Mercedes S-Class after 2 weeks of testing – the best car in the world and its Achilles heel

After I was able to test the Mercedes S-Class for two weeks, two things are certain for me:

1. The Mercedes S-Class is currently the best car in the world.

2. However, as with the Greek legendary hero Achilles, there is a small weak point, which has enormous damage potential – not only for the S-Class, but for all future Mercedes models.

Mercedes S- Great – the best car in the world

More by chance than planning, I had the opportunity to take part in the press driving event (PFV), for which I received the Looking back, I am very happy; because up to this point I had only been able to see the mediocre online presentation for the presentation of the S-Class, which I was rather disappointed with.

The PFV, on the other hand, liked the S-Class thrilled that I really tried hard to get an early test date for a two-week test.

In my opinion, the S-Class is the technically best and most advanced vehicle that can be ordered at the moment.

If I make such a statement after a day of vehicle testing, then I have to I was already very sure of myself.

After I had been able to test the S-Class for two weeks, I would make the statement again immediately and put a “!” in the back.

In fact, at this point I recommend you read my article from back then

The points that already excited me back then convinced me absolutely in my test t.

The greatest difficulty is actually conveying my experience with the S-Class in writing. It is a perfectly coordinated vehicle that you have to experience to be able to understand it. The five points that excited me the most about the S-Class are the following:

  • AR Head Up Display
  • Digital speedometer with 3D display
  • Ambient lighting
  • Level 2 (+) driver assistance systems
  • 10 ° Rear axle steering

The first three points are easy to understand and to describe, but to give the impression of what they have on the driver is difficult.

I also have the points in detail in my personal podcast and also recorded as a video. If you have a little time, you can look at the whole thing again.

Driving experience Mercedes S-Class

If you look around in the upper class, it is noticeable that every manufacturer has one or the other technical highlight. However, like Mercedes with the S-Class, nobody manages to create a holistic, coherent car in which everything feels right.

Above all, it is the seamless connection of the various elements that make you left so amazed. The automatic extension of the retractable door handles when approaching, the welcome animation of the Digital Light LED headlights with a resolution of 2.6 million pixels, the “awakening” animation of the active ambient lighting in combination with sound, the almost silent starting of the engine, the camera in digital speedometer with 3D effect, which automatically recognizes the driver and loads the appropriate profile.

Before even shifting into gear, you feel enveloped by an extremely comfortable cocoon.

Parking and maneuvering is done thanks to the 10 ° Rear axle steering so good that you have to get used to the maneuverability of the big car at the beginning, because actually the size of the S- Class in direct contradiction to the turning circle, which is otherwise only achieved by small cars. If you use the parking assistant to park or leave a parking space, it becomes even more incredible. Because then the S-Class can steer the front and rear axles in the same direction and move sideways like a crab.

Driving off in the S 500 is so noiseless thanks to the insulation that passengers have often asked whether we would be sitting in an electric car. Even at high speeds, hardly any outside noise penetrates the interior.

But not only the passengers’ sense of hearing is almost decoupled, but also their feelings. Thanks to the multi-chamber air suspension, which the camera in the windshield uses to condition yourself for the road conditions in front of you, you experience a level of driving comfort that I have only known from Rolls-Royce until now.

The driving comfort of the S-Class is already outstanding in itself. But it is reinforced by the support of technology.

Driver assistance systems Mercedes S-Class

Mercedes will be the S-Class middle / end 2021 also offer with the so-called Drive Pilot. The S-Class will be able to take on certain driving tasks on its own responsibility.

Until then, the S-Class currently “only” offers the familiar Level 2 assisted driving. Level 2 and Level 2+ systems have now been on the market for several years and from various manufacturers; But in all these years I have never experienced a system that works as well as that in the S-Class.

In the past, it was the measure of all things – technically and ethically controversial the “autopilot” in the Tesla models, in my opinion, Mercedes has put itself at the technological forefront with the S-Class.

The most striking feature is the adaptive speed adjustment, which not only automatically adjusts the speed The respective permitted speed is taken over – old hat – but adapts the speed to the route in such a way that almost every need to take care of the accelerator or brake is eliminated.

The active steering assistance works so well that on a long journey you have the feeling that you can leave the driving to the S-Class itself and only have to worry about observing the driving maneuvers. At the same time, the sensors in the S-Class ensure that you don’t wander off the road. If the system registers that your hands are not on the steering wheel or that your attention is elsewhere, the message comes unobtrusively but quickly. Here the S-Class finds a good compromise between what is allowed behind the wheel and what can happen in reality.

High-tech every moment – Mercedes S-Class

The S-Class feels but not only excellently in terms of driving comfort, every moment also looks futuristic.

The active ambient lighting in the S-Class creates a lounge atmosphere inside, if desired, as you have never seen it before experienced in a car. Different multicolored animated scenes can also be reproduced on request; I have often caught myself adapting these to the mood.

