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Luxury cars today are inching closer to the tech-savvy spaceships we have grown up seeing in shows like Star Trek, and Mercedes’ seventh iteration of its flagship S-Class is the perfect example.
To put the newest Mercedes S500 4matic to the test, GulfWeekly took the technology-packed titan to the road and from the get-go, we were nothing short of impressed.
From the very first glance at the first-class beast, any grumblings about luxury cars all looking the same are put to rest. The S500 has hints of the classic Mercedes look, but augmented with technology that you will probably not find in another car for the next two decades.
Stepping in is akin to taking the wheel of a spaceship with a large centre-console LCD touchscreen as well as a dedicated screen for the driver gauges. The S-Class has done away with the click wheel to control the touch screen, as well as buttons integrated into the steering wheel.
While this reporter initially had reservations about this, since it requires one to constantly reach for the screen, the touch-screen LCD has been perfectly angled for interaction and it discourages distracted driving.
And speaking of driving, it’s impossible to find a smoother ride. With exquisite nappa leather on every seat, as well as luxury headrests, driving truly feels like you are surfing through the clouds.
This airy feeling doesn’t go away when you turn on the car, and meet the new-and-rejuvenated Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).
Here, you get the true spaceship experience, with the new heads-up display (HUD) now integrating augmented reality into the navigation and a blue arrow in front of one’s eyes providing guidance on which lane and turn to take.
And when you reach your destination, it shows up on the HUD as a 3D symbol, ‘marking’ the address you entered into the navigation, just in case you happen to miss it.
Jeremy Clarkson, former host of BBC’s Top Gear, used to quip that Mercedes technology today would be seen in toasters and microwaves in 20 years.
But recently, it seems like the spaceships of tomorrow are going to take lessons from the Mercedes of today.
The model we test-drove also included the Rear Luxury Chauffeur package, which is geared towards elite titans of industry who regularly have to work in the back while being driven around.
As such, the right-hand passenger seat at the back is equipped with a comfortable footrest and a seat that reclines, allowing one to take a much-needed nap between high-level meetings.
The seat is also ideal for the Captain James Kirk-type personalities who command from the back seat. There is a separate pull-out tablet that allows the ‘captain’ to control the music, ambience, follow a press conference or surf the web.
There is also wireless charging both in the front and back row of seats, which are climate-adjustable throughout the vehicle.
It is impossible to mention all the luxury features, but suffice to say, this is a machine that contours itself around its drivers and passengers.
From the massage features to the 360-degree safety monitoring, driving or getting a ride in the new Mercedes S500 is an unforgettable experience.
And it does all this without compromising under the hood either. Nearly 435 horses power the engine, making the car capable of jumping from naught to 100 in less than five seconds, and reaching a torque of 520 newton metres.
All in all, this car will get you where you need to be, when you want to get there and how you want to arrive, all while feeling like a starship captain. As Trekkies might say, “Beam me up, S500!”
The Mercedes-Benz S500 starts at BD55,000, with a range of additional bespoke options. For more details and to book your test drive, contact Al Haddad Motors, Bahrain’s exclusive Mercedes-Benz dealer, on 17785454.