WESTERLY, R.I. -- The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe embodies the automaker’s new design philosophy of modern luxury, says Gorden Wagener, the brand’s design chief.
“The design philosophy is sensual purity, which is part of modern luxury.”
The shoulders are exaggerated and form a “Coke bottle” shape. There are also fewer lines and creases, and the wedge shape has given way to a teardrop, he said.
Along with all of the digital controls in the interior are air vents that click when they’re adjusted, said Wagener. This analog-like function is a throwback to growing desire for traditional luxury like a Leica single-lens reflex camera at a time when the world is moving to digital cameras, Wagener said.
The new S-class coupe is also the most expensive and technologically advanced car the brand is selling in the U.S. The $220,000 SLS is out of production.
Mercedes expects sales of the coupe to eventually hit or exceed those of the CL that it replaces, said Bart Herring, general manager of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA. CL sales in the U.S. peaked at 3,938 in 2002.
The coupe shares many features with its S-class sedan sibling but “is more emotionally designed and sits on top of the range,” said Herring.
“When you think modern luxury, it has to touch your heart and your senses. That attraction that is not rational.”
The S550 4Matic starts at $120,425, including shipping. The S63 AMG 4Matic has a price of $161,825. These models, which went on sale this week, will be available with all-wheel drive only.
The S550 has a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 with 449 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque. The S63 AMG has a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 delivering with 577 hp and 664 pounds-feet of torque.
The range-topping V-12 S65 AMG with 621 hp and 738 pounds-feet of torque will start at $231,825 and go on sale in December.
The new coupe has been renamed as an S class, similar to what Mercedes-Benz did when it added a coupe and convertible to the midsize E-class family. The redesigned C-class compact range also eventually will have a coupe and convertible in addition to the sedan.
With its revamped styling, Mercedes-Benz expects the S-class coupe to compete with higher priced cars such as the Bentley Continental and Maserati GranTurismo.
Buyers of the new coupe are expected to have a median income of $500,000 to $600,000 and own at least four other cars, said Herring.
The car has all of the safety technology available on the S-class sedan as well as a new generation of night vision for better detection of animals and pedestrians. A new active curve tilting feature will be standard on the S65. It allows the vehicle to lean into bends like a motorcycle to reduce the effects of lateral acceleration on the passenger.
The coupe also has a more luxurious interior that looks like a customized car with high-quality nappa leather and a dashboard that wraps around and extends to the doors.
The S-class coupe is 2.6 inches shorter (197.9 inches) than the CL and rides on a 0.5-inch shorter wheelbase (115.9 inches) than but is 1.1 inches wider (74.8 inches).