Launch Pad: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

S-Class-Coupe-image-20Sitting in a plane on Heathrow’s, delayed by the inevitable French air-traffic control strike  – a week, guys? seriously? – I’m struggling to think of a more indulgent car than the one I’m off to drive today: the new S-Class Coupe.

This is a two-tonne, two-door based on a limo, and it’s over five metres long. Nobody really needs this car. Which is presumably exactly why some people buy it.

Continuing Mercedes’ process of refining its model structure – in contrast to Audi and BMW, the drei-pointed star is reducing the number of badges rather than increasing them – the S-Class Coupe is the replacement for the previous CL. It’s hard to say whether this difference will help the firm sell more cars (to me it seems unlikely), but the new car certainly looks rather spectacular. That tail treatment is particularly striking.

That this car promises to be luxurious should come as no surprise – Mercedes has even tapped Swarovski to provide an optional upgrade to the headlights, each featuring no less than 47 crystals. But being a coop, the engineers have also been busy with the chassis tech, offering not just the road surfacing-reading Magic Body Control of the S-Class saloon, but an active “curve tilting” function as well.

This means this big old ‘barge’ can apparently lean into turns like a motorcycle. I cannot wait to see what this is like in reality. And wonder if this is the reason Mercedes chose Pisa as the launch destination…


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