If you want to experience the impression, I recommend my one-hour ASMR video, where I change the scene about every 5 minutes.

As described at the beginning, my personal two technical highlights are the 3D driver display and the augmented reality head-up display (AR-HUD). It is easiest if I first use the explanations from Mercedes here:

3D driver display : The impression of spatial depth arises when the eyes of an observer can perceive different perspectives of the representation of objects on the display. In the new type of autostereoscopic display, this is achieved through a clever combination of a conventional LCD display with a special pixel structure and a controllable LCD strip mask. A so-called barrier mask is located a few millimeters away from the LCD. It is adapted so precisely to the observer’s head position that his left and right eyes can see different pixels of the LCD. This creates the desired spatial depth. A stereo camera system is integrated into the display. This takes over the exact determination of the observer’s eye position. With methods specially developed by Mercedes-Benz for distance adaptation and an extremely low-latency system design, the driver enjoys a large, undisturbed range of motion. The representation in the driver’s display is continuously adapted.

Augmented Reality Head-up Display (AR-HUD) : Two different head-up displays (HUD) are available on request, including an innovative AR variant with a particularly large image. The opening angle of the display is ° horizontal and 5 ° vertical, the image is virtually at a distance of 10 meters. This display area corresponds to a monitor with a diagonal of 77 Inch. A lot of augmented reality content for driver assistance systems and navigation information is provided on the AR-HUD. For the driver, they merge with the surroundings in front of the vehicle and can thus contribute to a further reduction in distraction. The imaging unit (DMD, Digital Mirror Device from Texas Instruments) consists of a high-resolution matrix of 1.3 million individual mirrors and a highly efficient light source. This technology is known from projectors in the cinema. In the S-Class it is used for the first time at Mercedes-Benz to generate images in the head-up display.

The technologies can be described, but the impression you leave on the driver is indescribable and can only be experienced for yourself.

It sounds almost pathetic, but the first moment when I see the 3D display and the AR- I never forgot HUD in action.

It may sound like a technical gimmick to one or the other, but it is not; because with the AR Head Up Display it will probably be almost impossible to get lost with active navigation. The 3D display in the speedometer uses the depth levels for better structuring and thereby significantly improves the display – it also just looks incredibly cool.

Mercedes S-Class MBUX 2.0 – Shine or Achilles heel?

That 12, 8 inch OLED central display shows at first glance that the Z e countless buttons and buttons at Mercedes will probably be over. Mercedes is also introducing the first major update of its own MBUX system for the S-Class.

The basic operation of the MBUX 2.0 has largely remained the same.

Particular attention is paid to At Mercedes, the focus was on personalization. Having different driver profiles in one car is in itself not a real innovation; But it has never been so easy to create new profiles and link them to a vehicle as with the new MBUX. Up to seven profiles can be linked to the vehicle, each with the setting of around 800 save various parameters. These are not only managed locally on the vehicle, but are also saved in the “Mercedes me” cloud so that you can take your personal settings with you to other vehicles.

The profiles can be changed in different ways Because of. It can be changed by touch, PIN, automatic camera recognition or voice.

I’m curious to see how well the transfer with the cloud to other vehicles works, because I see great potential for the future here , as far as other mobility concepts are concerned.

Mercedes has also improved the voice assistant, which, in addition to jokes, can now also answer trivial questions or play a quiz with passengers.

The basic functions, what one expects from an infotainment system, the MBUX 2.0 fulfills perfectly. Music can now also be streamed via Spotify and Tune In – in addition to the familiar Tidal and Amazon Music options.

The Mercedes S-Class has the option of adding two 11, 6 ” displays and a 7 ” Use a tablet.

You can also use your Mercedes profile in the rear. The operation on the rear display or the tablet also worked without any problems.

Unfortunately, the number of apps that can be used with the MBUX is rather manageable. You can receive digital television, but you cannot watch YouTube videos, let alone Netflix. You could couple and play Firestick, Apple TV or similar via HDMI, but to be honest: I expect something like this native!

Basically, the MBUX 2.0 OTA should also be updateable. I hope Mercedes will finally manage to take full advantage of the OTA capability and thus deliver additional added value in the course of the product cycle – similar to what Tesla does, for example. In the future, it will no longer be enough to just build good hardware; the software also has to keep pace.

The Achilles heel software is currently the only weak point that I see in the Mercedes S-Class.

Conclusion Mercedes S-Class after 2 weeks of testing

The title has I have already anticipated my conclusion: The Mercedes S-Class is currently the best car in the world.

The quantum leap that Mercedes made here came as a surprise to me personally and therefore surprised me all the more.

The Mercedes S-Class is the new gold standard by which every future car must be measured. The technology transfer from the S-Class to other vehicles from the group should also be exciting – especially with regard to the all-electric EQS, which will be presented soon.

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