Mercedes-Benz for 2018: S-Class update, new AMG models and more
Mercedes-Benz is in the midst of a widespread refresh of its lineup including an updated S-Class, new E-Class and AMG models as well as technical improvements to existing carry over models. While some of the 2018 model range have been introduced including the facelifted GLA-Class and additional new E-Class models, the new S-Class and AMG models will launch this fall and winter.
Taking the spotlight for 2018, however, will be the S-Class flagship which will have in addition to an updated exterior, three new powertrains in the range which feature a new 362-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 and a 463-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. In S-Class AMG 63 models, the latter engine is handbuilt and tweaked to 603 horsepower.
The sedans will also benefit from the Magic Body Control system that features M-B’s Curve tilting function allowing the vehicle to lean into bends by up to 2.65 degrees, which adds to ride comfort. Curve was previously offered only on the S-Class coupe. The S-Class is also equipped with the second generation of the dual 12.3-inch high-resolution display that encompasses both the center console and the traditional instrument cluster ahead of the driver. Owners can choose from three different display styles—Classic, Sport and Progressive. Two new wood trims and three new upholstery options are also offered.
A new driver assist package has also been developed that includes active distance assist for the Distronic cruise control, active steering assist and active lane change (which can initiate a lane change maneuver by merely tapping the turn signal stalk), active emergency stop and traffic sign assist.
Also sharing in the facelift are the Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic sedan and the Mercedes-Maybach S650 sedan, which will bow, respectively, in fall and winter.
2018 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet
Mercedes rounds out its revamp of the E-Class series by introducing coupe and cabriolet versions. The E400 Coupe is now on sale and will be followed by the E400 Cabriolet this winter. Power comes from the twin turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. Two high performance AMG variants of the E-Class are also bowing this year, the AMG E63 S sedan and E63 S Wagon due this fall. Both are powered by AMG handbuilt 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8s making 603 horsepower.
The rest of the E-Class lineup, which was completely revamped for the 2017 model year, benefits from the fitment of the new 3.0-liter V6 in the E400 and E400 4Matic sedans.
Mercedes-AMG GT family grows
The Mercedes-AMG GT family of 2-seat sport cars grows adding variants to the coupe. The AMG GT and GT S Coupes are joined by the GT Roadster, GT C Coupe and Roadster and the track-oriented GT R Coupe. The new models share a facelift with a new grille that recalls Mercedes Gullwing Panamericana racers of the 1950s. The base GT Coupe and Roadster have 469 horsepower, the GT S is upgraded to 515 horsepower, and the GT C Coupe and Roadster are rated at 550 horsepower, while the GT R Coupe makes 577 horsepower. The GT C and GT R also benefit from rear-axle steering.
2018 GLC63/GLC63 Coupe
On the SUV side of the ledger, Mercedes is introducing an AMG GLC63 version of the compact entry in both the standard configuration as well as new Coupe and Coupe S body styles, which goes along with the recently introduced 4-door Coupe version of the standard GLC. These models are slated to bow after the first of the year.
The AMG GLC63 features a handbuilt 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. In the GLC and GLC Coupe, the engine sends the vehicles to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Coupe S versions have the more potent 503 horsepower/516 lb-ft of torque versions of the same engine that shaves 0.2 seconds off the 0-60 mph sprint.
The big update for Mercedes’ compact sedan and coupe lineup is the addition of a new 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission that replaces the 7-speed in the C300 and C3004Matic. The new gearbox improves performance to 5.8-seconds for 0-60 mph acceleration.