The folks over at Mercedes-Benz tend to be at the forefront of automotive technology, especially when it comes to safety. The latest features customarily debut on the top-of-the-line S-Class sedan before filtering down the model tree; and with an all-new generation of the flagship sedan about to be revealed, Mercedes has announced new capabilities that could make it pretty much the safest car on the road.
Take Pre-Safe, Mercedes-Benz's impact detection system. On the new S-Class, it will be able to coordinate with the vehicle’s E-Active Body Control (its active suspension) to raise the car by up to three inches almost instantaneously if it detects an imminent side impact. That movement allows the more resilient lower part of the vehicle to take the brunt of the force, protecting the passengers more effectively.
The new S-Class will be the first vehicle on sale to the public to feature frontal airbags for passengers in the rear seats. Those aft thrones, after all, are of particular concern for the S-Class; many of its owners are chauffeured, rather than driving the car themselves. Those airbags will be part of the Executive Rear Seat package, which is sure to include other goodies for those who prefer to be shuttled about in the back.
Mercedes also made improvements to its exit warning system, which stops you from opening a door blindly into oncoming traffic. The new S-Class can use the MBUX infotainment system to send the alert sooner — when it detects you're reaching for the door handle.
But the best way to mitigate damage from an accident is obviously to avoid them entirely, of course. Mercedes will now offer optional rear-axle steering on the S-Class to make it far more agile and maneuverable in parking and on-road situations. The carmaker will offer two systems, one which turns the rear wheels up to 4.5º and another that lets them turn up to 10º — the latter capable of reducing the turning circle to near-compact car levels.
Mercedes has not yet confirmed the specific reveal date for the new S-Class; however, during a call with the media, the company's representatives announced that it would be revealed sometime in September. There's no word on pricing yet, either...but since the current S-Class starts at $94,250 for the base model, expect the new one to launch close to (or above) the $100,000 mark.