There would only be one shift left that will produce Mercedes-Benz’s flagship sedan, the current S-Class, due to the drop in demand for the model. The automaker’s decision to cut its output is meant to be temporary. By next month, workers will transfer to the assembly line that builds the C-Class until the start of production of the next-generation 2014 S-Class.
In the fourth quarter, Mercedes will build about 8000 fewer S-Class sedans. Mercedes has sold 8214 units by the end of last month, signifying a 7.5% decrease in the S-Class’s U.S. sales year-to-date.
Sales in September 2012 fell 36.1% compared to the September 2011 with only 925 units sold. S-Class sales in Europe fell 27% year-to-date. The next-generation S-Class may be offered in seven variants, which include a two-door convertible and six-door Pullman-style limo.
As Maybach is now out of the picture, short wheelbase models stretch 200.8 inches overall with long-wheelbase (added 7.1-inches in length), extra-long wheelbase (13.8 inches longer), and Pullman (25.6 inches longer) models. The CL-Class may have its name changed to SLC. It will be available with the two-door coupe and convertible body styles.
It’s believed that a coupe-like four-door is possible. Mercedes expects V-8 and V-12 models to be back. There’s also a possibility that there would also be a hybrid and the diesel V-6. It’s likely that a base gasoline V-6 with an output of higher than 300 hp may be the new S-Class’ base model for the U.S. market.
The S-Class is the flagship so it will be where the automaker will showcase its new technologies such as Magic Body Control, a new camera-based suspension dampening system; intelligent LED headlights, and rear seatbelt-mounted airbags (Beltbag). It will be also be equipped with an all-new active cruise control system that will carry out passing maneuvers and change lanes.
Anywhere in the world, it is easy to spot a Mercedes-Benz thanks to a face defined by a design language that has evolved through time without losing its classic essence.
Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener described the progressive design of the S-Class as an expression of luxury and automotive grandeur through time – as continued by its latest iteration. Featuring a classic architecture and a flowing silhouette, the new S-Class truly appeals to the senses. Wagener remarked that the design of the S-Class clearly links the styling of the brand’s classic cars from the 1930s and its modern design idiom. He called the S-Class as a true design icon as marked by its modern stylish sportiness and its timeless clarity.
For the sake of continuing Mercedes’ tradition and of highlighting the design superiority of the new S-Class, the carmaker gave the car a larger radiator grille with a characteristic 3D design. It features classic saloon proportions, as evident with its domed roof line, long bonnet and a subtly slanting rear end. Mercedes made it so that both the size and space of the S-Class freely defines its impressive elegance and prestigious dynamics, resulting to a saloon with sporty coupé styling.
Mercedes’ so-called "Dropping Line" – basically a character line subtly running down from the front to the rear – can be seen on the sides, helping make the S-Class appear in motion even though it is at a standstill. This results to a convex-concave effect on the sides, allowing the new S-Class to sport a dynamic and elongated body. Moreover, the new S-Class features a pronounced shoulder just above the rear wheel, which helps emphasize the car's sporty nature.