave create a clear structure.
The architecture of the instrument panel is spectacular: Thanks to a new airbag packaging the designers were able to give the lower part of the instrument panel an extremely sculpted shape. The upper section of the instrument panel seems to float sensually in front of the dashboard as a so-called top layer. The instrument panel seamlessly transitions into the doors in a wrap-around design. The wavelike motion continues in the door panels.
The ventilation nozzles, which among other places are housed as a four-piece cluster in the centre of the instrument panel, have a futuristic and highly detailed design: fins that route the air stream surround an oblong hole. The ventilation nozzles are designed to add contrasts and are made of a mix of white aluminium with a ceramics-like appearance and brushed and polished aluminium.
The aluminium control elements have a functional and clean design, and provide an exciting contrast to the organic and avant-garde shapes that surround them.
On top of the free-form surface under a reduced hood are the 30.7-cm (12.3-inch) screens familiar from the new S-Class. They have an aspect ratio of 8:3. In the Concept S-Class Coupé the fully glazed colour displays are even slimmer and seem to float even more freely. As high-tech elements they offer an exciting contrast to the sensual landscape of the instrument panel. The colour scheme of the displays is bluish and consequently sporty and modern.
A touch screen showing four world clocks is located on the centre console. The driver can choose which clocks to display: To do so, the driver first scrolls on a globe in the display and selects a time zone before a drop-down menu offers the corresponding city selections. The world clock concept was designed and implemented by designers and engineers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Palo Alto, California, USA.
The central command unit on the centre console looks like a shiny jewel. Its extremely high-quality "black diamond" surface creates depth of field. The "black diamond" method uses the chemical CVD (chemical vapour deposition) gas phase process to deposit a precious metal on a high-sheen chrome surface at temperatures of 1000°C. The metal reacts with the surface to form a layer that is highly scratch-resistant and has a high adhesive strength.
The door panels of the Concept S-Class Coupé are made from aluminium. Using computer algorithms delicate topographic lines were milled into the metal and mimic the contours of the door-mounted control elements. This creates an interesting light pattern with tiny sparkling highlights. For this creation the designers drew their inspiration from rock formations in Utah, USA. The progressive perforations of the loudspeakers were also generated using algorithms and display some intelligent aesthetics of mathematics.
Like the entire interior the seats have a highly dynamic and natural "flow of lines" and continue the sculpted design of the shapes. The front seats evoke associations of haute-couture tailoring because their sculpted shape embodies sensual lines reminiscent of figurines in fashion design. In the upper section of the seat the side bolsters envelope the occupant like a collar. The vertical lines of the seats come courtesy of an array of delicate piping. Piping on the side bolsters provides contrast and like the perforation of the seat surfaces is a factor in the sporty-elegant impression.
The choice of colours and materials plays with the extroverted contrasts of anthracite and white as well as aluminium, and bolsters both the timeless modernity and avant-garde nature of the design and the claim of the Concept S-Class Coupé to ultimate exclusivity, high quality and perfection. In this spirit the instrument panel and seats are made from supple calfskin. The roofliner of the vehicle is made from hand-woven silk and consequently underscores the exclusive character of the interior.
The technology: intelligent assistance systems and a seeing suspension
The Concept S-Class Coupé is powered by a V8 Biturbo engine. This engine produces 335 kW (455 hp) from a displacement of 4663 cc. The peak torque is 700 Nm.
The Concept S-Class Coupé is equipped with the "Intelligent Drive" technology from Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to two "camera eyes" the stereo camera can get a three-dimensional view of the area up to about 50 metres in front of the vehicle, and as "6DVision" can detect the position and movement of objects. It monitors the surroundings ahead of the vehicle over a range of up to 500 metres. These data are combined with the data from the radar and ultrasound sensors. A multitude of assistance systems monitors the surrounding traffic for the driver. This helps to reduce the burden on the driver and other road users are also protected.
The suspension makes use of the new stereo camera as well: like the new S-Class, the Concept S-Class Coupé can detect surface undulations in advance. If ROAD SURFACE SCAN detects such undulations with the help of the stereo camera, MAGIC BODY CONTROL adjusts the suspension in advance to suit the situation. Using the camera images and vehicle status information, the control unit continuously calculates the best control strategy to cope with uneven stretches such as long undulations.
The infotainment system also meets the highest standards: the MoodGrid software from music recognition service Gracenote makes it possible to listen to whatever music fits the mood. Finding suitable songs no longer requires the driver and passengers of the Concept S-Class Coupé to awkwardly search through their collections of digital music. Based on a selected mood the software compiles a pre-selection of songs. This compilation not only includes familiar songs, but music from a catalogue containing 18 million tracks – adapted to the individual taste and the respective mood. The navigation system based on the Garmin NaviCore also offers more convenient orientation with a modern design and a 3D view.